So many flower metaphors. Lifetime is famous for producing terrible movies filled with terrible acting that just make you want to cuddle up under a blanket with some popcorn and watch for hours. Why is that? When did we develop a taste for crap telly, as the Brits would say? Life is short. Shouldn’t we want to listen to as much Mozart and Ingrid Michaelson as possible instead of playing Timber for the tenth time in a row? And likewise shouldn’t we be rewatching Return of the King or Sherlock for the hundredth time instead of bingeing all day on Lifetime movies and Jersey Shore reruns? And yet here I am telling you about one of my new favorite things. And its a series of Lifetime movies. This series is beyond a doubt some of the worst acting, writing, directing etc. ever committed to everlasting infamy. From the book series by V.C. Andrews comes Lifetime’s adaptation of the incest-riddled, arsenic doughnut laden classic Flowers in the Attic and its sequel, Petals on the Wind.
In case you have missed this epic, Petals on the Wind just premiered a mere four or so months after the first movie, giving you around that long to get caught up before another one likely comes down the pipeline. The movies tell the story of the Dollanganger family. This is pronounced “dollyganger,” in case you were wondering. Mother Corinne and her hubby begin the movie in love, seemingly well-off, and as beautiful and blonde as their four children. The father dies suddenly and all is revealed. They are a family in debt and must run off to Corinne’s mother’s family estate to live. Here the audience learns that the family has disowned Corrine for marrying her half-uncle. Grandma locks the kids in the attic, beats them, and stands by and watches as they are poisoned.
She believes incest is bound to run in the family and Cathy and Christopher, the two teens just hitting puberty, are the target of her vitriol. This, of course, pushes them towards everything she feared. The sequel takes place ten years later, once they have escaped the attic and are fighting (or not) that apparently genetic predisposition towards incest.
If these movies seem terrible, they are very terrible. Although Ellen Burstyn, Heather Graham, and Kiernan Shipka are just some of the legitimately proven to be good actors in the series, their performances are so comically bad that I can’t imagine that they were really trying all that hard. Seriously though- grab a bottle of wine (or six) and your closest friends and sit down to marathon these two. You will laugh and gasp and cringe- and thoroughly enjoy yourself. This is Lifetime at its juiciest and most horrid. Don’t miss it.