#TheKaraRobinsonStory, #SpinningOutOfControl, and More – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

The Girl Who Escaped: The Kara Robinson Story – Review

The Girl Who Escaped: The Kara Robinson Story – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Kara Robinson spends the night with her friend, Jess, and makes plans to hang out with Jess and others at a lake house. Kara calls her mother, Debra, to update Debra on her weekend itinerary. Debra approves. Jess says they can leave, but her parents instruct her to water the plants before they go. Kara goes outside and starts caring for the plants with a water hose so Jess can shower. A man, Richard, gets out of a car with magazines and asks Kara if her parents are home. Kara explains that this dwelling isn’t her home and the house belongs to Jess’s parents. Richard asks the whereabouts of Jess’s parents, and Kara tells him they aren’t home. He grabs Kara’s arm, puts a gun on Kara’s neck, and tells Kara not to scream. Or Richard will kill her. He tells Kara to get into a container in the back of his car and keep quiet. After binding and gagging Kara, Richard takes her to his home and begins physically, sexually, and mentally torturing her. 

Jess finishes her shower, gets dressed, and goes outside to check on Kara. Jess sees the water hose running but not Kara. She starts to panic and calls Debra. Debra goes to Jess’s house and calls the police after calling Kara’s boyfriend. The police officers write off Kara’s disappearance as another runaway and tell Debra to wait by the phone for Kara’s call. Debra reluctantly goes home and continues to call Kara’s friends. She prays for Kara’s return, and so does Kara. 

This movie takes you through every horrifying step Kara endured, including her kidnap, assault, and thought process. During her kidnapping, she imagined escaping. If she thought he would kill her, she waited. When Richard gives her a list of rules, she remembers to survive. And she carefully plots her escape. Like Lisa McVey, Kara remembered everything around her to help make it and catch Richard. She remembers magnets on the refrigerator, animals, and barcodes. This movie shows that in her darkest hour, Kara plans to survive. Be prepared to scream at your TV because the police do nothing until Kara saves herself. To rub salt in the wound, a cop mentally traumatizes Kara again when she calls out his subpar investigation. This movie is a triumph that ensures no one will blame the victim. Kara is a survivor that brought peace to several families by waiting, escaping, and surviving. 

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

Kara’s not here – Jess

Jess, where is Kara – Debra

Let’s see if anyone misses you – Richard

Get through this. Get Justice – Kara

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Spinning Out of Control – Review

Spinning Out of Control – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Leah runs Mind Body Fitness while writing her first book and teaching fitness classes. Her best friend, Vanessa, helps Leah run the company, and Rachel is Leah’s assistant. Vanessa thinks Leah takes on too much and pleads with Leah to delegate and spend more time with her boyfriend, Tom. Leah ignores Vanessa and keeps on going. Leah puts the company’s latest contest on the website. The winner of the contest will get personal coaching from Leah with lunch and an Elevate Bike.

Natalie reports to her probation officer, Sheri. Sheri isn’t happy with Natalie’s progress because Natalie hasn’t found a job and isn’t taking her medication. After a bout of rage, Natalie attacked a woman and landed in jail. Sheri tells Natalie that Natalie must work and take her pills or return to jail. Natalie goes home. Before she enters, she sees two women with Mind Body Fitness t-shirts. Natalie looks at the company’s website and reads over the contest. She fills out the application with a pessimistic attitude.

Vanessa discovers the contest’s winner is local. So, she decides to unexpectedly go to Natalie’s house with a camera crew and Leah. Natalie panics because Natalie and the house are a mess, but Leah and the camera crew barge in and set up the bike. Natalie can’t believe she won and is ready to start her lessons. During the first session, Natalie breaks down when she feels like a failure. Leah gives Natalie some words of encouragement and an assignment. She tells Natalie to make an inspiration board. Like a dream board but with images of people and things that inspire her to do better. Natalie creates a board with a Leah collage. Natalie considers her best friend to be Leah and will revolve her world around Leah. Can Natalie handle it when Leah won’t do the same?

