#SuitcaseKiller, #LoveTriangleNightmare, and more – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story – Review

Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Melanie works as a waitress while studying for her nurse’s exam. Bill walks into the kitchen and takes notice of Melanie. He asks Melanie to join him at the casino. She questions him about his girlfriend in California and the other waitress he’s dating, but he evades the questions. They have a fun night playing blackjack, but Melanie doesn’t invite him inside for a nightcap.

Melanie tells her friend, Selene, about the date, and Selene worries because Bill is a flirt and Melanie has a bad temper. But that doesn’t stop them from getting married and having two sons. Melanie is a successful nurse at a fertility clinic, and Bill is an engineer. A few years after the birth of their second son, Melanie finds a napkin with a name and number. Also, Bill has a lot of debt because he is a gambling addict. She never confronts Bill about the note and goes to work. Melanie talks to an egg donor patient and recognizes her name from the napkin. She leaves the room and lets out her frustrations in the bathroom. Doctor Brad Miller sees Melanie, comforts her, and politely flirts. After a few fleeting moments, they give in to their desires and have an affair. Brad tells Melanie he won’t leave his wife, but she is happy to have some attention. While the world thinks Bill and Melanie have a great marriage, three suitcases will prove the world wrong.

This movie has all the sensationalism of Dateline, but it feels incomplete. The film tried to cover too much ground in two hours. Typically, you learn about the killer and their history then you get a recap of their verdict and punishment. Or you have a trial to follow with flashbacks, and the viewer can find the holes in the defendant’s story. This film attempts to do both, causing the plot to feel rushed. With that aside, Melanie is the drowning man. Selene and Bill’s ex-wife, Marcy, try to warn Melanie about Bill’s ways, but she refuses to listen. If you follow this story, then you will learn something new about Melanie’s life with Bill, but nothing new about the murder. As you watch, remember that the children are victims too.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Hell, it is. You are my rabbit’s foot – bill

The temperature sent him to the hospital. How was I supposed to know it was 5 below – Melanie

You really like him don’t you – Selene

You think he suspects – Dr. Miller

An attempt to backfill her narrative – Patricia

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Love Triangle Nightmare – Review

Love Triangle Nightmare – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Brittany got her divorce papers in the mail. Thea offers moral support while Brittany signs them. Brittany wants to keep the divorce cordial for her daughter, Emma, to help restore Emma’s relationship with her father, Austin. Austin is a cheating alcoholic but wants to do better for his family. Austin comes to pick up Emma and shows Brittany his 30-day chip. Brittany is happy for him, but it’s too little too late.

Brittany and Thea go to a spa to relax with a massage. Brittany bumps into a man in the lobby. Doctor Jake makes a joke about offering medical attention, but Brittany says no and laughs. Thea and Brittany’s friend, Ava, throw a divorce party for Brittany with a stripper. Ava, a recovering alcoholic, tells Brittany to give the marriage another chance, but Thea tells Ava to stop.

Jake recognizes Brittany from across the room and invites himself to her table at the coffee shop. They talk, laugh, and get to know each other. Jake is a recent widower and orthopedic surgent. They make plans to go on a hike later to talk more.

After a great hike, Brittany and Jake run into each other again, but she turns down his invitation. On Brittany’s morning run, a person comes out from the woods, attacks, and steals her diamond necklace. She reports the crime and goes to the hospital for her injuries. Jake and Austin are there to provide comfort.

Brittany asks if she can bring Jake to Brittany’s soft opening. Ava says yes and decides not to invite Austin to keep the peace, but he shows up saying he got an invitation from Brittany. He sees Brittany and Jake together and becomes angry. Ava pulls him aside and sits him at the bar with Thea. Thea pressure Austin to drink, and he breaks his sobriety. In a drunken rage, Austin admits that he had an affair with Thea and then starts a fight. Ava calls the police on Austin. However, Ava blames Austin’s relapse on Thea and tries to get Brittany to reconsider. And that’s the last thing she will do. Later, someone breaks into Ava’s and kills her. When all signs point to Austin, Brittany runs to Jake for understanding. But should she trust him?

This movie is all over the place and does a poor job explaining Jake’s fixation on Brittany. Emma starts as a bratty teen, but she is the only person doing anything to help. Thea is irredeemable, and Ava is dead. The movie has some funny one-liners and beautiful backdrops, but the rest falls flat.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars 

He hurt us, mom, bad – Emma

Why did you get him in trouble then – Thea

I can’t – Austin

He’s the married guy you’ve been seeing – Brittany

Watch me – Ava

I’ll take good care of you – Jake

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Wayward – Review

Wayward – BET – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Micah and Dawn spark a conversation at a bar over salad and drinks. She is driving her VW van that Dawn calls Emily along the west coast. And Dawn enjoys the transient lifestyle. Dawn set Emily up with a bed, shower, and storage. Micah is stuck in town because his car died, and the fix will take several days. Micah tells Dawn that Portland is his destination, and she offers to give him a ride. Dawn hands Micah her phone to take a selfie. It slips out of his fingers and into her drink. Micah promises to buy her an upgrade when they get to Portland.

