2016 in Review: The Best of Lifetime

Today, I continue my look back at the year 2016 with the best of Lifetime!  Below, you’ll find my nominations for the best Lifetime films and performances of 2016!  Winners are starred and listed in bold!


Best Picture
Bad Sister, produced by Robert Ballo, Timothy O. Johnson, Rukmani Jones, Ken Sanders
The Cheerleader Murders, produced by Sharon Bordas, Arthur Edmonds III, Hannah Pillemer, Fernando Szew, Jennifer Westin
Girl in the Box, produced by Stephen Kemp, Charles Tremayne, Thomas Vencelides
Inspired to Kill, produced by Johnson Chan, Michael Fiefer, Douglas Howell, Stephanie Rennie, Vincet Reppert, Nathan Schwab, Tammana Shah, Shawn Tira
Manson’s Lost Girls, produced by Nancy Bennett, Kyle A. Clark, Lawrence Ducceschi, Joan Harrison, Jonathan Koch, Stephen Kronish, Steven Michaels, Lina Wong
Mommy’s Little Girl, produced by Tom Berry, Steve Boisvert, Neil Bregman, Cinthia Burke, Christine Conradt, Curtis Crawford, Pierre David, Donald M. Osborne, Andrew E. Pecs
*A Mother’s Escape, produced by Sharon Bordas, Lori Bell Leahy, Michael Leahy, Kristofer McNeeley, Fernando Szew
My Sweet Audrina, produced by Dan Angel, David Calvert-Jones, Harvey Kahn, Kane Lee, Tom Mazza, Mike Rohl, Jane Startz
The Night Stalker, produced by Matthew R. Brady, Patrick G. Ingram, Michel Rangel, Alisa Tager
The Wrong Car, produced by Mark Donadio, Miriam Marcus, Molly Martin, Michael O’Neil

Best Director
Doug Campbell for Bad Sister
Megan Griffiths for The Night Stalker
*Blair Hayes for A Mother’s Escape
David Jackson for The Cheerleader Murders
Leslie Libman for Manson’s Lost Girls
Mike Rohl for My Sweet Audrina

Best Actress
*Tara Buck in A Mother’s Escape
India Eisley in My Sweet Audrina
MacKenzie Mauzy in Manson’s Lost Girls
Alyshia Ochse in Bad Sister
Karissa Lee Staples in Inspired To Kill
Addison Timlin in Girl in the Box

Best Actor
Zane Holtz in Girl in the Box
Lou Diamond Phillips in The Night Stalker
*Eric Roberts in Stalked By My Doctor: The Return
Antonio Sabato, Jr in Inspired To Kill
Jason-Shane Scott in The Wrong Roommate
Jeff Ward in Manson’s Lost Girls

Best Supporting Actress
*Toni Atkins in My Sweet Audrina
Eden Brolin in Manson’s Lost Girls
Zoe De Grande Maison in Pregnant at 17
Beth Grant in A Mother’s Escape
Ryan Newman in Bad Sister
Zelda Williams in Girl in the Box

Best Supporting Actor
Blake Berris in Wrong Swipe
Rogan Christopher in Pregnant at 17
*Rhett Kidd in The Wrong Car
Christian Madsen in Manson’s Lost Girls
William McNamara in The Wrong Roommate
James Tupper in My Sweet Audrina

Best Screenplay
Bad Sister, Barbara Kymlicka
*The Cheerleader Murders, Matt Young
Girl in the Box, Stephen Kemp
Mommy’s Little Girl, Christine Conradt
A Mother’s Escape, Mike Bencivenga, Blair Hayes, Kristofer McNeeley
My Sweet Audrina, Scarlett Lacey

Best Cinematography
The Cheerleader Murders, Denis Maloney
Mommy’s Little Girl, Bill St. John
*A Mother’s Escape, Samuel Calvin
My Sweet Audrina, James Liston
The Night Stalker, Quyen Tran
The Wrong Car, Terrence Hayes

Best Costuming
Girl in the Box, Barb Cardoso, Tania Pedro
Manson’s Lost Girls, Dorothy Amos
*My Sweet Audrina, Farnaz Khaki-Sadigh
The Night Stalker, Rebecca Luke
The Red Dress, Sophie Pace
Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart, Mary McLeod

Best Editing
The Cheerleader Murders, Eric Potter
Girl in the Box, Julian Hart
Manson’s Lost Girls, Josh Hegard
*A Mother’s Escape, Travis Graalman
My Sweet Audrina, Charles Robichaud
The Night Stalker, Celia Beasley

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Girl in the Box, Claudia Breckenridge, Jen Fisher, Oriana Rossi, Alex Rotundo, Collette Tolen
Killing Mommy, Cinthia Burke, Christie Capustinsky, Kevin Crawley, Kirsten Fairfield, Margaret Harding-Crawley, Corey J. Stone
*Manson’s Lost Girls, Jenni Brown Greenberg, Randi Mavestrand, Kelly Muldoon, Natalie Thimm
A Mother’s Escape, Jenny Hausam, Toni Mario
My Sweet Audrina, Alannah Bilodeau
Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart, Tara Hadden-Watts, Alexandra Holmes

Best Original Score
911 Nightmare, David Findlay
*The Cheerleader Murders, Cladue Foisy
Inspired To Kill, Brandon Jarrett
A Mother’s Escape, Todd Haberman
My Sweet Audrina, Graeme Coleman
The Wrong Car, Ed Grenga