Natalie may be crazy, but she is not dumb. She has a leg up on Leah, the cops, and the competition. The audience can see Natalie is unhinged, but you must see how it all falls apart. This film is a slow-motion car crash but in a good way. And the conclusion is the cherry on top because of Natalie’s antics. This movie won’t stay on your DVR, but it’s interesting to watch.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

You wouldn’t dare – Leah

You wanna make real change. You have to make the time – Vanessa

Why not. It’s not like I’m going to win anyway – Natalie

She leaves it up to me? She never leaves sit up to me – Rachel

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A Date with Deception – Review

A Date with Deception – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

During a party, Diana mingles with the local councilperson as a blast from her past approaches her. Her ex-husband, Dr. Elias, greets Diana with a smile to mask his anger. Diana makes a quick exit and catches her breath inside her car. Elias knocks on the window and asks Diana why she is in town. Diana refuses to tell him because they are divorced. Then, she reminds Elias that his girlfriend, Cindy, is waiting for him. Elias informs Diana that Cindy left him to attend art school in Paris. Diana isn’t surprised because Elias was abusive during their marriage. So, Diana believes Elias drove Cindy away. But Diana doesn’t care because Cindy was Elias’s mistress during Diana’s marriage to Elias. Elias warns Diana to stay out of his way and leave town. Diana screams in her car after Elias walks away.

Years ago, Elias used her to cover up medical fraud in his practice. She was a nurse and offered to get police evidence, but it all pointed at her. She did her time in jail but can’t get her nursing license without clearing her name. Until then, Diana opened a business that kept her in the healthcare industry. And she will use that business to implant spies in Elias’s office and bring him down. But can she ruin his life without ending hers?

In the beginning, this movie gets viewers’ attention with the classic LMN murder but finds a new stride afterward. Also, this film doesn’t wait until the end to reveal Diana’s accomplices. The plot interweaves it into prison flashbacks. The director made a great choice by making the flashbacks a bit opaque. It eases viewers into the past without confusing them or giving them whiplash. However, Lifetimers don’t know who to believe because everyone is lying. This new favorite will have you on the edge of your seat with your heart pounding.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

There was no reason for you to know – Dianna

Well, we’re even then – Elias

I think you’ll appreciate what we can bring to the table – Chandler

Maybe, it’s time for that drink – Jeffrey

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My Landlord Wants Me Dead – Review

My Landlord Wants Me Dead – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Maddie moves into her aunt’s rental property. Maddie’s aunt, Grace, tells Maddie to make herself at home. Grace warns Maddie that cell service is spotty and there is no WiFi. However, she has a landline. Grace is going to Africa to clear her mind. Grace’s marriage to Paul hit a rough patch, and Grace needs time to figure everything out. She wants to sell the rental property, but Paul refuses. And Maddie is the first person Paul let live their after Kaycee left. Kaycee was Grace’s model for photography shoots. Paul enters the home and tells Maddie the master bedroom is off-limits and leaves without another word. Now alone, Maddie misplaces her phone but finds an old iPod with music (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). She finds Grace’s photography equipment and starts to rummage through it as Kevin comes up behind her. He startles Maddie and makes a quip about the situation. He asks Maddie to keep an eye out for his cat, Jazzy. The cat ran away a few days ago, and Kevin worries the cat could be food for the wild.  

After taking a shower, Maddie enters the living room in her underwear to find Paul sitting on the chair. Maddie freaks at the sight of Paul and demands he knocks. Paul says “I don’t have to because, as the landlord, I have the key.” He inquires about the thermostat (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). Maddie tells him she turned it up because the house was cold. Paul says Maddie wouldn’t be chilly if she’d stop prancing around in her underwear. He turns the thermostat to 65 degrees and demands that Maddie never touches it. If she does, the Nest App will tell him. Maddie tells Kevin about Paul but brushes Paul off as a creepy landlord. Maddie hopes that she will never have to see Paul again. But Paul has dark intentions to get Maddie out of the house so he can continue his sickening acts. 

Paul is a real-life internet troll from the darkest corners of the manosphere. He calls Maddie crazy and blames her period when she makes a simple request. Paul will make your flesh crawl. The script takes too long to explain why Maddie doesn’t leave the situation. She doesn’t have the money to move elsewhere and lives rent-free in Grace’s rental property. When Maddie uncovers the perversion in Paul’s mind, it’s in Grace’s handwriting. Grace has a bad feeling about Paul. She ignored it and didn’t warn Maddie. It’s a frightening revelation that ended many lives.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Any relationship can be tough – Grace

What is that thing? Just kidding. I saw one on the history channel once – Maddie

Not cool. I am full of regret right now – Kevin

You do that – Paul

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Under The Influence – Review

Under The Influence – TV One – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Robert helps his wife, Danae, get dressed for their pool party with clients. He hopes to impress Jimmy with Danae’s beauty. Although she is intelligent, Robert uses her looks to get clients off their game. Then she can impress them with her knowledge. Robert pours Danae a drink to relax her. She succeeds, obtains Jimmy’s business, and attends to the other partygoers. Danae mingles with guests, dances, and cracks her phone after dropping it. A stranger, Seth, picks it up and offers help. She rejects the assistance and runs to the owner’s bathroom to regurgitate. Unbeknownst to Danae, Seth enters the room and declares she has a drinking problem. He can see the signs because he has been sober for five years. She rejects his theory and walks to the pool. She falls in and embarrasses Robert. In private, Robert tells her to go to Alcoholics Anonymous, or he will leave her. He offers to help Danae find a meeting before going on a business trip, but Danae states that she can handle it.

