Monday, April 6, 2015

Thorny Viewing

I woke up this morning and dabbled around on the internet, only to find out that a freakout (if you can call it that) happened over on Twitter last night. Apparently the minor uproar had to do with the Lifetime broadcast of If There Be Thorns. Not sure what that title refers to? I'll tell you. If There Be Thorns is the third installment of the Dollanganger series, by now deceased V. C. Andrews. That's the series that begins with the classic horror, Flowers in the Attic. I wouldn't say the book can be classified as what we now know to be horror, but according to some, the whole premise is creepy (if you don't know why, keep reading, or look it up). It's the sort of book my mother always rolled her eyes at: "You're going to read that?" Then she'd purse her lips and sigh but not take the book away from me. "So yes, Mom, yes I am going to read that." Because at 14 years old, you read what everyone says you can't read, right? Here I am at almost 42 years old and still doing the same thing, yo.

Anyway, my first response? I laughed at the article. How could the internet "freak out" over this movie? Did the people watching even bother to look up the books the movie was based on? Anyone? Anyone at all? If so, why the twittering? (Oh, that was bad.) Yes, the books deal with incest, but if you've read the books (or watched the other two awful movies) you would have known about that from the outset. And if you really didn't know the story behind If There Be Thorns...then you just didn't do your homework, or you were too lazy, or maybe you didn't care and just wanted to watch a movie, for crying out loud. In which case, you don't have to get in an uproar. If the goods aren't delivered as expected. Just shut the television off. (To be truthful, you should shut the television off when it comes to Lifetime movies anyway, right? I mean, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?)

Some of the Twitter responses are great, though. For example, Sheila Taylor Clark (@staylorclark) said: They shoulda bought a one level house with NO attic #IfThereBeThorns. That tweet had me in stitches. I like how this lady thinks. And Susan Alexander (‏@susankalexander) wrote, Jory is the only person in family who is dating someone he is not related too [sic]. #IfThereBeThorns. Yes indeed. The incest that began in the first book sort of follows its way through the series, if you must know. And finally another Twitter user, Fiona J Brady (‏@FionaJBrady), stated what most people probably would say about books-turned-movies: Obviously you have to read the books to understand the plot twists; movies just don't do books justice ever. #IfThereBeThorns.

And by the way, I've read that series multiple times. I'm not grossed out by the incest, which might say something about who I am, I guess. I'm more drawn in by the psychological hold that Christopher (the brother) has over Cathy (the sister). But If There Be Thorns is told from the point of view of Cathy's son (whose father happens to be her mother's husband...is that more or less repellant for you Twitter people?). And the book is the worst of the series: poor writing, even poorer execution. All around bad. And so Lifetime didn't' have much to work with from the outset.

But if you couldn't get enough of such a tale, tune in next week. Lifetime has the fourth movie ready to go. Seeds of Yesterday will air next Sunday at 8/7c. I won't be watching. But I might jump on Twitter just to see what sorts of funniness abound.

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