#DyingForACrown, #RevengeForMyMother, and more – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

Dying For a Crown – Review

Dying For a Crown – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Lydia and her daughter, Elle, move across the country to start a new life. Lydia left her husband after he refused to get a job, and now she stalks her high school sweetheart’s social media. Elle’s first day of school is Lydia’s first day of work as vice principal. Lydia warns Elle that this school is a fresh start. She can mold herself into any person she wants to be.

Lydia meets with the principal, Alice, to learn about the school. During their conversation, Alice reminds Lydia that she didn’t receive Lydia’s letter of recommendation. Lydia promises to send Alice a copy and gets to work finding the most popular kids in school. When she sees Kate’s the frontrunner for homecoming queen, Lydia tells Elle to make Kate her best friend or worst enemy. Elle made a group of friends, but Lydia doesn’t believe they are popular enough. Lydia believes life starts in high school. Lydia would be happy and wealthy if she married her high school sweetheart. So Lydia tells Elle to forget her studies and focus on being homecoming queen by any means necessary. This mother-daughter duo will wreak havoc on the faculty and students.

O.M.G. is the only way to describe this movie. Lydia is delusional about the importance of a piece of plastic. She has no qualms about hurting innocent people. Steve, the history teacher, and Alice are good people who look out for and care for their students. Kate is a kind, funny, and intelligent young woman. No one deserves to have Lydia and Elle mess up their lives. And all for nothing. The plot pulls you in with hatred for Lydia and Elle and concern for everyone else. But it all falls flat in the end because you never know how or who solved the investigation. This film had a magnificent build-up to an incomplete conclusion.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Fake it to you make it – Elle

You have to learn from my mistakes and accept that high school is where it all starts – Lydia

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Revenge for My Mother – Review

Revenge for My Mother – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Gavin wakes his daughter, Elizabeth, and tells her to find a job. She doesn’t believe anyone will give an ex-con a job, but he doesn’t want to hear her excuses. Elizabeth jumps on the computer and finds Stroller Mom’s assistant posting. It’s a workout group for new moms and allows them to bring their babies. Elizabeth sends the link to Gavin. He suffers from a heart attack after seeing a picture of the group’s owner, Audrey. Elizabeth rushes Gavin to the hospital. He explains that he lied to Elizabeth about how her mom died. She didn’t die from cancer 20 years ago. Instead, Audrey killed Elizabeth’s mom in a hit-and-run accident. Gavin begs Elizabeth to stay away from Audrey and goes into surgery. A few hours later, a doctor tells Elizabeth Gavin didn’t make it. She comes home with Gavin’s ashes and sits them next to her mother’s picture. She vows to ruin Audrey’s life because Audrey took away both of her parents. Elizabeth changes her name to Brooklyn, applies for the job, and becomes an exemplary employee. Audrey doesn’t take long introducing Brooklyn to her husband, Matt, their daughter, Zoe, and her best friend, Jane. One by one, they will all be gone.

This story centers around revenge and postpartum depression. But you don’t get to that kernel of truth until the end. Lifetimers, don’t be surprised if you have little sympathy for Audrey in this film as Elizabeth, a.k.a Brooklyn, destroys Audrey’s business, relationship, and friendship. You lose all compassion when Audrey explains what happened with a lackluster description. And she used daddy’s connection to stay out of jail. You may even cheer for Elizabeth’s wicked ways. Be warned: there is one scene that will make you cringe. The concept of the movie is strong, but it jumps to exposure too fast and with no explanation.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

I’m doing this for the both of you. I’m doing this for all of us – Brooklyn

I learned a long time ago not to take chances – Audrey

You inherited this house. Don’t act like you paid for it – Matt

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What Happened to My Sister – Review

What Happened to My Sister – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Vanessa openly weeps as her daughter, Drea, unpacks boxes in her new dorm room. A year earlier, someone mugged and killed Drea’s sister, Gabi. Drea knew going to Gabi’s school would provoke deep sadness in Vanessa, but Drea got a full scholarship. She didn’t want to pass up the opportunity. Drea’s dormmate, Jess, walks in, introduces herself, and goes to work at the local ice cream shop. Vanessa leaves after Drea promises to call and visit.