Danae remembers that Seth mentioned that he went to St. Catherine’s Church for his AA meetings, so she goes there. She meets Jessica, and Seth tells his story. The group shares its struggles, but Danae isn’t ready. The group’s leader tells the newcomer to find a sponsor, and Danae pulls Jessica aside. Jessica is happy to help and offers to meet for coffee tomorrow afternoon. Seth talks to Danae after the meeting and asks her to go out. Danae tells Seth that she has difficulty talking to people without drinking. Seth wants to test her theory by hanging out and protecting Danae from herself.

They have dinner, and Danae admits that her 7-year marriage feels like a business contract. One of Robert’s client’s drugged and attacked Danae a few years ago. Robert apologized, but their relationship hasn’t been the same. Danae takes a pill for her anxiety, ignores Robert’s phone calls, and goes to a club with Seth. They dance, but Danae excuses herself. She grabs an unattended drink and gulps it down in the bathroom. Seth can see Danae is unsteady on her feet and takes her home. They have an intimate night, and Danae hastily leaves when the sun rises. In the future, she only wants to see him at AA meetings.

Danae meets with Jessica and tells Jessica about spending time with Seth. Jessica warns Danae that Robert is a 13th stepper. It’s paramount to Danae’s sobriety to have a sponsor of the same gender. Danae is not the first woman Seth had an affair with over the years. Danae pledges to keep her distance, but Seth won’t make it easy.

This movie gives a thrilling plot to a common problem in AA. Yes, Danae has a drinking problem, but she also has poor taste in men. Robert uses her as a bargaining chip to close deals and make her dress sexy. Seth sees her as an object to possess and manipulate. Viewers will want Danae to conquer her alcohol and love addictions by leaving the men and drinks behind. In true suspense fashion, the conclusion leaves the door open for part two.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

No. I don’t like the way other men look at you when it’s down – Robert

You think of everything, don’t you – Danae

True love is never complicated – Seth

We call it being 13th stepped – Jessica

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The Happy Camper – Review

The Happy Camper – UPtv – 2 hours and 0 minutes

After her boyfriend, Brandon, flakes again, Dillon goes to work. She finds him franticly shredding documents in his office. Brandon and Dillon started an app called WooWoo together. She is the #1 coder, and he is the mouthpiece and CEO. Brandon tells Dillon that their angel investor, Peter, pulled the plug. Until he gets more money, Brandon has to fire all the employees. Dillon had no idea the company was in trouble. Brandon plans to hop on a plane to find a new investor. He hands Dillon an envelope filled with cash and gives her a leave of absence. Dillon goes home to mope while eating black licorice ice cream (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). Her mother, Margot, calls because Dillon’s grandfather, Alexander, isn’t caring for himself. She believes he would do better if Dillon came home to Colorado for a visit. Dillon says yes, although there is tension because Margot was an absentee mother. Alexander raised Dillon on the farm. Dillon needs to get away from Brandon, the company, and its stress.

Dillon drives into town but can’t find the road to Alexander’s home, so she pulls over at a hardware store to ask for directions. Jordan tells her the new interstate takes people around the town and gives her proper driving directions. He says that city folks always get lost. She tells him she is local but hasn’t been in town for years. Dillon greets Margot and Alexander. She discovers Margot is living at Alexander’s home after breaking up with her latest boyfriend and sleeping in Dillon’s old room. So, Dillon will have to sleep on the couch. After one night on the back-breaking couch, Alexander offers Dillon an alternative. He takes her to his garage and shows her a ’62 Shasta camper gifted to him. He will let Dillon have the camper, but it needs a lot of repairs. Dillon is ready for the challenge and takes a look inside. She makes a B-line for the hardware store. 

