#TheMaryStaufferStory, #SmugglingInSuburbia, and more – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

Abducted: The Mary Stauffer Story – Review

Abducted: The Mary Stauffer Story – Lifetime – 2 hours and 3 minutes


Mary and Irving say goodbye to his parish.  They plan on doing missionary work in the Philippines and spreading God’s word.  While they are excited for the next chapter in God’s calling, their children Beth and Steven are not.  The young kids will miss their friends and their parents understand.  After a mother and daughter day at the salon, Mary and Beth head to Mary’s car.  A man sneaks up behind them with a gun and forces Mary to drive.  He threatens to shoot Beth if Mary doesn’t comply.  Once they get far enough down the road, the man pulls Mary and Beth out of the car and forces them in the trunk.  A young boy, Jason, sees a man on the side of the road and thinks he needs help.  The man grabs Jason and puts him in the trunk too.  Further down the road, the man stops and pulls Jason out of the trunk.  Mary begs for the man not to hurt him but the boy is gone.  Soon, she feels the car driving away without Jason.  The man pulls out Mary and Beth, pushes them into a house and locks them in the closet.  The closet as a mat and a bucket.  Later, that night he pulls Mary out of the closet to question her.  He is angry because she doesn’t remember him.  Fifteen years ago, he was in her 9th-grade class.  She gave him a bad grade. He believes that grade stopped him from getting a scholarship and going to college.  He was bullied and teased for being the foreign-looking kid with the weird name.  Then, the memory floods back.  He is Ming Sen Shiue.  He has been stalking her since the 9th grade.  Mary will need to keep her faith for her and Beth to get out of this alive.

Based on Mary and Beth Stauffer’s real kidnapping and Stalking Mary by Eileen Bridgeman Biernat, this movie will send chills up your spine (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  Mary recounts that she had 3 resources to get her through the ordeal: Peace, Hope, and Love.  There were several moments for potential rescue but cries for help were ignored by onlookers and the police.  You will experience confusion and blinding rage when Ming tries to bond with Mary.  He wants to “make love” like she did with her husband.  He even wants to celebrate her birthday.  To him, this was the normalcy he dreamt of for years.  Five years earlier, Ming broke into Mary’s in-laws’ house by accident.  He found the “wrong Ms. Stauffer”. With everything going on in his home, he didn’t miss a beat at work.  Ming even took them to a convention in Chicago.  This movie is hard to watch but it will renew your belief in the power of love, strength, and faith.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

Don’t say that. If you say it again, I will kill you both – Ming

I don’t know why I’m here – Mary

There is no wisdom, no incite, no plan that can succeed against our lord – Irv

In a closet – Beth

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Smuggling in Suburbia – Review

Smuggling in Suburbia – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes


Joanie quietly reads in the school’s courtyard when Annabelle and Sharnae giver her a flyer for Annabelle’s party.  Joanie smells a setup and declines.  Sharnae walks away with a biting comment but Annabelle stays.  Annabelle tells Joanie she is inviting her because she thinks Joanie is a nice person.  Not to set her up for bullying.  Joanie takes the flyer and considers going to the party.  At home, Joanie’s mother tells her to go to the party and make friends.  Since her dad abandoned them and her mother filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy, Joanie’s self-esteem is at an all-time low.  The two go to the mall for some retail therapy and find a dress for Joanie.  Joanie attends the party and Annabelle introduces Joanie to her boss and boyfriend Danny.  Danny calibrates expensive lenses for well-known photographers.  Since the lenses are too delicate to go through the mail, Annabelle hand-delivers them.  Danny pays their expensive and gives them a cut of the profits after the delivery.  Annabelle invites Joanie to join the business.  With apprehension, she agrees.  The first trip is to New York.  Joanie, who lives in California, lies to her mother and says she is spending the night at Annabelle’s home.  Aside from a TSA hiccup, the trip goes well.  The girls deliver the lenses and Joanie is introduced to Tucker.  Tucker has been Danny’s partner for years.  Joanie and Tucker hit it off.  When Joanie arrives home, her mother is furious.  Peter, Joanie’s brother, caved and their mom about the trip.  She doesn’t understand why the lenses can’t be shipped when Amazon does it all the time (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  Also, her mother is confused about Joanie getting paid in cash.  But when Joanie gives her $1000 to her mom, her mom stops asking questions.  On Joanie’s next trip to Chicago, her mother’s questions plague her mind.  Before she goes to the TSA, she runs to the bathroom.  She opens one of the lenses and uncut diamonds fall out.  Annabelle and Sharane find Joanie and stop her from freaking out at the airport.  Joanie completes the delivery but wants out.  Now that she knows the truth, Danny offers her an honest cut: $10,000.  Still, Joanie wants out.  After a family member becomes gravely ill, Joanie wants back in the business.  It won’t take long until the feds come knocking.