Jess tells Drea they should check out some of the clubs advertising at the quad. Drea stops at the Delta Pi Zeta booth and talks to sorors Callie and Mindy. Drea admits Gabi was a Delta Pi girl, and Callie walks away. Mindy informs Drea that they would consider her a legacy, and it will give her a leg up to win a bid. Drea decides to go to the Delta Pi mixer with Jess. Mindy and Callie introduce Drea to their house mother, Rebecca. Rebecca remembers Gabi fondly and hopes Drea will join.

After a few days, Drea wakes up with balloons and a card outside her door. The Delta Pis invited her to join, but not Jess. Jess encourages Drea to join regardless of her status with the sorority. On the first night, Rebecca gives each little sister a letter from the sorors stating why they got the invite. Drea’s letter says that a mugger didn’t kill Gabi, and Drea should trust no one. Drea wants to tell her mom but chickens out. Jess tells her to analyze the handwriting on the note. Drea will move into the sorority house to stay close to the culprit and investigate. She will risk everything to find out what happened to Gabi.

This movie provides a decent mystery for half of the film. The plot uses Lifetime clichés to steer you in the wrong direction. But they only dangle the carrot for the first hour. During the second hour, viewers will know who the killer is but not why. The motive will leave you in a deep conspiracy hole with a twisted bond in the center. And it’s touching to see Drea get guidance from Gabi to persevere. While some of the acting can fall flat, the storyline is intriguing.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Any sister of Gabi’s is a sister of mine – Callie

She’s gonna find out sooner or later – Jess

What really happened to you – Drea

The truth can be a very inconvenient thing, but it’s better out in the open than hidden – Gabi

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Charmed and Cheated – Review

Charmed and Cheated – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Principal Whitlock pulls Annie and Coach Mitch into his office to discuss Annie’s grades. Annie needs to maintain a 3.0 or better to keep her athletic scholarship for her private high school, Kingston. Sadly, Annie’s history grade continues to plummet. Mr. Whitlock won’t let Annie play lacrosse until her grades rise. Annie tells Mr. Whitlock that there are only four games in the season. Mitch tells Whitlock they can’t make it to nationals with Annie, but Mr. Whitlock won’t budge.

Delia calls Annie’s name from across the parking lot and invites Annie to a party. Annie is dumbfounded because Delia is the most popular, rich girl in school. Annie tells Delia she has to study but will try to make it. Annie gets home and studies but goes to the party with her best friend, Camille. Delia and her best friend, Regan, are happy to see Annie but not Camille. They insult Camille until she leaves because Annie doesn’t stick up for Camille. Annie wants to get close to Delia and Regan because they got into ivy league schools. Regan tells Annie they got in by cheating. If Annie wants a good life like them, she should cheat too. Annie says no and walks away to the pool where Mitch is sitting. After an intense conversation, Annie kisses Mitch but doesn’t see Delia taking a picture. Annie walks to her car, but Delia stops her with the photo. Delia deletes the image because she considers Annie part of the inner circle. Hearing that, Annie decides to take Delia’s help and cheat to raise her grade and cement her spot on the team.

Annie is a patsy with low self-esteem. She spends so much time not wanting to be her mother that she allows people to use her. Annie crumbles at the slightest inkling of acceptance. When she does ask a question, Annie accepts any brush-off or eye roll Delia gives her as an excuse. To make matters worse, the girls cheat poorly. They go from failing to 100% in one test and use AI to create papers without knowledge of the subject matter. If you are going to cheat, at least be good at it. This movie is the standard Lifetime drama ending with a comical fight and one dead body. It’s not the worst of Homecoming Week, but it won’t be the best, either.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

I just need a serious shift in life. Like a restart – Annie

Spoiled rich girls. It’s all money, no class – Camille

We took a risk on you. I took a risk on you – Mr. Whitlock

Older men expect a little more elegance – Delia

I’m not being dramatic. That’s her job – Regan

She’s a student – Mitch

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Malicious Mind Games – Review

