“Found”, NBCs hit drama, just wrapped its first season … and it was a doozy. At first glance, an interesting take on a crime drama, starring Shanola Hampton as Gabi Mosely, who runs a Private Investigation firm ethically bound to search for and find every missing person, especially those that are not typically given the necessary media attention given to others. Mosely and Associates is made up of a number of misfits, all from differing backgrounds, with one major thing in common: all have been touched in some personal way by a kidnapping or missing persons case. Hampton is joined by a phenomenal cast, including Gabrielle Walsh, Brett Dalton, Kelli Williams, A’Zaria Latrell Carter, Karan Oberoi, Arlen Escarpeta, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar, all of whom emote genuine sentiment as they navigate the treacherous waters of their own history, as it merges with the present.

The interplay between the characters in “Found” is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Despite the haunting echoes of their pasts, the characters offer each other unwavering support, creating a dynamic that is both heart-wrenching and uplifting. The narrative delves into the intricate web of relationships, showcasing the power of solidarity in overcoming adversity.

As the lead character, Hampton’s presence in “Found” adds an extra layer of brilliance to an already outstanding cast. Her portrayal of anger, fear, and sadness as driving forces within her character is nothing short of masterful, demonstrating the depth of her acting capacity. Hampton seamlessly embodies the complexities of her character’s emotional spectrum. She portrays anger as not just a mere display of fury, but a nuanced exploration of the profound hurt and betrayal that underlie it. Hampton skillfully unveils the layers of her character’s fear, allowing the audience to empathize with the vulnerability that often accompanies this powerful emotion. Moreover, her depiction of sadness is not a passive surrender but a dynamic force that propels her character forward with unwavering determination. Hamptons’s depiction of the complex nature of Gabi Mosely, and the timing in which the story of her life unfolds, elevates the storytelling and draws the audience in, with the constant question of whether to root for or against her.

Hampton is joined by another standout and surprising performance by Mark-Paul Gosselaar that challenges our perceptions of good vs evil. Known for his iconic roles in lighter fare, Gosselaar’s character in “Found” showcases a depth and versatility that leaves viewers in awe and in a state of confusion over what to think about this character. Gosselaar represents at first, the traditional villain, yet the layers of his character which unfold reveal so much more to the nature and motivation of this person. The audience is left conflicted with how to feel about him after achieving an understanding of his past which led him to this place. This twist adds depth to the narrative, forcing viewers to question their own judgments and challenging the traditional notions of heroes and villains. When both Hampton and Gosselaar are on-screen together, they create a beautifully choreographed dance of emotional conflict amongst the viewer, seemingly moving from one side to the other like a pendulum swing. 

One of the show’s strengths lies in its use of trauma as a catalyst for unexpected actions, even from the strongest and kindest characters. “Found” challenges the audience to contemplate the consequences of life-altering experiences, illustrating that even the most resilient individuals can be pushed to behave in ways that defy recognition. 

The writing is another standout feature, with the plot intricately crafted to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. The character development is masterfully executed, allowing the audience to connect emotionally with each individual’s journey. The show doesn’t shy away from portraying the raw and authentic struggles faced by its characters, making it a relatable and impactful viewing experience.

As the season comes to a close, the audience is left feeling an allegiance to characters who would have initially sent most of us running. The antagonist is human, with a complex past that brings empathy to the table. The protagonist, who very early on is established as a hero, has more layers to her character than any other, which complicates our feelings towards her. Add to this, the weaving in and out of the other characters many unique needs and contributions and this show is stocked full of intrigue, mystery, and rich commentary on the complexities of the human condition. 

With all that this show has to offer, “Found” is a must watch for anyone looking for entertainment, thought-provoking television, or suspense. Thankfully, the show has been renewed for a second season, which will begin filming later this year.

Watch the show on Hulu to see what you’ve missed in season 1!