Live-Blogging Lifetime Movies: Defending Our Kids
Here we go! This entry will be about "Defending Our Kids: The Julie Posey Story."
HOLY SHIT! Joanna Kerns DIRECTED this movie. Annie Potts is starring in it. I’ve hit an unintentional goldmine. Also, if I can say one thing about this project, it’s that I have become much better at taking photos of my tv screen. That’s a skill, right?
The movie opens with a middle aged Annie Potts with her husband, some lumpy nobody, celebrating their daughter’s birthday but the whole party is just the three of them (does this poor kid have no friends??). Then the big present is unveiled and it’s an imac that doesn’t appear to be that old of a model… Okay, imdb says this movie was made in 2003.
Joanna Kerns goes to great lengths to make sure we realize that this computer is ominous so now I think that the girl is going to find someone online who murders her. Only time will tell!
At school we learn that the kid is named Kristen and that her teacher is kind of an asshole. She reads a story aloud to the class that Kristen wrote about getting an embarrassing pimple and being horrified. Thanks, teach!
Now we’re on the street where Annie Potts is lamenting having to find secretarial work in this new computerized world that she’s no good at. Now that her daughter is old she has no reason not to go back to work… her daughter is like 14… I am surprised that excuse lasted this long, to be honest. Her friend tells her she could LEARN computers. Hmmmm, interesting point, friend. Will this lesson somehow tie into the point of this movie?? One can only guess.
In a totally new scene the daughter is getting all dolled up. But then she, turns on her computer? Annie Potts is asleep and wakes up because of NO NOISE WHATSOEVER. I guess a mother just knows when her daughter is being a dumb ass? Anywho, she comes into the daughter’s room and the daughter is dirty chatting with someone and jumps up and closes the window.
Smooth move, girl. No one will figure it out! Uh oh, she has the sound on and someone replies and a loud chime happens and her mom is all “WAIT A SECOND! You’re online!!” because she’s the slowest detective in the world. Dang, this girl wasted no time after getting the computer. I may have been an incredibly naïve teen because at some point my dad had a little laptop from work and we had dial up and I never even thought about the dirty chats and then a cousin came to visit and within a matter of hours she had schooled Sarah and I on them and how to embarrass gross dudes in them. A movie made about my computer habits would have been incredibly boring. Back to the movie- Kristen lies and says she was chatting with her friend Lonnie.
Whoops, Lonnie comes over! Lonnie needs to use the computer to finish their paper and Annie Potts is all “well if you guys weren’t up chatting at 2am…” (what, this 14 year old is chatting online until 2am?? Is she sleeping all day at school?) and Lonnie is all “what are you talking about?” but this thought is never finished because somehow Lonnie has opened Kristen’s old email box and sees a bunch of emails from someone called “Magic Man” and obliviously asks “who’s Magic Man?” all “dish it, sister!” to the mom, who becomes panic stricken instead of delighted by the gossip.
She looks at a few and realizes that Kristen has been chatting up some dude named Magic Man on the internet and he’s asking her for both photos and stories but the worst part is that the last message was him telling her that he’s so excited for them to meet. Uh oh.
Annie Potts goes flying out of there and drives her soccer mom van with a purpose. Kristen meets this total creep in the park and is clearly creeped out when she realizes she’s been chatting with a much older guy and he smoothly plays that off and tells her that age doesn’t matter when you have a connection.
(^^^^^^ that’s the face you make when the “34” year old you’ve been chatting up shows up and is clearly closer to 54) When Annie Potts runs up screaming at him to get away from her daughter he very smoothly walks off like he was never there. He’s been to this rodeo before.
She seems to think that he thinks she’s a great writer and told her they should meet because he loves her stories. When her mom freaks out all “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??” that’s what she explains and her mom has to spell out for her that this was a sexual predator and not the editor of the New Yorker. Teenagers are the worst.
Welp, the computer is coming out of her bedroom! Unfortunately, they don’t really know what to do about the dude because they can’t find any information on him from the emails and he’s erased his account now. They ask her how she even met this guy and she says she was hanging out on some site called “girls for men.” She thinks that’s where you find people to read your stories? Good lord, this girl is stupid. The parents are horrified. She says all the girls at school say that site is cool. God, never listen to “all the girls at school” unless you want to end up knocked up. Watch an Oprah, jeez.
Annie Potts decides that she should report this crime and meets the special cops at the station who deal with crimes against children. They don’t give her a lot of hope but it inspires her to look seductively at the imac and then decide to pose as a teenager online to lure in pedos so they can catch them.
Detective Fred (from Roseanne) is weary.
But this lady in the stripes says that she can pose as a teenager in real life (whatever you say, honey) and then arrest them if it gets to that point.
The cops are somehow sold by that. Also, Annie Potts offers to do all of this work for free. They also make sure she’s “up to this” and she says “you’ve got a thousand pedophiles cruising your web…” hahahahahah, I don’t even hear the rest of the sentence because I’m laughing too hard. One cop does point out that this sounds like entrapment but Fred says “we’ll keep it clean.” Does that make entrapment no longer a thing? I guess Fred knows what he’s talking about- he’s wearing a gun holster after all. It’s on; they’re letting her do this.
Uh oh, Lumpy is unsurprisingly annoyed that Annie Potts is going to spend her days talking to gross pervs. The daughter is horrified that her mom is doing this because it’s sooooooo embarrasssssssing, you guys.
She’ll just die if anyone finds out. Girl, you were nearly nabbed by a pedo and you’re embarrassed? Sigh, teenagers.