Malicious Mind Games – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Isabel works as the night security for a theater and has a daughter, Rosaline. Rosaline attends high school but hasn’t been doing well since her father died. Isabel uses her night job to study for the GMAT so she can apply for business school. She drinks lots of energy shots and has scary visions of a man hurting her boss, Cameron (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). After a long patrol, a woman offers Isabel a coffee. The woman lives across the street from the theater and sees Isabel working every night. She tells Isabel that she couldn’t survive without coffee and welcomes Isabel to the neighborhood. 

Isabel picks Rosaline up from school, and Rosaline’s English teacher, Mr. Henry Cho, pulls Isabel aside. Someone caught Rosaline making out with Jonathan, the new boyfriend. Also, she has skipped class and missed assignments. Isabel explains Rosaline’s behavior but doesn’t excuse it. Rosaline introduced Jonathan to Isabel. Isabel demands to meet Jonathan’s mother. Jonathan walks Isabel over to his mother, and she is surprised to see it’s the woman from across the street. Isabel remembers they never exchanged names. The woman is Megan.

Isabel hears a woman screaming during her next shift and looks up to see someone strangling Megan. Isabel calls the police immediately for help. The police walk up to Megan’s apartment and knock on the door while Isabel stands off to the side. Megan answers with scratches on her neck. She explains that she was watching a horror movie with a high volume, and her scratches are from her cat. The police look around Megan’s apartment and find nothing unusual. The detective questions Isabel and assumes her energy shots must have impaired her judgment. He tells her to stop drinking energy shots, relax, and get more rest. Isabel knows something isn’t right. But is she willing to die to prove it?

This movie is a slow burn to a predictable ending. It doesn’t take much to see what is happening with Megan and her death. However, the motive feels like a storyline from Snapped  (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). When a movie unravels at a tedious pace, viewers need more dead bodies to keep their interest. Also, Isabel doesn’t play detective. Unfortunate incidences keep happening to her that give her clues. If you watch this movie, you can watch the first and last 30 minutes to understand the plot. The middle isn’t necessary.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars

Be careful what you wish for – Isabel

Stop worrying – Rosaline

This is a private conversation – Cameron

I don’t drink coffee – Megan

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The Secrets of Bella Vista – Review

The Secrets of Bella Vista – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Tess walks into her office and finds Damhnaic sitting in the waiting room. Her assistant, Kiley, reminds Tess about Damhnaic’s incessant calling. Since he never gave a reason for calling, Tess ignored him. He promises Tess what he has to say will only take 10 minutes, so she invites him to her office. Damhnaic tells Tess that her grandfather died. Tess abruptly stops Damhnaic and says that her only surviving family is her mother. Damhnaic reiterates that her paternal grandfather died. Tess never knew her father. Damhnaic tells Tess that she inherited 50% of her grandfather’s working apple orchard in Archangel with her half-sister, Isabel. She faints. 

Tess’s doctor tells her that she needs to work less, so Damhnaic recommends going to the orchard, meeting Tess, and deciding what to do with her inheritance. Tess lands and awkwardly meets Isabel for the first time. They go to the orchard, and Tess gets to know the staff. Tess looks around the home and notices her paternal grandmother liked to antique like her. Isabel shares stories about the orchard, their grandparents, and their father. Later, Damhnaic informs Tess that the apple orchard is in foreclosure after medical bills put the family in debt. Isabel doesn’t want to sell it because it’s a haven for refugees. Isabel says that the treasure is in the house, so Damhnaic thinks Tess can use her skills to find it and sell it to save the orchard. Tess feels used and leaves. However, something calls Tess back, and she solves a mystery to save the orchard.

