#GirlInTheShed, #FramedByMySister, and more – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

Girl in the Shed: The Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez – Review

Girl in the Shed: The Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Abby Hernandez is a spunky 14-year-old trying to gain independence while depending on her mom, Zenya, for wake-ups and laundry.  She runs out the door, sans socks, and misses the bus.  When Abby walks home, she sees Zenya driving away.  Abby decides to walk to school, but her feet start to hurt.  So she hitchhikes.  Abby catches a ride with an old teacher and makes it to school on time.  She deals with friends, parties, and bullies at school.  Then, Zenya finds Abby at Abby’s locker and gives her a pair of socks.  Abby is grateful, but the boots have done their damage. 

Later, Abby talks to friends but realizes it’s late and runs outside.  But she misses the bus again and walks home.  Abby decides to hitch a ride home and gets into a car with an unknown man because her feet ache.  She gives the man directions, but he misses the turn and parks at a mall.  Abby senses she is in danger and attempts to open the door, but he locks it.  He handcuffs Abby, puts a hat on her, and makes her close her eyes.  When she tries to run, he stuns her with a stun gun.  With a shock collar, mask, and letter, Nate will keep Abby hostage for months while Zenya tries to convince the police and the world that Abby didn’t run away.  

Based on actual events, this film will make your blood boil.  Nate held Abby hostage for months and made her commit crimes while spewing crazy 9/11 conspiracy theories and pretending to be in the military.  He was an unhinged drug dealer with explosive anger.  He watched the news and attempted to diminish Abby’s hopes.  Abby tries to save herself by etching words into a letter, making poor counterfeits, and becoming Nate’s friend.  As Abby fights to stay alive, Zenya battles with the police, FBI, and public opinion.  Zenya received hate mail, phone calls, and internet trolls after information leaked about Abby’s letter.  Abby and Zenya made Abby’s escape possible.  This film did a great job of displaying the challenges Abby and Zenya faced.  But it removed Abby’s broken mental state after her escape.  

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

I’m overreacting, right? – Zenya

I could be a good friend – Nate

Wait. did I miss my birthday? – Abby

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Framed By My Sister – Review

Framed By My Sister – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Alex’s husband, David, waits in the car while Alex confronts her identical twin sister, Reina, for missing their mother’s funeral.  Reina didn’t want to go because she felt that Alex blamed her.  Alex went out drinking that night, and their mother got into an accident picking Reina up.  Reina says she is sober, but Alex can smell the alcohol on Reina’s breath.  Furious, Alex leaves, and Reina follows, saying, ‘I love you.’  But Alex never says it back to her twin.  

Alex goes to New York, and David plans to meet with his mistress, Holly.  In less than 24 hours, Alex gets a call from the police.  They found David dead, and someone turned off his security cameras and stole money from the safe.  Alex leaves immediately and sees Reina standing outsides David’s home with her friend, Joey.  Police want to interview them both, but Alex travels to Holly’s house instead of the police station.  Alex knew about the affair but thought she and David could work things out.  Holly has an albeit for the night, which the police confirmed.  After looking through street camera footage, police see a woman that looks like Alex and Reina getting out of a car.  They examine the photo and learn its Reina’s car.  Since Alex was out of town, they arrested Reina.  Reina begs Alex to pay her bail, but Alex says no.  She believes Reina did it.  Joey puts up his bar as collateral and bails out Reina.  While the woman in the photo looks like her and Alex, Reina knows something is off.  Reina will dig into their mom’s past to find it.  She will uncover her sister, Trinity.

Hats off to the editor! You forget that you’re watching one actress play three roles during the final scene.  While Alex runs for cover, Trinity chases Reina with a gun.  This sequence proves a film doesn’t need the highest budget to create a perfect scene, just creative angles with excellent timing.  Also, Scout Taylor-Compton did an outstanding job giving these three characters distinct personalities, walks, and tones.  The script offers ‘A Simple Favor‘ vibes but doesn’t involve the same mystery.  But it’s worth a watch if you need to kill two hours.  

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

I guess we’re all guilty of something, huh – Alex

I am not proud of myself – Reina

Of course, I could just cash you out – Trinity

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Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Haunted By Murder – Review

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Haunted By Murder – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

After Liz recounts the Amityville case with the Real Murders Club, Aurora remembers the first body she and Sally found.  While in high school, Aurora bet Jake that Arthur could make the winning field goal.  Aurora had to spend 15 minutes in the Enshaw house because she lost.  Rumor had it that Enshaw’s ghost haunted the home.  Aurora talked Sally into coming inside with her.  As they prepared to enter the house, fog rolled in, and Aurora saw lights in the distance.  Before she could follow, Jake and Arthur jumped out of the bushes.  Jake wanted to make sure Aurora went inside for 15 minutes.  Aurora convinced Arthur to come too because he missed the kick.  Once inside, Aurora, Sally, and Arthur hear sounds and ‘Get Out Now’ written on the mirror.  It scares Sally, but Aurora sees it as Jake’s prank.  She reaches into a desk for a rag to wipe off the mirror and pulls a lever for a hidden door.  Aurora opens the door and walks down the staircase, and finds Frank Brunelli’s dead body at the bottom.  Frank was a well-known ghost hunter and paranormal researcher.  The police ruled the death an accident, but something about that never felt right to Aurora.  Then Phillip mentions that Aurora’s mother, Aida, bought the house, and Aurora wants to look around.  

