Screen shot from Fox TV program "Vanished"

The only reviews I’ve seen of the new Fox TV series Vanished have been negative, although in the promo at the end of last night’s premiere episode there were quotes from positive critiques of the show. I just haven’t seen any. The critiques I’ve read all complained that the show was too complicated and that the characters weren’t likeable enough or interesting enough to capture the critics’ attention

Too complicated? Boohoo. Characters not likeable or interesting? Rather a matter of opinion, that, eh what? I don’t like the characters in The Sopranos, but critics managed to find that one interesting.

I thought Vanished was quite well done and very interesting. The story, about the kidnapping of a senator’s wife, unfloded into increasing complexity as the episode progressed. New questions and mysteries arose every couple of minutes, as we learned more about the characters’ pasts and the niew information conflicted with what we and the characters in the story thought they knew. The very identity of the kidnapping victim came into question, increasing the mystery regarding why she was kidnapped and raising the question of whether she was even abducted at all. The lead FBI agent was certainly likeable, as were most of the other characters, and the persons central to the story were somewhat complex, which is quite an achievement for such a plot-heavy single episode in a series.

Actually, the complexity of plot makes for more interesting characters, in my view (and that of C. S. Lewis and of Aristotle, for that matter), which is contrary to what nearly all contemporary critics tend to think. I’ll stick with Aristotle and Lewis on this one, if you don’t mind.

Vanished has a very attractive time slot, running on Monday nights after the surprise hit Prison Break. It should appeal to audiences of that show.

You can decide for yourself by watching the program tonight at 9 EDT on Fox or at any time on Fox’s site, here.