I was so excited and I could not wait until I could move onto the Nifty Fifties box set from Mill Creek. However, before doing that, I decided to check the status of my DVR and guess what?
I discovered that I only had 10 hours of space left!
Basically, stating in March, I recorded so many movies that I am now nearly out of space. So, before I do anything else, it’s time for me to, once again, clean out the DVR! I have 36 films to watch and review before I can truly declare that my DVR has been cleaned out. Fortunately, I’ve recorded a good variety of films — everything from Lifetime movies to horror films to Oscar nominees. Watching and reviews all of them should be fun!
So, let’s get started! Because you know what? If I don’t hurry up and get this done, my DVR’s going to start automatically deleting my older recordings. And that means that I’m running the risk of losing not only Jesus Christ Superstar, Bend It Like Beckham, and American Anthem but the final six episodes of Saved By The Bell: The College Years as well!
The first film that I watched was The Stepchild, which premiered on Lifetime on March 12th!
As you probably tell from the picture above, The Stepchild is a movie about secrets, lies, murder, tears, and possible insanity. In short, it has everything that we have come to expect from a Lifetime movie! Even better, it has a Degrassi connection. (Degrassi, as our regular readers should be aware at this point, is my favorite Canadian TV show.) The Stepchild stars Sarah Fisher, who played a somewhat unbalanced Christian named Becky Baker on Degrassi. Becky was perhaps one of the most annoying characters in the history of Degrassi but Sarah Fisher always did a good job playing her and she does a pretty good job in The Stepchild as well.
The Stepchild opens with Ashley (played by Fisher) in a mental hospital. She spends her time talking to her therapist and occasionally having brightly-lit flashbacks to the night that she found her father’s dead body and dropped — in a slow motion, naturally enough — a snow globe on the floor. Not only is Ashley shaken over the demise of her father, but she also fears that she may have inherited her dead mother’s schizophrenia. And again, it bears repeating that Sarah Fisher does a really good job in the role of Ashley, making her a character whose outward fragility disguises more inner strength than even she realizes that she possesses.
When Ashley is finally released from the hospital, she goes to live with her stepmother, Beth (Lauren Holly). Ashley is upset because it’s obvious that, in just the short time after her father’s death, Beth has rather quickly moved on to a new man, John (Paul Johansson). John was Ashley’s father’s business partner and, like Ashley, we are immediately suspicious of him. This is largely because he’s played by Paul Johansson and anyone who has ever seen One Tree Hill knows better than to trust any character played by Paul Johansson.
Ashley is convinced that John or someone else murdered her father. But did he? Or could it be that Ashley is having another nervous breakdown? (It’s a testament to Sarah Fisher’s performance that, even though the answer is obvious, the viewer still is never totally sure.) With the help of her boyfriend, Michael (Keenan Tracy), Ashley attempts to solve the mystery.
There’s nothing really original about The Stepchild. If you’ve ever seen a Lifetime film before, you’ll be able to guess what’s going to happen. That said, their inherent predictability is part of the appeal of Lifetime films in general and The Stepchild is an entertaining-enough diversion. Lauren Holly and Sarah Fisher both do good with their ambiguous characterizations and Paul Johansson always does a good job when he’s playing a jerk. The film has a few nicely shot dream sequences and, as we all know, dream sequences are always fun!
The Stepchild may not be a classic but it’s a perfectly enjoyable way to waste two hours.
(For those keeping track of my progress in cleaning out the DVR, that’s one down and thirty-five to go!)