Based on The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs, this family goes through some of the harshest hardships (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). The Holocaust, cancer, drought, and more, but they remain strong and help others. Unlike Isabel, Tess lived a solitary life with an absent mother. She became a world traveler looking for the newest acquisition and never putting down roots. Tess connects with her friends, Lydia and Suzette, but keeps her bags packed. Isabel hasn’t left Archangel but dreams of traveling across the globe for a culinary experience. They lived the experiences their sister wanted and never knew of each other. Isabel is Tess’s compassion throughout this movie. Tess will let down her guard to forgive her mother, father, and herself. Seeing these two sisters come together and hearing their family story deserves a watch with your entire family.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

I don’t have a family – Tess

This is real. I promise you – Damhnaic

You look like him – Isabel

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Love’s Sweet Recipe – Review

Love’s Sweet Recipe – UPtv – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Courtney cooks at her parent’s restaurant but sees it’s failing. The stores along the highway took their business. While they get local traffic, it’s not enough to keep it alive. William walks in with a man, Jake, that remembers Courtney, but she doesn’t recall him. He lived in town but left to play baseball. Jake found a new passion after his injury: pastries. He asks Courtney to use her oven. He will sell the baked goods in her restaurant and give her 20% of the profits. Courtney agrees. Courtney considers returning to New York to restart her culinary career. She needs to increase sales first so her mom can hire more help to replace her, so Courtney decides to enter the Only in Idaho competition. Courtney needs to prepare a new menu for the judges, but it’s daunting. Instead of the 20%, she asks Jake to help her prep the food and bounce ideas. He says yes. As they work together, the sparks fly. But she will need her grandfather’s ‘Rule Book of Love’ to steer her in the right direction in work and love.

The book’s sentiment is tenderhearted, but it’s not enough to keep your interest. The writers try several things to make you pay attention, like another love interest, food, and a competition. But nothing will work. You will spend more time with your phone or laptop than paying attention to this movie. And if you miss a part, you won’t be compelled to rewind. The chemistry is off, and the subplots are as uninteresting as the plot. Feel free to skip this movie.

I give it 1.5 out of 5 stars

You are incredible – William

How do I know you’re not just some gimmick – Courtney

Do I look like a gimmick – Jake

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Wedding of a Lifetime – Review

Wedding of a Lifetime – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Darby and Jake sit at Jake’s father’s restaurant with their families. A server comes to the table and places a cake with a candle in front of them. The family reminds Darby and Jake that it’s the 10-year anniversary of their engagement. Darby can’t believe their betrothment lasted ten years. But as they backtrack through life, they recount accidents, death, and illness hindering their plans.

Darby is a chemistry teacher, and she cooks using chemistry to create healthy southern cooking. She doesn’t have a large social media following and thinks moving to New York will help. Jake runs a ski shop, but it isn’t getting much traction like the rest of the town. So Jake’s father calls a town meeting to figure out how to drum up business for all the town’s establishments. Jake and Darby meet at their house and decide the relationship isn’t working. They want to be friends but nothing else. Since their families will be at the town hall meeting, they choose to tell their families afterward.

As they approach the meeting, they see TV trucks out front and question each other about them. Soon, Sarah pulls them inside and puts a microphone in their hand. Molly and Vic, hosts of Hey Good Day, appear on a screen and inform Jake and Darby that the town signed them up to compete for the Wedding of a Lifetime. Flabbergasted, Jake and Darby sprint to the bathroom during a commercial break and converse about what to do. Darby thinks they should tell everyone about the separation now, but Jake gets an idea. They can compete with the object to lose and obtain followers for Darby and customers for the town using their newfound exposure. Darby loves the plan, so they come out of the bathroom and tell Vic and Molly they are happy to compete. What could go wrong?

This movie is comedy gold with great timing, physical action, and awkward moments. Before they compete, Darby and Jake remember they are competitive people. So losing is not in their nature. Seeing them work together helps pull the viewer into their love story. They recount Jake’s injury and Darby’s loss during the competition. The movie doesn’t end when the host announces the winner. However, it continues because winning isn’t their happily ever after. Hearing Darby and Jake profess their love on BOTH momentous occasions will make you misty-eyed. Save this film on your DVR and watch it all year round.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

We are going to be the most epic losers ever – Jake

We hit the road. Change out names and never look back – Darby

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