Dying To Belong (2021 Lifetime)

Dying To Belong (2021 Lifetime)

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Cast: Shannen Doherty, Jenika Rose, Favour Onwuka

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Dying to Belong, which reveals the harsh realities of toxic friendships and sorority hazing culture, will debut this fall on Lifetime. In Dying To Belong, when journalism major Olivia (Onwuka) meets Riley (Rose), a shy freshman who suffers from anxiety, they become fast friends. Both girls decide to join a sorority, following in Riley’s mother’s footsteps. They discover there are deadly secrets within the sisterhood (2021)

Recap/Wine Thoughts

The movie begins with a CREEPY version of “There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.” as a sorority pledge plunges to her death (Maybe?) in a hazing event gone wrong.

Cut to Olivia, a popular first-generation college student who is an influencer. It contrasts with the other new student Riley, who suffers from GAD (General Anxiety Disorder and Shannen Doherty plays her mom. The girls become fast friends and walk around campus. (Shannen Doherty is there too and encourages the girls to join a sorority.) 

Riley is a legacy and plans to pledge Phi Betta Gamma; Olivia is more skeptical and recruited by queen bee Jasmine. (She likes Olivia because she is an influencer AND claims the sorority is an equal opportunity, and they would love to add someone her her “caliber.” 

Olivia and Riley participate in a sorority capture the flag. They seem to get along with girls. The frat boys are a little too handsy, and Olivia is quick to tell them to back off; she isn’t interested in the frat boys and instead flirts with a boy from the college paper named Nate. Olivia pitches a story to Nate about the behind-the-scenes stories from pledging. 

At a cafe, Olivia meets with Jasmine and secretly records the conversation. She insists that if Olivia agrees to pledge, Riley must get a bid too. Then the girls go to an initiation event that includes walking on glass. (But not really) It is a test of the girl’s loyalty. One pledge doesn’t cross and loses her bid. 

Olivia and the new pledges move into the sorority house and notices a composite of the class of 2019 is missing. She would look into it if she weren’t so busy making out with Nate. (Later, she does find the picture and snaps a pic on her phone. Riley finds out Olivia is doing it all for the story and threatens to tell. ) 

More hazing happens, including workouts at the track, ice baths, and more frat parties. Jasmine’s boyfriend gets aggressive with a sister named Tori. Riley jumps to Tori’s defense, and Jasmine kicks the boyfriend out of the house and HER LIFE! 

A body shaming incident happens, and I am very tired of seeing these rituals STILL depicted in TV Movies. Olivia is over it too and tells Paige no. Then she is forced to beer bong jungle juice and has trouble remembering the night. She wakes up and finds her phone, and sees that Riley is dead of an apparent suicide. 

A detective shows up and interviews the girls. Olivia is surprised to hear Jasmine, Tori, and Paige lie straight to the detective’s face. Olivia is gaslit AF and tells Shannen Doherty that there is no way that Riley would have killed herself. Shannen Doherty doesn’t want to hear it (Olivia DOES bring it up at Riley’s funeral), but later the mother considers that it could have been a hazing-related death. 

Two weeks later, Olivia is more determined than ever to get to the truth. She retracts her statement about the hazing to go even deeper undercover. She wants to find out about the sister from 2019 named Dalia. When Paige overhears Olivia on the phone with Nate, she sends a frat boy to attack Olivia in a parking lot. (She runs to the sorority house for safety.)

Shannen Doherty freaks out on Georgia, the house mother, and demands serious action. She now knows her daughter wouldn’t commit suicide and shuts down anyone who suggests Riley’s mental health issues caused her to be unstable. (I’m glad this movie is treating the topic of mental health with respect.) Shannen Doherty questions Maya about the night and poses as her doctor. (Which is unethical.) Then she asks Olivia to move out of the house for her own safety.

Gabe and Daliah meet with Olivia and Shannen Doherty on some bleaches to tell them to stop digging into the sorority’s past. They also say that Jasmine will do anything to protect the sorority. Including kidnapping Olivia and Nate and dragging them into the woods to scare them from publishing the story. 

The plan doesn’t work, and Olivia confronts Jasmine. She tells her about a recording she made during the abduction. Jasmine tries to make up excuses, but Olivia points at Jasmine and calls her a LIAR. Then Paige, Shannen Doherty, and the detective come out; Olivia recorded her conversation too. 

We finally see what REALLY happened to Riley. Paige peer-pressured Maya to climb some rock climbing wall, and Riley climbed up to help Maya when she got stuck. Maya accidentally kicked Riley off the wall falling to her death. Jasmine decides to cover up the murder, and once it is revealed, she leaves town. 

Shannen Doherty and Olivia cry at the rock climbing wall. They promise to change, and everyone hugs.

The movie ends with statistics about hazing. 

Side Note

Minority Report: Olivia, Mya, Nate, Detective, Georgia

This is a remake of the 1997 NBC TV Movie classic with the same name starring Hilary Swank, Sarah Chalke, Jenna Von Oy, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar. 

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➡️ Check out our Youtube Channel: Lifetime Uncorked: Lifetime Movie Reviews

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*** I’ve updated the rating system moving forward start 7/26/2021. Knives represent # of kills. Wine is over enjoyment (NOT a value judgment) on a 1-5 scale.

 I will use the following tags for those who want to know watch or skip: Pour it Up (Would Recommend) or Put A Cork In It (Would Not Recommend)

Overall rating

Number of Kills: 

🔪 ( 1 Knife)

Enjoyment Level: 🍷 🍷 🍷 (3 glasses of wine)

*Photo Credit: © 2021 Lifetime® | A+E Networks®

Live tweet along with @LifetimeUncork using the hashtag #DyingtoBelong

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Merry Christmas in October! Lifetime Uncorked and Deck the Hallmark collide! Brandon (Bran) Gray & Daniel (Dan) Thompson join Lifetime Expert, Patrick Serrano, for the first of three preview episodes discussing the 35 NEW It's A Wonderful Lifetime movies. Reba gets her chance at holiday movies, Kelly Rowland returns with the Liddle Franchise, and someone ALMOST played Simba in the Lion King on Broadway. We break down your favorite TV movies one bottle at a time.  Read Patrick's Recaps/Reviews: https://lifetimeuncorked.com/  Check out other Bramble Jam Podcasts: https://bramblejampodcast.com/  Donate to the Podcast: https://linktr.ee/patrickserrano  Subscribe to our Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYuQwUKBmS2MouRnVhRLyig  Business Inquiries | podcast@lifetimeuncorked.com Follow the Podcast @LifetimeUncorked & @hallmarkpodcast Follow the Host @PatrickMiguel Drewbear is still in recovery from his stroke and has given his blessing for this project to proceed without him for now. He is getting better every day and could still use your support. Please give if you can to help cover rehabilitation and medical care costs. Support Drewbear: https://www.gofundme.com/f/drews-current-situation — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/lifetime-uncorked/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/lifetime-uncorked/support
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