#DoomsdayMom, #TheStrangerSheBroughtHome, and more – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

Doomsday Mom: The Lori Vallow Story – Review

Doomsday Mom: The Lori Vallow Story – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Lori Vallow often worries about the biblical teachings of end days.  She brings it up in conversation with her family all the time.  While most brush her off, her husband, Charles, and her brother, Alex, believe as she does.  Lori has a daughter, Tylee, with her ex-husband and a son, J.J., with Charles.  During a yard sale, Lori finds a book written by Chad Daybell.  He discusses the end of days in great detail and prepping for them.  She decides to go to a preppers convention.  Lori doesn’t like shooting guns, but she listens to Mel talk about motherhood.  They connect over having sons with autism.  As they talk, Mel tells Lori that she met Chad at a convention, which amazes Lori.  The women exchange contact information and talk daily.  One day, Lori’s ex-husband drops Tylee off after a visit, and he threatens to take Tylee away.  Lori’s conversation about the end gives Tylee nightmares.  Lori prays for God’s help against her ex-husband, and soon, he dies of a heart attack.  The next day, Mel calls and tells Lori that Chad is coming to a local convention.  Both women attend, and Lori approaches him to get her book signed.  He asks to meet with Lori in private after the event, and she agrees.  Later, Chad tells Lori that they were married nine times before and fought for the Lord each time.  Although both are married now, he believes they will be married again.  Also, Chad tells Lori she can find people with dark spirits.  If found, the only solution is to kill them.  This meeting will set off a chain of events that starts with a welfare check and ends with dead bodies.

You think you know Lori’s story, but you don’t.  She is an extreme apocalypticist which causes her to look for signs of evil in the most insignificant actions.  Teenage defiance or a tantrum becomes dark spirits in Lori’s twisted mind.  But there is a lingering question that comes to mind.  Would Lori go to these depths of depravity if she never met Chad? Chad’s approval may have justified Lori’s beliefs and psychotic thoughts.  Or was she always capable of doing this without Chad? Chad is questionable too. Is he a user that went too far or delusional to the point of madness? This could be a case of Shared Psychotic Disorder.  Regardless of the answer, several people, including two innocent children, suffered the ultimate price.  What do you think? 

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

What did you see when you looked at me – Lori

Mel, if he satan, than he’s a good one – Mel

You’re happy he’s gone – Tylee

Lori Vallow, you are an ancient and powerful being – Chad

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The Stranger She Brought Home – Review

The Stranger She Brought Home – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Amelia works as a 911 operator, but sometimes callers hang up before she can get the outcome.  So she puts on fake credentials and finds the injured person in the hospital.  After seeing the person is ok, she takes a souvenir.  Amelia loves her job, but her supervisor, Trent, makes Amelia uncomfortable.  And it got worse when Trent began a relationship with Amelia’s roommate and coworker, Stephanie.  He openly talks about his physical relationship with Stephanie to Amelia.  After another hard day, Amelia comes home to see Trent and Stephanie on the parlor floor.  They refuse to leave, and Trent asks Amelia to join them.  The next day, Amelia gets a phone call from a man that hit a pedestrian with his car.  Before the man reported the pedestrian’s condition, the man hangs up the phone.  Amelia goes to the pedestrian’s hospital and learns the pedestrian is in a coma.  Amelia pretends to be his wife and names him, David Jones.  The nurse allows Amelia to stay because talking to the patient can help him.  One day, David wakes up to Amelia kissing his forehead, and he panics, but he doesn’t remember anything.  When the doctors medically clear him, the nurses will allow Amelia to take him home.  Amelia promptly kicks out Stephanie, sparking a rage in Trent, and gets the house ready for David.  When Amelia tries to use sick days to take care of David, Trent refuses.  She threatens to file a harassment claim, but it doesn’t phase Trent.  And Trent is unphased because he beat Amelia to the punch and reported her first.  But that’s not the only revelations; Stephanie is helping Trent.  Amelia is at her wit’s end when she gets unfortunate news.  Trent is dead, and police suspect her.  Amelia can have David alibi her.  But if detectives get too close, they could learn her dirty little secret.  Can she clear her name without revealing the muddy waters around her?