Dawn turns on a true-crime podcast about the Mechanic Maniac during their drive. The maniac murdered 13 lone travelers in 5 states and is on their way to becoming one of the most prolific serial killers. When Dawn says the maniac is a genius, Micah is disgusted. He thinks the maniac is a creepy loner and doesn’t want to listen to the podcast. After driving all day, Micah and Dawn pull over to rest. Dawn asks Micah to find kindling while she showers. Dawn’s shower is interrupted when Dawn sees a Bronco in the woods. She calls out, but the driver turns on their headlights and drives away. Micah and Dawn forget about the lurker and go to sleep.

Dawn and Micah sleep through the night, eat, and get back on the road. Soon, they notice the same Bronco from the night before following them. After several high-speed close calls, Dawn believes it’s the maniac coming after them. They will need to work with and trust each other to survive this road trip from hell with a maniac on their tail, no phones, and zero civilization.

Bravo to Kurt Yochum for making a compelling horror-thriller film. As Dawn and Micah make classic horror movie mistakes, they prove old clichés false. Then, both start to act suspiciously and turn on each other. When the plot reveals the stunning twist, it will leave your mouth gaping in amazement and pure, unadulterated delight. Be forewarned, this movie does get a bit bloody, and the killer uses a circular saw (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). So, you will need a strong stomach for these scenes. However, the conclusion makes the gore 100% worth it. And the recap helps you spot all the small but blaring clues you missed. Get ready for a wild ride with a potential part 2.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

You have a good night – Micah

I can’t say no to top-of-the-line. And waterproof would be nice – Dawn

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Color My World with Love – Review

Color My World with Love – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Kendall lives with her mother, Emma, and paints to make money. Her grandmother, Beth, thinks Emma could give Kendall more independence, but Emma disagrees. Kendall is 22, but Emma worries that Kendall could have a meltdown. Kendall has Down syndrome and deals with prejudice and idiotic behavior each day. Emma witnesses Kendall’s triumphs but wants to protect her.  

Emma goes to the community center to pick up Kendall and sees her talking to a young man outside. Kendall’s friends tell Emma that the man is Brad, Kendall’s boyfriend. Panic washes over Emma, and instantly she blames Beth. Beth tells Emma that Emma should attend the upcoming banquet and meet Brad.  

Emma watches Kendall and Brad adore each other at the banquet. Brad’s brother from another mother, Nick, introduces himself. Nick’s family protected Brad after his parents died. Brad takes care of himself and has a part-time job at a T-shirt shop. Brad also inspired Nick to create an intentional community. After meeting and learning about Brad, Emma concedes to letting them have a chaperoned date. Emma writes off their romance as a loving friendship. But when Brad proposes, can Emma let go and see Kendall as an adult?

It is impossible to watch this movie without shedding a tear. This movie lets viewers see the lives of Kendall and Emma without passing judgment on either. It’s easy to say Emma is controlling until Kendall gets lost. Kendall and Brad are two people in love, struggling through the complicated emotions with it, but with an extra chromosome. The film points out the discriminatory and hurtful remarks that people with challenges hear daily. While some comments may be unintentional, they hurt the same. Use this movie to open your mind and start a dialog with everyone in your family. FYI, the link in the end credits has a typo. The link should be ndsccenter.org.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

When you twist your face like that, you kinda look like Picasso. But I like Picasso – Kendall

Talk to her like you would talk to anyone else – Emma

You are not talking too much. Just don’t hit me again – Nick

Sounds spicy – Beth

I’m a hugger – Brad

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I Won’t Let You Go – Review

I Won’t Let You Go – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Angie sits with her friends for lunch, but they look uneasy. Her friends say they miss her. They barely spend time together, and they believe her new husband, Keith, is the reason. Angie defends Keith but vows to spend more time with them. After she gets home, Angie takes a pregnancy test because she feels ill, but it’s negative. Keith consoles Angie and says that it will happen when she relaxes.