When Aurora gets to the house with Nick, Sally, and Phillip, they see Tom storming out and threatening Aida.  He is a realtor who wanted to tear down Enshaw’s house and build a mansion.  Aida outbid him, and he vows to report her.  The contractor, Reggie, looks over the home to prepare a quote.  When Aurora opens the hidden door again, Reggie tells them secret passages are usually structurally unsound.  He suggests Aida wall off the area.  Aurora decides to look into Frank’s work and uncovers that the paranormal society exists.  And to top it off, Lillian is their secretary.  Lillian tells Aurora that Frank’s brother, Anthony, has Frank’s papers, and Lillian calls Anthony to help.  

Lillian arrives with Anthony while Aurora explains the situation.  Then they hear Aida scream inside the house.  They all run inside to check and see ‘Get Out Now’ written on the mirror.  Lillian and Aurora believe it’s a hoax with a human connection.  The neighbor, Mona, comes over in a fugue state during the commotion.  Aurora remembers Mona because Mona’s husband, Linden, helped contact authorities when Aurora found Frank’s body.  Then, Tamara, Mona’s daughter, comes charging in with a mouthful of apologies for Mona’s behavior.  The night’s activities are too much for Anthony and Aida to bear.  Anthony admits he considered Frank’s work an embarrassment to his family, shocking Lillian.  He leaves the premises.  Aida needs to stay the night, so Aurora, Phillip, Nick, and an obligated Sally stay.  Aurora and Nick hear music coming from the hidden door in the middle of the night.  Nick attempts to investigate, but someone or something pushes him down the stairs.  Nick is ok, but Aurora wants to prove that ghosts are not involved in Nick’s fall or Frank’s death.  

Based on Real Murders: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery by Charlaine Harris, this episode has multiple suspects, motives, and criminals (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  However, murder may not be their crime.  And that’s where the story gets intriguing.  There are several crimes for Aurora to solve with many suspects over decades.  Having the crime span decades sets this mystery apart from others in the series.  One perpetrator won’t fool experienced Hearties, but their motive will keep you guessing.  You will watch it several times and keep it on your DVR.  But there is one question the film leaves you to answer: is the house haunted?  

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

Well, it is to me.  A mystery that I never solved – Aurora

Goodbye – Sally

Well, you librarians are intriguingly complex – Nick

Correlation is not causation – Chief Lynn

That was strange – Aida

Aurora, you have an extraordinary vexing pension for causing trouble – Lillian

Why can’t cracking a case be easy for once – Arthur

Wow, Lillian’s kinda deep – Phillip

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Swim Instructor Nightmare – Review

Swim Instructor Nightmare – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Sabrina got a call from Parker Scott to give his daughter, Ashley, swimming lessons.  Sabrina arrives for the first swim lesson, and she is smitten with Parker.  Parker says Ashley’s mother, Ellen, is away for a while, and Ashley is afraid of the water after an incident.  But Parker doesn’t want to elaborate.  When Parker leaves to find Ashley in the house, Sabrina takes a family photo from the fireplace mantle.  Sabrina persuades Ashley to get in the pool, and the lesson goes well.  Parker schedules Sabrina to teach three times a week.  Sabrina goes home and looks up Parker on the internet.  Her mother, Vickie, tells Sabrina to stop fixating on Parker because it ruined her swim career.  A year ago, Sabrina fell in love with her coach, Coach Sharky.  When the coach didn’t reciprocate, Sabrina attacked him.  She lost her chance to try out for the summer games and gained a reputation.  When Sabrina continues, Vickie grabs the phone to call Sabrina’s doctor.  Sabrina grabs an iron skillet and hits Vickie in the head, killing Vickie instantly.  Sabrina believes nothing will stand in her way until she is face to face with Ellen.

While the plot is generic, the acting pulls it all together.  On the one hand, Sabrina’s burst of anger, quick thinking, and manipulation will make you chuckle with evil delight.  On the other hand, Ellen’s life falling apart after a stint in rehab will break your heart.  Her drinking caused her to make the ultimate mistake.  But Ellen fights to fix things with Parker and Ashley.  This open wound within the family dynamic is easy for Sabrina to infect with drugs and alcohol.  This movie boils down to sulfuric acid, trust, and a well-placed golf club.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Great? It’s an insult – Sabrina

My name is Ellen Scott, and I’m an alcoholic – Ellen

You gotta be kidding me.  Knock it off – Vickie

I don’t like when people lie to me, Sabrina – Parker

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The Song to My Heart – Review

The Song to My Heart – UPtv – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Bonnie and her friend, Emmie, beam with excitement.  Their tea shop will have its grand opening in less than 24 hours.  They have a week’s worth of events plan to attract more customers.  Also, Bonnie made sure the store’s opening would align with the Strawberry Festival to welcome tourists.  Bonnie’s father, Hank, is a well-known singer.  Bonnie made sure to keep a studio in the back of the tea shop for him.  She watches him work on a song and helps Hank with the lyrics.  Just like her mom before she died.  Hank wants to try writing songs again.  But after a betrayal, Emmie only wants to write poetry.