This movie is wild from beginning to end because each person commits deplorable acts.  Amelia is the quintessential serial killer without a murder.  She keeps souvenirs, has a signature, and stalks her callers.  So when David becomes unhinged, you don’t feel bad for her.  You want to see who will out-crazy the other person.  Add in a crazy roommate, a harasser, and an office stalker, and you will need therapy at the end.  This film takes the LMN standard and flips it on its head.  Be ready to talk to the screen.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

I don’t need to be friends.  I just need you to leave – Amelia

No. The car did – David

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To Catch A Spy – Review

To Catch A Spy – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Travel writer Chloe won’t let traveling with her ex-boyfriend and boss, Tom, dampen her trip.  She has her friend and photographer, Sara, by her side, and she plans on meeting her college friend, Elias, at his new hotel in Malta.  With Patrick in tow, they arrive in Malta and meet with Elias.  The group gets their room keys and goes to their rooms.  In the hallway, Chloe sees a man fussing with his electronic key, and she helps him.  He smiles and introduces himself as Aaron.  Chloe tries to get some sleep, but there is a loud commotion in the room above her.  Soon, she hears a crash and runs to the balcony.  Chloe sees a man dead on the ground and runs for help.  She knocks on Aaron’s door.  Aaron reveals he is FBI and tells her to go back to her room.  After talking to the hotel manager, Bree, Chloe discovers that the disturbance came from Elias’s room, but, according to Bree, he checked out an hour ago.  When Aaron looks for the body, he can’t find it.  This hotel is new, so the security system is not online yet.  Now, Chloe has nothing to back up her claim, and the police speculate that she made it up.  Chloe will use her love of crime novels to solve this mystery. In the end, she will uncover a spy ring and ensure the safety of undercover agents worldwide.

The villain will leave you wanting more, but revealing the villain isn’t the most compelling moment.  It’s hearing the villain monologuing.  The villain’s swagger, laughter, and hypnotic disposition will make you want a series following their wrongdoing.  But that’s a movie for another network.  This movie focuses on Chloe using her love of crime novels and talented friends to find a body and a killer.  Without that information, she will be a laughing stock.  But as danger gets closer to Chloe, she knows she is getting to the truth.  But she had no idea the reality involved espionage, secret documents, and diplomats.  While this won’t be your favorite movie series on HMM, it has the potential to be more.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

18 hours of this? Great – Tom

I would say nice to meet you but I have to restart my heart – Chloe

Now, you’re just showing off – Aaron

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Bad Dad Rehab: The Next Session – Review

Bad Dad Rehab: The Next Session – TV One – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Chauncey uses the courts to seek revenge on his ex-partner.  After he falsely accused her of running a prostitution ring, child protective services took their daughter, Izzy, away from her.  For misusing the court system and filing a false police report, the judge makes Chauncey go to Bad Dad Rehab or pay fines with jail time.  Chauncey chooses rehab.  Hosea would rather be a friend to his son, David, than a father.  His ex-partner, Vanessa, confronts Hosea at a poker game about David’s delinquent behavior.  One of Hosea’s poker buddies, Mr. Arnold, thinks Hosea should attend Bad Dad Rehab, but Hosea believes it’s unnecessary.  That is until David turns on Hosea.  Marshall lost his job and created a business to make money.  But with nothing coming in, Marshall sells his son’s robot parts to buy items for his business.  Marshall’s wife, Denise, is sick of Marshall playing video games all day and sacrificing their son’s happiness for work.  She takes his video game console and installs malware on his laptop.  She won’t give him his items back until he completes Bad Dad Rehab.  Owen quietly texts Stacey to keep his wife, Marjory, in the dark.  Years ago, Owen cheated on Marjory with Stacey, and they had a child named Nicole.  Marjory forgave Owen for the affair, but he had to cut Nicole out of his life.  Now, Stacey wants Owen and Nicole to talk.  Nicole wants to know why he was a dutiful dad to his sons but never paid attention to her.  Owen has nothing to say, so Nicole walks off.  He calls Stacey for help, and she texts him a flyer for Bad Dad Rehab.  Owen, Hosea, Marshall, and Chauncey walk into Bad Dad Rehab for different reasons but want the same solution.  A better relationship with their children.  With Mr. Arnold’s guidance, can these bad dads change their ways?

Sequel to Bad Dad Rehab, this movie gives you four more complex relationships between fathers and their children.  Each father lacks in parenting but needs to find the root cause to heal their issues.  Some feel a lack of respect, while others feel abandoned.  Either way, it’s affecting their fathering skills today.  With Mr. Arnold’s guidance, each man will redefine fatherhood for themselves and each other. You will look forward to the third session of Bad Dad Rehab.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Well, that’s what you get – Chauncey