Angie wows clients with her presentation, but her boss, Cherise, asking to talk alone, confuses Angie. Keith approached Cherise earlier and asked her to give Angie less work. He wants Angie to have more time to focus on their upcoming family. Angie assures Cherise that she won’t need the time and runs over to Keith. She can’t believe Keith spoke to Cherise behind her back and chews Keith out. After some advice from her friend, Angie takes another pregnancy test and passes. She and Keith are over the moon. Angie posts about her pregnancy on social media, and followers leave comments, including her ex-boyfriend, Tyler. At first, Angie is flatter with Tyler’s attention, but Keith and her friends warn Angie to cut off Tyler. When she does, Tyler starts to stalk her. Keith declares he will stay by her side until Angie and his baby are safe.

Most importantly, Angie and Keith did not have enough discussions before getting married. For example, they did not discuss if Angie would be a stay-at-home mom or if the baby would go to daycare. They never talked about social media, time with friends, or boundaries at work. No wonder this marriage is holding on for dear life. Viewers will see that both sides have their faults. Keith is too controlling, and Angie is too laissez-faire online, at work, and with friends. Be ready to be annoyed by everyone when the plot comes to its foreseeable conclusion.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

I am your family now, no matter what – Keith

What did I do to deserve you – Angie

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The Engagement Back-Up – Review

The Engagement Back-Up – UPtv – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Luna works at a maritime museum, started by her father, with her friend Joanne. The museum has fallen on hard times, but Joanne has a suggestion. They could open it up to events and parties. Luna worries that drinks and food could ruin the displays but says yes.

Jackson comes from one of the wealthiest families in the world. While the family’s company is financially stable, Jackson wants to focus on charities that save the ocean or the world. The best way to back his philanthropic efforts is to get a seat on the board. Jackson sits with his sister, Posey, and goes over strategy. Posey tells him their dad will never give Jackson a seat because Jackson doesn’t care about the business or their family. Posey wants Jackson to settle down and focus on family.

Joanne takes pictures of Luna in a wedding dress to drum up business at the dock. Jackson is cleaning the ocean until he sees Joanne with the camera. Jackson assumes she is the paparazzi and begs her to stop. Then, he grabs her camera and deletes the photos. Luna walks up and demands to know what Jackson is doing. He sees her wedding dress and realizes he misunderstood. He offers to hire another wedding photographer and pay for the pictures. She tells him the truth, and they all leave.

At the museum, Joanne prepares to send out the event’s blurb. She shows Luna a joke blurb she made for her vision board. It’s Luna and Jackson’s engagement announcement. They both have an innocent laugh, and Joanne sends the blurb. But she made a careless mistake. Joanne sent out the engagement photo by mistake. She attempted to un-send the email, but too many people opened it. They go to Jackson’s home immediately to fix the issue.

Jackson immediately labels them as clout-chasers. Luna squares her shoulders with fury and calls him another spoiled rich kid who cares about nothing. Jackson gets an idea. She needs publicity for the museum, and he needs an image change. So he proposes to keep up the lie until she gets an interview in a local newspaper for the museum. But he doesn’t mention wanting a seat on the board. Until then, they will keep up the lie but tell as few people as possible about the engagement. What can go wrong?

While this movie could be a bag of funny lies, it dips into the human emotion of those lies. It’s only a matter of time before friends and family find out about the engagement. And they want to plan an engagement party and wedding dress shop, but their excitement starts to weigh on Luna. Also, learning about the engagement in the press has some family members fuming. This deep dive into honest emotions is commendable. While the overall ending for the romance is predictable, the friendship between Joanne and Luna isn’t.  

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

It wasn’t personal, a lot of people are misinformed  – Jackson 

Good luck with your garbage cans – Luna

Thanks for making me the real maid of honor – Joanne

I thought you said you wanted to do right, not be right – Posey

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Wedding Planner Mystery – Review

Wedding Planner Mystery – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Carnegie Kincaid has her work cut out for her with two family weddings. Cousins, Diane and Nicky, are getting married to their respective husbands only a few weeks apart. Diane and Nicky are a part of a high society family, so Carnegie has to keep the wedding flawless and under wraps. If she pulls off both weddings, her company will be in the black. As Carnegie puts the finishing touches on the wedding decor, her head waiter, Lance, tells her a reporter is in the hall. Aaron Gold works for the local paper and wants an exclusive for the wedding so he can get closer to Nicky’s father, Douglas, and his former business partner. Currently, the state has implicated them in a tax scandal. Carnegie throws Aaron out and puts him on her Do-Not-Invite List. Carnegie goes outside to meet the new waiter and sees a man kneeling next to Nicky’s car. She calls out to him, and he runs away. Carnegie looks at the car, finds a business card holder, and picks it up. She finds a man inside the chapel and assumes it’s the new waiter. But it’s Holt, Douglas’s lawyer.  