Jordan locks up the store early while his ex-girlfriend, Vivian, tries to get him back. He thwarts her advances, and she leaves. Jordan sees Dillon approaching, re-opens the store for her, and helps her shop. They playfully flirt, and Dillon talks about her new camper. Dillon walks to another store to find fixtures. Vivian owns the store and gets an idea about Dillon’s camper palette. Dillon wants red and white Route 66 themed for her palette. Vivian thinks the color scheme is perfect and tells Dillon about the Trailer Fest competition. Dillon contemplates joining when she runs into an old friend, Chelsea. Chelsea remembers Dillon’s voice and asks her to teach the school choir. Dillon wasn’t planning on staying in town for long but decided to do it to take her mind off Brandon and the business. As she works on the trailer, Jordan approaches and offers to help. Dillon mentions the competition, and Jordan offers to assist her in the contest. As they work on Dillon’s camper, they reconnect. But can Brandon and Vivian dull their budding love?

Based on The Happy Camper by Melody Carlson, this movie has fun with the rom-com formula but doesn’t stray too far away (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). The plot has the classic misunderstanding, but Jordan and Dillon work that out early. It changes because Dillon hasn’t ended her relationship with Brandon before falling in love with Jordan. Typically, the protagonist is the dumped person trying to get over the past. Then they find new love when the old one comes back. Dillon is still on the fence because she and Brandon have a business together. Also, Dillon is never a damsel in distress. She is a coder who loves mechanics. While she has the knowledge to fix the camper, she doesn’t have enough time to do it before the competition. This movie won’t be a favorite, but it’s entertaining.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

So you’re shredding documents for us – Dillon

Don’t say the f-word. A leave of absence is a better term – Brandon

Thank you for reminding me I’ll never win mother of the year – Margot

Welcome home, Dilly. – Alexander

Coincidences are just mini miracles – Chelsea

Vivian? There is no us – Jordan

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Curious Caterer: Grilling Season – Review

Curious Caterer: Grilling Season – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Goldy admires Susie’s grill that Susie’s boyfriend, Richard, bought for their home. Susie admits that she loves Richard but his attention borders on smothering. Richard is Goldy’s ex-husband, but she likes Susie and the effect Susie is having on Richard. Richard introduces Goldy to their neighbor, Dennis. Dennis provided the wine, but they invited him to mend fences because Dennis reported Susie’s parties to the HOA twice. One more report and they can lose their home. Then, Detective Tom’s ex-wife, Jessamyn, enters with a $900 bottle of tequila. She makes condescending remarks to Goldy but greets Susie like an old friend. Tom has no idea why Jessamyn is there because he thought she would be in San Francisco. Goldy prepares shish kabobs and overhears Susie on the phone arguing with someone. Goldy gives Susie privacy and hears Susie’s business partner, Kenny, yelling at someone about backing out of a deal. Richard and Susie argue outside the home. He claims Susie is having an affair. Goldy doesn’t understand Richard’s accusations because, earlier, he told Goldy that he wanted to propose to Susie. Dennis separates the feuding couple, and Goldy goes back inside to clean up. Marla notices Goldy feverishly scrubbing the cooking grate, and Fran walks in to talk to Susie. Goldy leaves the eventful night to make leftovers for her daughter, Olive.

Goldy and Olive talk when Tom knocks at the door for free food. They discuss the party’s drama, and Tom gets a call. Richard’s grill exploded, and Susie died. Instantly Goldy feels guilty because she was the last one who used it. She demands to go to the crime scene with Tom. Newly-crowned Detective Mason waits for Tom to catch him up. Goldy looks at the grill and sees something is wrong. Earlier, she left the grill spotless but now sees something, including a bottle of tequila. 

The medical examiner, Bella, calls Tom with an update. Susie died before the explosion by strangulation. Goldy feels a sense of relief until clients cancel their appointments. After the 3rd cancelation, Goldy wants to find the killer to restore her business and reputation. If Goldy isn’t careful, her reputation won’t be the only thing in jeopardy. 

Based on The Grilling Season by Diane Mott Davidson, this movie differs from the book because Richard is a nice guy (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). If readers expect a carbon copy, then expect disappointment. However, the film has a compelling mystery like its predecessor. The party is full of drama that you will love, so have your tea ready. And each alibi slowly becomes a motive as Goldy uncovers Susie’s personal and professional dealings. Goldy’s final confrontation makes viewers sit on the edge of their seats. All the returning characters have noticeable growth, and you must pay attention to get new characters’ backstories. Each background has a purpose to the overall mystery. And yes, you get two murder boards for the price of one. So sit back with a pen and pad ready.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

It’s a thin line between doting and smothering – Susie

Is it playing detective if you have that badge – Goldie

Get the board started – Tom

Seriously that laugh of hers takes me back to high school and not in a good way – Marla