So are you ready to become independently wealthy – Marshall

Why? What’d she do – Hosea

I don’t know what else to say – Owen

My specialty is dads.  When it comes to wives, you are on your own – Mr. Arnold

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Cradle Did Fall – Review

Cradle Did Fall – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Before going to Stockholm for business, Dean checks to see if his wife, Taylor, is ok.  After having their daughter, Mia, Taylor suffered from Postpartum Depression.  Taylor tells Dean she will be ok and promises to ask for help if she needs it.  Taylor takes Mia for a walk but feels like someone is watching her.  She tells her friend, Lindsey, but Lindsey tells Taylor to relax.  Lindsey believes these feelings are a result of missing Dean.  On the next trip to the park, Taylor walks into Katherine’s picture.  Taylor apologizes, but Katherine dismisses the error.  The women spark a conversation, and Katherine admits she wanted to try infant photography.  Taylor tried to get pictures of Mia in the past, but the costumes were not Mia’s or Taylor’s vibe (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  Katherine offers to take pictures of Mia for free to create a portfolio, but Taylor says no.  Later that night, Taylor hears a loud noise coming from Mia’s room.  When Taylor investigates, she sees that someone disturbed Mia’s window, so Taylor calls the police.  The police find no evidence of a break in, so they write Taylor off.  A few days later, Taylor sees Katherine at the park again and takes her offer for free photos.  Since Katherine doesn’t have a studio, she offers to come to Taylor’s home and do the photoshoot.  With some hesitation, Taylor accepts.  Katherine comes to Taylor’s house with her assistant and daughter, Skylar.  While Taylor delights in the free photos, Lindsey is a skeptic.  That night, Taylor wakes up to a parent’s worst nightmare: Mia is gone.  Taylor calls the police immediately.  After investigating the home and talking to Lindsey and Taylor, Taylor thinks the police suspect her.  But Taylor knows who to blame: Katherine and Skylar.  Now, this momma bear has to take on the police, past employers, and self-doubt to get Mia back.

Based on true events, this movie is the weakest of the series.  It adds too much to the story, and in turn, becomes a stereotypical Lifetime movie.  When you read the story, only the kidnapper’s profession is the same.  The writer changed everything else for dramatic effect.  This film isn’t ‘Ripped From the Headlines,’ it’s an exaggeration of the crime that could have happened but thwarted.  Since this movie is an exaggeration, it becomes another boring Lifetime filler for a series.  You can skip this entry in the series.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

It’s been weird – Taylor

Anything is possible – Kathy

How did they find us so quickly, mom – Skylar

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Her Pen Pal – Review

Her Pen Pal – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Victoria puts the final touches on a wedding, then heads to the home of her best friend, Tracy.  Tracy is having a destination wedding in France, and Victoria is her wedding planner and maid of honor.  Before they leave, Tracy has a confession: Victoria’s ex, Cameron, is attending with his date, Jen.  Victoria considered Jen to be Cameron’s work wife when she was dating him.  So, seeing her joke come to life hits a sore spot.  To add insult to injury, Victoria doesn’t have a plus one.  Victoria vows to focus on the wedding and not let her emotions get in the way.  But the moment Victoria sees Cameron and Jen in France, she puts her foot in her mouth and runs away.  As Victoria leaves, she states that Cameron was her first love, but Tracy corrects her.  Jacques was her first love.  During freshman year in high school, each student received a pen pal.  Victoria got Jacques, and they wrote letters until senior year.  Before college, Victoria planned to come to Paris to see Jacques, but they broke up, and she met Cameron.  As Victoria reminisces, Tracy and a bridesmaid grab Victoria’s phone.  They locate Jacques, call him, and leave a voicemail message about Victoria being in France.  Intrigued by the voicemail, Jacques comes to the hotel.  He asks the concierge for Victoria, and he points Jacques to the ballroom.  Victoria performs a champagne sampling for the wedding, and she thinks Jacques is a vendor.  But with one phrase, she is face to face with her first love.  They take a walk around the hotel to catch up, and Jacques takes Victoria to his family’s chateau.  While the sprawling property enchants Victoria, Jacques tells her he will sell it because it’s too much upkeep.  Back at the hotel, Tracy sees Victoria with Jacques and invites him to the welcome dinner.  He graciously accepts her invitation.  At the dinner, Victoria stumbles over her words as she speaks to Cameron and Jen, but Jacques comes to her rescue and introduces himself as her plus one.  As the sky falls on this wedding, Jacques will be her knight in shining armor.  What will happen when this spark lights an old flame?

This Hallmark movie has a sharp, quick-witted tongue with a majestic Parisian landscape.  While the plot is textbook, the characters are charming.  Along with the love triangle, viewers get two interesting subplots based on different stages of marriage.  While Jacques and Victoria start their romance, the bride-to-be has second thoughts about the wedding.  And the parents-to-be are navigating the emotional terrain of becoming parents while maintaining their identity.  This triple plot allows viewers to witness that happily ever after can have rough patches throughout a relationship.  Not romance, not a ring, nor a baby make love perfect.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

You’re lucky you’re pregnant – Victoria

Champagne to the French is like duct tape to Americans.  It fixes everything – Jacques

What’s wrong? Is the sky falling? – Tracy

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