First Impressions

Kidnapped by the Kids

Aired on: OWN

Reviewed by Dorothy Doremus

            When I was flipping through the channels on a Sunday morning I happened to have off from work, I spotted Kidnapped by the Kids.  Thinking it a curious title for a television show, I clicked on it.  I then realized that this was a show on the new OWN network and decided to see what this new show was all about. 

            The premise of Kidnapped by the Kids is that overworked or plugged-in parents are not spending enough time with their children.  So, the kids, with the assistance of OWN, kidnap the parents in order to spend more time as a family.  I thought the concept was just a wonderful breath of fresh air and a long time in coming.

            In the first episode, kids Caroline and Jack go to the airport with their mother, Amy, and baby Matthew and confront their father, Hank, as he is about to depart on another business trip.  The confrontation at the airport was one I will never forget, especially since it brings Hank to tears.  The conflict within Hank is easy to see: he wants to do well for his family by being a good provider, but he has come to the realization that his family life is suffering for it.  Amy also explains how his work is affecting her because they donít spend any time together as he is always on the phone or computer.

            Hank is ordered by Caroline and Jack to take the week off and hand over the Blackberry, as well as the laptop computer.  At the airport, Hank, Caroline and Jack head off for a short camping trip and some bonding.  The days following the trip are spent one-on-one trying to connect with each other.  One of the most insightful moments is when Jack tells his father that he believed he didnít love them and that he thought Hank had a second family in another city.  Hank is stunned.  I believe that is when the lights finally went on and Hank realized the things he was missing as a husband and a father.

            At the end of the show, the kids decide to write letters to Hank about the week and what their thoughts were now.  It was very nice to see them connect with Hank and to see Hank make some changes in his own thought process.  When they ran the credits, we discover that Hank has found a new job, closer to home.

            I already know what some of you might be thinking: I just canít change my job.  But thatís not the message I believe this show is conveying.  I think the message is that family needs to come first.  Family is a priority that should not be taken for granted.

            I really loved Kidnapped by the Kids, especially the message.  At a time when everyone is so plugged-in, sometimes we need to just enjoy our children and make them the priority.  Bravo, OWN!

For feedback, visit our
message board or e-mail the author at