Ryder’s manager calls because he wants Ryder to finish his album.  Ryder has the melodies but not the words.  He decided to find his favorite singer-songwriter to glean information.  He pulls over when he spots the High Street Tea Shop and enters during a poetry reading.  Ryder rudely interrupts the poet to talk to Hank.  Hank tells Ryder to wait until the poet finishes.  As Ryder sits in the back, the poet’s words move him, and he wants to talk to her.  The poet is Bonnie.  After Bonnie leaves the microphone, she heads back to the counter.  Ryder follows and compliments her.  Then Emmie recognizes Ryder.  He was the lead singer of hers and Bonnie’s favorite band, Bacon Donuts.  Ryder introduces himself to Hank and asks to set up a writing camp.  Hank tells Ryder that interrupting his daughter’s poetry was a bad start.  And while he would like to help, Hank was a co-writer on all his songs.  His wife was the lyricist.  However, Bonnie has her mother’s gift.  With a bit of coaxing, Ryder convinces Bonnie to let him watch and learn her process, but she doesn’t want her words to become a song.  He agrees.  They will find love one stanza at a time.

While the movie’s concept is adequate, it is slow and uninspired.  There is too much foreshadowing for the upcoming conflict.  Before the first commercial break, you will have the plot, issue, and resolution figured out.  Even if you miss a part, you won’t feel a need to rewind to catch up.  Nothing is a surprise.  The saving grace in this movie is the music.  The songs will stick with you.

I give it 1.5 out of 5 stars

That was one time – Bonnie

I’m a guy who came to apologize – Ryder

Welcome to the world of 13-year-old girls, where daddy’s kisses don’t heal anymore – Hank

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The Wedding Veil Legacy – Review

The Wedding Veil Legacy – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Emma, Avery, and Tracy meet in Maine for another antique vacation.  After snagging the veil at her wedding, Emma gives it to Tracy.  Tracy promises to get it fixed in New York.  She still doesn’t believe in the veil’s myth, but she and Finn are in engagement talks.  In New York, Tracy talks to Stanley about her future with Finn.  He has an audition in L.A. and wants to move if he gets it.  Tracy loves Finn, but she wants to stay in New York.  She wishes him luck before he leaves.  And it worked because Finn got the job.  He visits with relatives in L.A. before heading back to New York.  Tracy pretends to be happy, but Stanley, her work friend, sees Tracy’s uncomfortable.  When Finn comes to visit, he can see Tracy is unhappy.  So, they break up.

Avery calls Tracy and gives Tracy the phone number of an Italian tailor, Luigi, in New York.  Avery hopes the veil can work its magic, but Tracy thinks her breakup is proof it doesn’t work.  Tracy arrives late and sees Luigi working on another client, Nick.  Pretending to be a fan of Luigi’s favorite football team, Tracy convinces Luigi to take a look at her veil.  Nick congratulates her on her wedding, and she corrects him.  She congratulates Nick on his upcoming nuptials because he is trying on a tux.  But he explains he is the best man.  She leaves the veil behind for Luigi to fix.

As Director of Books and Documents at the Metropolitan, Tracy comes across exciting artifacts, but today someone comes in with something special.  It’s the first draft of Emma Lazarus’s Statue of Liberty poem.  And Tracy’s boss wants Tracy to put the document in the 25th-anniversary auction.  Tracy and Stanley know a prominent buyer will bid for his collection and leave the item in a vault.  They believe it should be on display, so a determined Tracy pledges to find a buyer.  While she hunts for the right one, another problem crops up.  The caterer backed out of the 25th celebration, so Stanley found a local restaurant, Da Nonna.  He wants Tracy to try the food.

Unbeknownst to Tracy and Stanley, Nick and his family own the restaurant.  Tracy loves his food and wants to hire him.  At first, Nick wants to say no. But his sister, Carly, reminds Nick that they are opening a second store in a month.  This catering job can bring in new business and help with the cost, so he agrees to cater the party.  This decision will bring the veil around full circle and the veil club closer than ever.

This film was the perfect conclusion for The Wedding Veil saga.  Based on There Goes the Bride by Lori Wilde, viewers know Tracy will find love and get married (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  But they don’t understand how this will complete the story of the veil and how it came to America.  It started as a symbol of love but became the ultimate sacrifice for a newly immigrated family.  Also, the three friends disagree, but they handle it with maturity.  This conclusion makes fans feel valued for investing their time into this epic 3-part love story.  

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

And seriously, what would he Yankees do with me – Tracy

Yeah, that’s exactly what I said, right before I met Paolo – Emma

Is that the good news or the bad news – Stanley

The only thing I’m going to miss about New York is you – Fin

See, that’s right.  Hang on to that.  Just in case – Avery

Well, we can agree to disagree on that one – Nick

Yeah, if you’re in college – Carly

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