After Diane’s wedding, her cousin Michelle gets into an argument with her boyfriend and runs away. Michelle jumps in Nicky’s car, crashes, and dies. Carnegie meets with Nicky to push back her wedding date, and Detective Borden investigates Carnegie. Someone told Borden that Carnegie gave Michelle a drink before the crash. He thinks Carnegie could have poisoned Michelle and considers Carnegie a person of interest. To clear her name and keep her company afloat, Carnegie needs to find Michelle’s killer. When Carnegie has to look into her family and friends, can she handle the downfall?

Based on Veiled Threats by Deborah Donnelly, this plot offers something others don’t (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). The main character is investigating their inner circle. While Carnegie has Lily by her side, she questions her business partner, Eddie, her friend, John, and a wedding crasher, Queen Mary. All three are appalled by Carnegie’s accusations and question her loyalty. As she digs deeper, someone dies, gets kidnapped, and gets framed. It’s a lot for the viewer to wrap their head around, but it’s a compelling mystery. The perpetrator or perpetrators are easy to spot, but it’s astounding to see everything unfold.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

You wanna lower that flamethrower, sir – Detective Borden

I think I love a good mystery – Lily

You know my memory may be the only thing worse than my eyesight – Mary

One would have thought that our friendship would have put me above suspicion in your mind – John

You think you know him if you saw him – Aaron

Need I remind you that when women marry money, they have to work for every dime – Carnegie

Were you hoping for confession or denial – Eddie

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Caribbean Summer – Review

Caribbean Summer – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

During a live interview, Jade, a news producer, pored over a text from her ex-boyfriend out loud and accidentally cued the interviewer. Because Jade made a flawless performance up to this moment, Jade’s boss tells Jade to go on a vacation to avoid burnout. Jade leaves the meeting and tells her assistant, Gabby, to book it with drinks on the beach.  

Jade travels to a small Caribbean island, and it doesn’t take long for locals to see she is a fish out of water. Jade arrives at the rental home and finds the key under the mat. She adjusts the furniture and makes herself at home. Jade researches her next story and calls work before going to bed.  

Ford walks to his door and realizes he doesn’t have his keys, so he looks under the mat. But the keys are gone. He opens the window and crawls in but trips over the furniture. After gaining his balance, Ford sees Jade ready to attack with a lamp. He wants to know why she is in his home. Jade explains it’s hers for two weeks and shows Ford the confirmation email. Ford sees it’s his address, but he didn’t post it. Jade is the victim of a rental scam. He allows Jade to sleep there until she finds other arrangements. And he refuses to be her tour guide. She agrees to his conditions, and Jade wants to bring down her scammer. Then, Jade notices Ford gets a lot of packages to his home. So she follows him, and Ford sees her. He invites her to a surprise party for his friend’s parents, and she must put away her phone. Hoping to help Jade relax, Ford offers to show Jade around the island. She agrees. Jade thinks something about Ford is familiar after they hang out. So she sends his picture to colleagues. Soon Ford will become Jade’s next story. Will it end their developing romance and her vacation? 

This film quietly comes full circle, so pay close attention at the beginning. When Jade discovers Ford’s secret, she must choose between a hard-fought job and her happiness. For a long time, Jade thought her career was her source of fulfillment. Jade changes her perspective as she adapts to the Caribbean lifestyle with fresh food, no phone, and relaxation. Unlike most movies, this film doesn’t have her change course. It’s a guide for work-life balance.  

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

I bet things are falling apart without me – Jade

This is my house. I live here – Ford

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Categories: Andrew W. Walker, Barton Fitzpatrick, Ben Ayres, BET, Brandon Beemer, Candice King, Caribbean Summer, Color My World with Love, Darius McCrary, David DeSanctis, David DeVries, Elise Gatien, Erica Durance, Glenda Braganza, hallmark, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, Heather Hemmens, HMM, I Won't Let You Go, Iyana Halley, Jackson Hurst, Janae Armogan, Jeff Teravainen, Jermaine Rivers, June Grooms, Kelly Hope Taylor, lifetime, lifetime movie network, Lily D. Moore, lmn, Love Sundays, Love Triangle Nightmare, Luke Humphrey, Made for TV, Michael Roark, movie, Nikki Garza, Paniz Zade, Preston Vanderslice, review, Ripped From The Headlines, Sadie Laflamme-Snow, Ser'Darius Blain, Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story, Summer Nights, The Engagement Back-Up, Tomas Chovanec, Tristan Laurence, tv review, Unhappily Ever After, UPtv, Wayward, Wedding Planner Mystery, Wendie Malick

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