I’ll just be honest here. Trying to balance receiving reports of the U.S. Capitol being stormed by rioters with watching and reviewing the 2020 Lifetime film, Sorority Secrets, was not easy. In fact, I’m not really sure that I succeeded.
Most Lifetime films work best if they’re watched in just one sitting. You sit down on the couch. You watch the film. Assuming that you’re watching it on your DVR, whenever a commercial pops up, you hit the fast forward button and you skip over it. (That’s especially true if you’re watching something you recorded early in 2020 because there’s seriously only so many Michael Bloomberg commercials you can sit through. Fortunately, Sorority Secrets aired in late August, after Bloomberg had dropped out but before the presidential campaign commercials really fired up.) By skipping those commercials, you also manage to maintain a sense of narrative momentum. You get wrapped up in the story and you don’t get distracted by the semi-annual sale and, as a result, you don’t spend too much time thinking about plot holes or anything like that. The important thing is not to let your momentum get disrupted. Unfortunately, earlier today, it was a bit more difficult than usual to maintain that momentum.
Still, I enjoyed Sorority Secrets. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t been worried that a revolution was about to break out but still, it was an enjoyably over-the-top melodrama. Lifetime is well known for airing films about cheating husbands and stalker ex-boyfriends but it’s also aired its share of dangerous sorority films. In a dangerous sorority film, a smart young college student from a poor family always ends up getting a chance to join the biggest sorority on campus. The student is always hesitant until she finds out that she’ll get free room and board and she’ll also get a chance to get a summer internship out of it all. Of course, the sorority always turns out to be full of secrets. There’s usually a murder or two, along with scenes of the student’s overprotective mother worrying that her daughter has gotten in over her head. These are fun movies.
In Sorority Secrets, the student is Cassie (Bryntee Ratledge) and she’s shocked when she’s invited to join the snootiest sorority in campus. She’s not even into the whole sorority thing but, you know …. free room and board and a chance to connect with influential people. Cassie decides to go for it but she eventually discovers that her sorority is basically just a front for an escort service. If that’s not bad enough, it appears that someone has murdered Cassie’s sorority sister, Kerrie (Shayna Benardo). Kerrie, who bore a resemblance to Cassie, was also wearing Cassie’s jacket when she fell in front of an train. Could she have been pushed? Well, we know that she was because we saw the hand that gave her a shove.
Anyway, the fun thing about Sorority Secrets is that members of the sorority all basically got their own personal clothing allowance and, as a result, everyone in the film was absurdly overdressed. Both the clothes and the sorority house were to die for and really, that’s probably the most important thing when it comes to a deadly sorority film. Though the plot undoubtedly had its holes, the film embraced the melodrama and went happily over the top and it provided a nice distraction for a few hours. What more can you ask for?