Mom saves the movie … almost.  When Joanie’s mother learns about the New York trip, she starts asking Joanie questions about her job.  It’s the same questions you are screaming at the screen.  ‘Surely the lenses can be shipped’, ‘Cash payments only’, and ‘Who are the creepy guys’.  One look at the money, mom’s common sense goes out the window.  When Joanie is finally caught, you won’t believe who ratted her out.  With all the craziness going on, Joanie points the blame on herself.  She doesn’t make excuses, she takes responsibility.  This movie does make the connection between diamond smuggling and its links to blood diamonds and the 9/11 attacks.  It is a classic lifetime movie with your internal thoughts thrown in.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

In fact, I earned this moment – Joanie

Do I have to have a reason – Annabelle

So you need me more than I need you? Is that right? – Danny

Maybe, what’s it worth to you – Peter

Sorry, Danny. Hope you’re not mad at me – Sharane

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A Working Mom’s Nightmare – Review

A Working Mom’s Nightmare – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

A Working Mom's Nightmare

Kathy is back to work after taking maternity leave.  She is worried about her job when her assistant, Aisha, tells Kathy her replacement, Hanna, is staying.  Kathy believes her job is coming to an end.  After a bumpy start, Kathy sits with her boss, Phillip, and Hanna.  Phillip has decided to make Hanna the Chief Strategy Officer and keep Kathy as COO.  Despite keeping her job, Kathy still doesn’t trust Hanna.  After a few weeks back, Kathy notices that her husband, Mark is becoming distant.  He leaves with no explanation and lies about where he is going.  She starts to worry that he is having an affair.  Kathy goes so far as to have her babysitter check on him.   Now, Phillip is unimpressed with her return.  Hanna is bringing in more customers and discovered Mark’s company is looking for a new firm.  Kathy tried to explain that she and Mark don’t discuss work but Philip isn’t hearing it.  She promises to discuss it with Mark later.  Home with the baby, Kathy goes into a deep sleep and wakes up to hear the babysitter panicked.  The dog drowned in the pool.  Mark is furious.  When her presentation is wrought with bad numbers, its the final straw.  She is hell-bent on proving Hanna is behind it all.  Too bad Hanna is missing.

Based on The Lie of You by Jane Lytheyll, the movie is slow and drawn out (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  The movie tries to make Kathy look crazy but it’s not enough to convince you.  The movie tries to make Hanna look like a victim but she comes off as too weird. During Hanna’s monologue, you start to wonder if Kathy made her crazy.  With a slow start, the climax falls flat.  This movie just won’t pique your interest and becomes background noise.  The book is leaps and bounds better than the movie.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars

No, I should meet her before I start sabotaging her – Kathy

You know how wives are – Mark

To having it all – Hanna

If I’d was your therapist, I’d be paid more – Aisha

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Ruby Herring Mysteries: Her Last Breath – Review

Ruby Herring Mysteries: Her Last Breath – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes


Ruby has an appointment to profile her friend Natalie and her vitamin supplement company.  When Natalie is a no show, Ruby suggests using a Find My Phone app to find Natalie’s whereabouts.  Natalie’s cell phone pings on Mountain Crest Rd.  Natalie calls the police and heads there.  Detective Jake gives Ruby the horrific news.  Natalie’s car drove off an embankment and she died.  Ruby doesn’t understand what happened.  It was a clear day, there was nothing on the road, and Natalie had on her seatbelt.  How could she crash? Then, Ruby spots a bear camera.  The camera caught a dark SUV following Natalie and driving in the opposite direction after the crash.  Since the driver didn’t report Natalie’s accident, Ruby believes the driver is responsible.  Ruby starts looking into Natalie’s life for clues.  Natalie’s sister, Kate, has been estranged since Kate started dating a huge polluter.  Also an environmentalist, Natalie was disgusted by him.  Roger worked in Natalie’s yoga studio and painted as a side hustle.  Natalie asked Roger to create a painting for her.  When the painting was not what she planned, Natalie didn’t want to pay.  Natalie and her COO, Amanda, had different ideas on how to run the company.  They fought a lot but came to a mutual understanding.  Then, Natalie’s housekeeper, Sarah, and Natalie’s boyfriend, Steve, have a million reasons to want her dead.  With so many suspects, it will take a makeup brush, a degree, and Ruby’s gut to solve this case.

This case gives the viewer more of Detective Jake’s back story.  The last episode informed the viewers he was a transplant from NY.  Now, you will learn why he left and his many talents.  This movie creates several suspects with unique motives.  But seasoned fans will be able to pick this story apart and unveil the killer for themselves.  However, it’s the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ that will keep you watching.  While this isn’t the best mystery of the season, it’s still strong for a second episode.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Sometimes it’s nice to flex a new muscle, loosen up a little – Frank

Some of us have scruples – Ruby

Who am I gonna tell – Tommy

No thanks but call me if you need rescuing – Jake

Can I watch – Angela

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