Best Production Design
Bad Sister, Lia Burton, Danielle Lee
Girl in the Box, Andrew Berry, Jere Sallee
*Manson’s Lost Girls, Cynthia E. Hill, Linda Spheeris
A Mother’s Escape, Zackary Steven Graham
My Sweet Audrina, Tink, Janessa Hitsman
Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart, James Robbins, Courtney Stockstad, Amanda Christmas

Best Sound
*Center Stage: On Pointe
The Cheerleader Murders
Honeymoon from Hell
I Have Your Children
Inspired to Kill
Toni Braxton: Unreak My Heart

Best Visual Effects
Final Destiny
House of Darkness
The Inherited
Little Girl’s Secret
The Watcher

Congratulations to all the nominees and thank you for keeping us entertained in 2016!

Want to see my picks for the best of Lifetime in 2015?  Click here!

And if you want to see my picks from 2014, click here!

Tomorrow, I’ll continue my look back at 2016 with the 16 worst films of the year!

Previous Entries In The Best of 2016:

  1. TFG’s 2016 Comics Year In Review : Top Tens, Worsts, And Everything In Between
  2. Anime of the Year: 2016
  3. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I Saw In 2016
  4. 2016 in Review: The Best of SyFy

Film Review: Wrong Swipe (dir by Matthew Leutwyler)


The image above is a still from a film called Wrong Swipe.  The women are sisters.  Anna (Anna Hutchison, who may be best known for playing doomed Jules in The Cabin In The Woods) is an uptight law school student who spends way too much time studying.  Her sister, Sasha (Karissa Lee Staples), decides that Anna desperately needs to get laid so she goads her into downloading the Swipe app.

What’s Swipe?

Well, for one thing, it’s an app with a really bad name.  But, beyond that, it’s kinda like Match.com for people who specifically want to run the risk of being stalked by a psycho.  If a user finds a profile that she likes, she “swipes” the profile.  The app uses the phone’s GPS to send you an alert whenever someone who you’ve swiped is nearby.

“Your crush is 100 feet away…”

So, Anna joins Swipe.  In order to make sure that her sister understand how it all works, Sasha decides to swipe some random guy’s profile.  That random guy just happens to be Todd (Blake Berris), the creepy guy who sits behind Anna in her criminal justice class.  Now, Todd thinks that Anna has a crush on him.

“You swiped me!” Todd says, at one point.

Anna goes on a few other Swipe dates.  She reconnects with a guy she vaguely knew in high school, Nate (Kevin Joy) but it turns out that Nate is kind of a jerk and plus, he attempts to drug her drink during their date.  Uh-oh, Nate’s not a good guy!

Then Anna meets Pete (Philipp Karner).  Pete is sweet and sensitive and handsome.  Anna and he have an immediate connection and, as you watch them together, you just know that they’re eventually going to end up in a commercial for Swipe.com.  Anna and Pete will be sitting in front of a fireplace.  Anna will say, “I joined Swipe.com and two days later, look what I found.”  And then Pete will say…

Well, actually, Pete won’t say anything.  Pete ends up getting murdered.  Sorry, Anna.  Could Pete’s murder be somehow connected to the anonymous threatening messages that Anna has been getting ever since she joined Swipe?

In case you hadn’t already guessed, Wrong Swipe is a Lifetime film.  It aired on February 13th, just in time for Valentine’s Day.  There are a few things that you can always be sure about when it comes to Lifetime films.  You can always be sure that men will be untrustworthy, mom will always be right, and the bonds of sisterhood will never be broken.  You can also always be sure that using any sort of technology will lead to grave misfortune.  I’ve lost track of how many Lifetime films I’ve seen about terrible things happening as a result of someone spending too much time online.

(It’s kinda like that film Disconnect, except more fun and less preachy.)

With Wrong Swipe, Lifetime exposes the dangers of online dating for the hundredth time.  At this point, Lifetime has gone from being Television For Women to being the “You Kids And Your Goddamn Gadgets!” Network.  That said, there’s a certain charm to how predictable it all is.  Lifetime is all about the melodrama and Wrong Swipe has plenty of that.  It may be familiar but it’s comfortable at the same time.

Wrong Swipe was probably at its best when it dealt with the bond between Anna and Sasha.  Their relationship reminded me of my relationship with my sisters.  At the same time, it was hard not to wonder how Anna could possibly have randomly met so many weird men in such a short amount of time.  One of them, of course, had to be weird because he was the psycho who was stalking her.  But the others were just red herrings who all happened to act like psychos even if they weren’t the psycho.  In fact, all of the men were so over-the-top in their suspicious behavior that it actually made it easy to figure out who the stalker was because he was the only suspect who wasn’t totally and completely obvious.

One final note: Wrong Swipe is unique for actually showing Anna doing a Google search.  Usually, Lifetime films will come up with a fake search engine for its characters to use but Wrong Swipe went ahead and just used google.  That said, Anna was not using quotation marks when she typed in her search terms so it probably took her far longer than necessary to find what she was looking for.

As for whether or not you should make it a point to see Wrong Swipe the next time it comes on TV … eh.  It’s nothing special but if you enjoy Lifetime films, it’s okay.