You thanked that I killed her – Richard

Good job, Mason. Good job, Mason – Mason

Does that line usually work on people – Fran

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Sweeter Than Chocolate – Review

Sweeter Than Chocolate – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Lucy Sweets is the chocolatier for her family’s confectionary store, How Sweet is Chocolate. Lucy sprints to her mother, Helen, with a notice from the landlord. Their rent will go up 62% next month. Although Valentine’s Day nets the most profits, they won’t be able to cover the rent afterward. Lucy’s friend, Serena, enters the shop because she got the same letter. Helen wonders if they should market their cupid chocolates and tell the world about the legend. If you eat the chocolate, you will meet the love of your life. But your heart has to be open. Lucy says no because it’s not what her grandfather wanted, but it’s too late. Serena posted about the candies on her company’s Instagram, and it’s getting attention. Lucy starts to sweat because she knows they will have an influx of guests, but she doesn’t worry because the shop is local. Then, their new hire, Georgie, tells Lucy she put it on the website. Now the world can buy the famous cupid chocolates. Lucy braces herself. 

Dean goes over his latest exposé with his cameraman, Gary, when Dean’s boss, Nora, calls him into her office. She saw a post about Cupid Chocolates online and wants Dean to report on the story for the day program. Dean thinks she wants him to find the scandal, but Nora wants a kind piece for Valentine’s Day. Nora knows Dean wants a job at another station in Chicago. So she promises to put in a good word if he does the story. Dean says yes and travels to the shop. On the way to the store, a woman almost hit him with her car. She lets him cross, and he sees a line out the door. The shop is buzzing with customers. Dean laughs at them falling for the legend and talks to a random woman. He says the customers are delusional, the product is a scam, and he can’t wait to write his report. The woman, Lucy, tells him it’s real, puts on her apron, and refuses to let him interview her. Embarrassed, Dean apologizes and pleads to report the story. He tells Lucy he needs the job to get anchor experience for the Chicago position and drive more business to her store. Lucy agrees.

After some time together, Dean interviews Lucy and creates a piece Nora loves. Nora wants it to be a series for the morning show. Dean can’t imagine expanding the story. Nora sees the wall of success stories in Dean’s earlier production and tells him to find those people and interview them. Nora explains that she needs Dean to do this because one of the morning anchors is leaving, and she thinks Dean should take his place. But he must show the executives that he can do soft stories and be an anchor. The series will reveal to the executives what Nora knows Dean can do. Dean rushes to Lucy’s home to describe his predicament. She will let him interview her success stories, but only if she can be there because Dean still doesn’t believe in the power of Cupid Chocolates. Dean and Lucy discover their love for each other while interviewing others and their significant other.

Based on Sweeter than Chocolate by Lizzie Shane, this movie turns all the Hallmark clichés on its head (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). Dean doesn’t hide what he wants out of the interview. He needs a job opportunity in another state. For most movies, that would be the big secret that Dean accidentally reveals when Lucy admits her true feelings for him. Lucy tells Dean about her company’s rent problems. She doesn’t utter it after Dean seemingly betrays her. They ask each other questions and give thoughtful heartfelt responses. While viewers can predict the conclusion, the journey is unexpected and beautiful. This plot is something you can sink your teeth into and savor.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

Love is worth the grief – Helen

They always run – Dean

Don’t ever do that to me again – Nora

On a scale of 1 to 10. About a 17 – Lucy

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Categories: A Date with Deception, Adriana O’Neil, Andrew Walker, Beau Wirick, BJ Britt, Brandon Carl McEwan, Brenda Strong, Cara Buono, Curious Caterer: Grilling Season, Dan Jeannotte, Daniela Bobadilla, Denyce Lawton, Eloise Mumford, Emily Meadows, Emily Roslyn Villarreal, Flirty February, Gwendolyn Collins, hallmark, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, Hannah Jane McMurray, HMM, James Eckhouse, Jared Wofford, John B. Lowe, Katie Douglas, Kelcie Stranahan, Kia Dorsey, Kristian Bruun, lifetime, lifetime movie network, Lisa Marie DiGiacinto, lmn, Love Sundays, Loveuary, Made for TV, movie, Must Solve Sundays, My Landlord Wants Me Dead, Nikki DeLoach, Paul Diaz, review, Ria Ridley, Rib Hillis, Ripped From The Headlines, Robert Nahum, Roy Abramsohn, Signature Mystery, Sleuthers, Spinning Out of Control, Sweeter Than Chocolate, The Girl Who Escaped: The Kara Robinson Story, The Happy Camper, TV One, tv review, Under The Influence, UPtv, Vicious Valentine's

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