One of the biggest surprises of this summer's TV season has been MTV's Finding Carter.
When we first heard that the network was developing a drama about a girl who finds out—at the age of 16!—that her entire life has been a lie and she was actually abducted when she was 3 years old by the woman she thought was her mother, we were like...wait, are you sure this is a MTV show we're talking about? It sounds kind of like a Lifetime movie.
And by the way, we mean that in the best possible way. Just think of all the possible movie titles! My Mom Is My Kidnapper. Abducted at 3. Living a Lie. Yeah, we'd watch the crap out of those movies!
But week after week, this show, starring Skins alum Kathryn Prescott as the titular teen whose life gets turned upside down after a chance arrest unveils her real past, has totally stolen our hearts. We've become completely obsessed with Carter's family drama, with both her biological family that she's been returned to after 13 years and her babysnatching fake mom, who we're pretty sure is downright crazy. Plus, with all the boy drama and friend drama and financial drama, there's some kind of drama for everyone!
And MTV clearly knows that it's a hit, since the network just renewed the drama for season two! Excuse us while we do a little happy dance to celebrate getting 12 more episodes.
So here's nine reasons why you should totally be as obsessed as we are with Finding Carter, straight from star Prescott herself!
1. Not even Carter knows the right choice to make between her two "families"
In last week's episode, Carter finally had to pick between her biological family and Lori, her kidnapper who she's been calling "mom" for her whole life. Lori told Carter to pack her things and meet her to run away with her for good, but she couldn't do it, and instead confessed to her dad David that Lori was trying to steal her away again.
"I think it's the first time that Carter has had such an enormous decision to make," Prescott tells E! News. "She wasn't 100 percent sure. She was definitely swaying more towards her family, but in the end scene with David, it's more that she wasn't sure and couldn't pick, so she had David take the decision out of her hands. She's just a 16-year-old girl being asked to choose between what she sees as her two families. She surrendered the decision-making and the confirmation of her choice to David, in a way."
2. And she'll second guess if the "right" choice was really the right choice
Even though David gleefully told Lori over the phone that Carter chose them over her, the upcoming questionable actions of her biological family will make her question if she should have left with Lori. "I feel like definitely in the upcoming episodes she gets hurt by all of these people that she's just chosen and definitely, she has the thought that maybe she chose wrong," Prescott says. "She definitely questions whether she made the right decision. It throws everything she thought she knew, once again, into complete chaos."
3. Carter is finally starting to realize how messed up her life has been
But don't get us wrong, since that doesn't mean Carter still thinks Lori is flawless like she did when she first found out she was kidnapped. She is finally starting to get that her "mom" is more than a little nutty.
"Throughout last week's episode, she was grappling with that decision to run away with Lori and she was back and forth," Prescott says. "For most of the episode she was going to go with Lori but through the flashbacks, you saw all the little strange things she did over the course of Carter's life and Carter finally started to question that maybe Lori isn't this amazing, perfect person she always thought. But the turning point was at the very end when Carter and Taylor were talking and Carter finds out that the day she thought was her birthday, May 5, was actually the day she was abducted. Lori has had her celebrating the day she abducted her! Even if Lori had a very good reason for taking her, that's still weird. That's so messed up, and that really shakes Carter up."
4. There's a legit reason why we haven't learned the truth about the Lori yet
Even though our first impulse on seeing Lori after learning the truth would be to ask why Lori kidnapped Carter, Carter hasn't asked her mom that huge question yet, and Lori hasn't tried to explain herself to her "daughter." According to Prescott, that's actually understandable.
"I think Lori is a strong character and she has reasons for why she did what she did and she's determined to tell Carter what they are," Prescott agrees. "But in every situation where they have met since Carter returned to her biological parents, they've had like five seconds before Lori has had to run off again. They haven't had enough time to properly talk yet. But I think she's determined to tell her."
5. And that means we will find out the truth (in bits and pieces) soon
"Even I don't know the full story yet," Prescott reveals, "but you'll definitely find out huge parts of it in episode 11 and 12."
6. While the situation is extraordinary, the characters are realistic
We might not be able to relate to exactly what Carter is dealing with in her life (and we hope you can't either, because finding out you were kidnapped and raised by your kidnapper is kind of terrifying and totally sounds like a Law & Order: SVU episode), but we can relate to the kinds of people in her life and in an abstract way, what they're all dealing with. For example, Elizabeth's cheating on her husband David as a result of losing her daughter is totally believable.
"On the show, nothing is black and white," Prescott says. "People who have affairs are not evil people, they're just doing it because they're dealing with their problems in a bad way. The problems in Elizabeth and David's relationship existed before, and the affair was a result of that, not the cause. So if anything, this might shake up the family in a big way and just rock everything for a while, but without something huge like that happening, the family would have just carried on like lots of families do with this passive-aggressive elephant in the room. Sometimes it takes an accident like this happening for her to tell everyone so they can move on."
7. Even her best friend is flawed
Carter's drama isn't just with her family. Even her new BFF Bird is going to hurt her (even more than she already did by making her the muse in her creepy art project and sleeping with the guy Carter likes).
"Bird betrays Carter in a big way and Carter completely doesn't understand why," Prescott teases. "It's just the cherry on top for Carter as everyone is kind of betraying her in the next few episodes coming up. Even though Bird has her reasons, what's cool about this show is that even when you think a person is evil and you're ready to just write them off, the writers show why that character is like that and the reasons for that character's behavior. So even though Bird betrays Carter, in the following episode, you do get some understanding of why she did it. Their relationship goes haywire." Our guess? We're about to learn more about the guy that raped Bird as a result of this upcoming betrayal.
8. The "bad boy" love interest really is a bad boy, and not in a good way
Carter's new boyfriend Crash may be one hot piece of eye-candy (seriously, that face is unreal), but he really is a bad guy and not someone we're going to be crushing on for much longer.
"Carter sees how everyone has just written Crash off and they think since he's committed crimes, he's a bad person," Prescott says. "He does have these erratic behaviors but Carter sees something else in him that no one else does. I think it's sweet that she sees there is good in him, especially after she finds out about the terrible life that he's led. His own mother abandoned him, literally told him she was coming back and never did. No one has ever shown him any love or care or goodness so he thinks he's a bad person and the world is bad. Carter empathizes with how he is."
Prescott continues, "But she sometimes can't take a step back and see that maybe she can't help him. He needs professional help. In the coming episodes, definitely some stuff goes down with Crash and it gets to the point where even Carter is like, 'Wow, I'm trying to empathize but what the f--k? I can't help you if you don't want to help yourself.' He really does mess things up. Their relationship gets severely rocked."
9. Both Carter and the audience won't know who to trust
Whether it's Carter's abductor Lori, her biological parents Elizabeth and David, her BFF Bird or her boyfriend Crash, no one's motives will be clear and we really won't know who to root for. That kind of uncertainty is exciting and compelling as heck, and we are here for it.
"I'm excited for everyone to see how the characters develop and how confusing it is when you think that you know each one of the characters, and then they do something and you're like, 'Whoa! I thought you were a good guy!'" Prescott says. "It definitely forces you to see people as people really are, which is not all good and not all bad. Good people do bad things and make mistakes and tell lies and bad people have their reasons and aren't bad to the core. Coming up, you won't know how you feel about any of the characters."
So if you haven't been watching Finding Carter, binge-watch that ish ASAP, and if you're all caught up, then be sure to check out tonight's new episode at 10 p.m. on MTV.