2014 in Review: The Best of Lifetime and SyFy


Hello there and welcome to January!

This is the time of year that the Shattered Lens usually takes one final look back at the best and worst of the previous year’s offerings in cinema, television, literature, and music!  Last year, I kicked things off by taking a look at the best that the SyFy network had to offer.

Unfortunately, SyFy didn’t produce as many original films in 2014 as they did in 2013.

However, my beloved Lifetime network remained a consistent showcase for some of the best and worst melodrama that one could hope for.

With that in mind, here are my nominees for the best films and performances that were featured on either the SyFy or the Lifetime network last year!  As always, winners are listed in bold.


Best Film

Battle of the Damned

Flowers in the Attic

Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever

*Lizzie Borden Took An Axe*

Sharknado 2

Starving in Suburbia

Best Actress

Kate Beckinsale in The Trials of Cate McCall

Maria Bello in Big Driver

Annie Heise in The Good Mistress

Tara Reid in Sharknado 2

*Christina Ricci in Lizzie Borden Took An Axe*

Kierna Shipka in Flowers in the Attic

Best Supporting Actress

Kendra Anderson in The Good Mistress

*Ellen Burstyn in Flowers in the Attic*

Clea DuVall in Lizzie Borden Took An Axe

Heather Graham in Petals on the Wind

Tina Ivlev in Death Clique

Izabella Miko in Starving in Suburbia

Best Actor

Trevor Donavon in Bermuda Tentacles

Mason Dye in Flowers in the Attic

Michael Keaton in Blindsided

Dolph Lundgren in Battle of the Damned

Patrick Muldoon in Finders Keepers

*Ian Ziering in Sharknado 2*

Best Supporting Actor

James Cromwell in The Trials of Cate McCall

David Field in Battle of the Damned

*Griff Furst in Status Unknown*

Judd Hirsch in Sharknado 2

Mark McGrath in Sharknado 2

John Savage in Bermuda Tentacles

Best Director

Doug Campbell for Death Clique

Deborah Chow for Flowers in the Attic

Anthony C. Ferrante for Sharknado 2

*Nick Gomez for Lizzie Borden Got An Axe*

Christopher Hutton for Battle of the Damned

Tara Miele for Starving in Suburbia

Best Screenplay

Kayla Alpert for Flowers in the Attic

Tim Hill and Jeff Morris for Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever

Stephen Kay for Lizzie Borden Took An Axe

Thunder Levin for Sharknado 2

*Tara Miele for Starving in Suburbia*

Griff Furst and Marcy Holland for Status Unknown

Flowers in the Attic

Tomorrow, I’ll continue my look back at 2014 by revealing my picks for the 16 worst films of 2014!

Previous Entries in Our Look Back At 2014:

Things That I Dug In 2014 Off The Top Of My Head



What Lisa Watched Last Night #97: Flowers in the Attic (dir by Deborah Chow)

This weekend, I watched the Lifetime original movie Flowers in the Attic.

Flowers in the Attic

Why Was I Watching It?

How could I not watch it?  From the minute Lifetime first started to air commercials for it back in November, I knew I was going to watch Flowers in the Attic.  What especially captured my attention was the way Flowers in The Attic was referred to as being “the book you weren’t allowed to read.”  Even though I hadn’t even heard of the book before I saw the commercials, that tag line hooked me.  The forbidden is always so inviting.

Add to that, every time I mentioned Flowers in the Attic on Twitter, Mason Dye (who played Christopher in the film) always favorited my tweet.  That was so sweet that there was no way I couldn’t watch the movie.

What Was It About?

The time is the 1950s.  The recently widowed Corrine (Heather Graham) returns to her childhood home in Virginia.  As Corrine explains to her children, she comes from a rich family but was disowned when she left home.  Now, her plan is to make up with her disapproving father and inherit his fortune once he dies.  Corrine also claims that the only way for her to win back her father’s love is for her to keep the existence of her children a secret.

Hence, Corrine’s children — teenagers Cathy (Kierna Shipka) and Christopher (Mason Dye) and twins Carrie and Cory — are forced to hide in the attic while Corrine charms her father.  The children are watched over by their ultra-religious, abusive grandmother (Ellen Burstyn).

Once in the attic, the children soon realize that Corrine doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to win their freedom.  While Cathy and Christopher struggle to come of age without any adult supervision, Grandma occasionally brings up mysterious powdered donuts.  Soon, Cathy and Christopher are exploring their desires and the twins are falling ill…

What Worked?

It all worked.  This was Lifetime at its absolute best: entertaining, fun, and wonderfully melodramatic.  Along with being full of wonderfully gothic Southern atmosphere, Flowers in the Attic featured great performances from Heather Graham, Mason Dye, and Kiernan Shipka.  Best of all was veteran actress Ellen Burstyn, who made Grandma into a wonderfully over-the-top monster.

What Did Not Work?

 If I have any complaints, it’s that the film’s conclusion felt a bit abrupt.  However, a sequel to Flowers is already in production so that ending was actually a perfect set-up for part two of the story.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Cathy was into ballet, just like me!  If I ever found myself locked in an attic for a year and a half, I’d probably use the time to do some pointe work as well.

Lessons Learned

Don’t eat mysterious donuts.