The next scene is a hilarious image of old people trying to act young on paper. Bi-focals even!
Her online name is CandyLover. Lordy. She’s immediately asked if she’s a virgin and she’s scandalized. If that scandalizes her I can’t imagine the vapors she’s going to erupt into when they start sending the wiener photos.
Her daughter reads her profile and tells her that even on paper she sounds 40- oh snap. That daughter adds thoughtful insight like adding “chillin’” to her interests in place of “reading.”
Lumpy’s coworker thinks he’s in trouble because his wife is going to be talking dirty all day and might leave him. This guy clearly GETS us women! God, who among us isn’t hoping to land some creepy pedophile in a sting operation? Dreamy.
She immediately gets hooked and finds more and more horrible rabbit holes to go down and is staying up all night to chat with the awful dregs of society. One is a piano teacher who wants to have a threesome with someone and their daughter. Oh ick, I feel dirty from just typing that. If I was this lady I’d lose what little bit of faith I have left in humanity and just never leave the house again. People are terrible.
The police have installed a phone that is for her CandyLover persona (they warn her to NOT get sucked into having phone sex) and it rings about 2 seconds after it’s plugged in. It’s the piano teacher and she makes her voice all weird like… I don’t even know but apparently this dude believes she’s 14.
He wires her money so she can visit him in Wyoming where he says he’ll be putting her up in a fancy hotel. What 14 year old can book flights and stuff? Does he think he’s found some kind of emancipated 14 year old who has her own place and no school? Oh wait, I just realized that this is the dude who wants to have a threesome with a mom and her 13 year old daughter… oh god, so grossed out again. Will….never… be…clean…again. Lumpy is all “you’re a part of the sting operation?!?” like he’s now the worst detective in this movie.
Oh! Accidental hilarity! During the commercial break there is an ad for some place where you can get a free laptop with your order and this dude is all “my daughter has been bugging me for a new laptop.” Someone should make him watch this movie before getting her one…
We’re in Wyoming and he wasn’t joking- he really did put her up in a really nice hotel.
He calls her and she says the daughter is in the bath and he’s all “god, I really wish I could join in but I’m just stuck here at night” presumably with his own wife and kids. You know how the ol’ ball and chain is! Never giving you the freedom to explore your creepy mother-daughter threesomes.
She’s getting prepped in the morning before he arrives and seems to just now grasp that what she’s decided to do FOR FREE for the police department, is kind of dangerous. Everyone is putting on their vests and she asks where hers is and they kind of laugh her off all “you don’t need one.” He knocks and she has a weird flashback? I can tell it’s a flashback because everything goes to nearly black and white and she starts breathing heavily. Apparently some creepy dude did something to Annie Potts (when she was a little, blonde girl) that will come up at some point.
She brings him through the hotel room where they then launch on him and tell him he’s under arrest while he is all “it’s all misunderstanding! Candy, tell them!” like she’s going to be all “oh yeah, this guy is not a creep at all” but Annie’s face kind of reads like she feels guilty for leading him on.
Man up, lady! He’s a terrible person. Maybe I should do this; I clearly don’t have any mixed emotions about it.
They’re watching him be interrogated in a very artsy, exposed brick room about how he just wanted to give these nice ladies a hotel room, he’s not a perv.
Of course not! How does he explain the bag of sex toys that he brought? He says he can explain it but then doesn’t which is too bad because I was looking forward to it. They ask if he can explain the chat transcripts with children. Oh, he plea bargains down to 6 months probation. Depressing. Fred from Roseanne is all “consider it a victory. One down, 2000 more to go.” Is that just in their area?
The family seems to be doing better but Lumpy still isn’t loving the pedo-trap that is set up in his living room. Also, it’s very awkward to try to seduce your wife to bed when she’s chatting with the scum of the Earth. He just says he’s tired and goes to bed alone while she doesn’t get it.
She has found some new dude who is a cowboy who wants her to drive to wherever he lives. He doesn’t get that a 14 year old can’t just do that. He’s so gross when he’s talking- this actor makes my skin crawl. Perv, perv, perv, you know the drill.
Annie Potts picks up Kristen at school and she’s clearly sheepish and embarrassed. What has this kid gotten herself into this time? In the car Kristen says she’s working on a new story and then tells her mom she’d rather her not read it. Annie Potts is all “why do you shut me out like that?” Oh please, like you tell everyone, everything, all the time. Even as an adult I don’t just let everyone read everything I write etc.. I’m sure she doesn’t either. Calm yourself, Annie Potts! (This is why the kid looked guilty as shit when she was picked up at school? Whatever you say, Joanna Kerns)
Uh oh, the creepy cowboy found their actual home address and sent a package. Lumpy is PISSED and pretty understandably so. The detective opens it and it’s a music box with Texas on it.
The lady from before is done up “teenager style” now and like I said before, no. She cannot pull this off. They just have baggy jeans and a stupid hat on a late 30 something like that makes them look like they’re terrible at dressing themselves. She’s also tall and completely boobed and well past puberty. Good lord, no one into little kids and tweens would be into this lady.
Gossip- we find out that this lady is now dating Fred from Roseanne so they’re partners and boyfriend/girlfriend. That can’t be frowned upon, right?
Annie Potts happens to see this cowboy approaching and knows he’s into guns now so she follows him to the sting operation even though she’s not involved. She’s SURE he has a gun even though we haven’t seen anything. She goes in and nervously sits down and makes a gun motion to the sting people and so Fred pulls his gun and is all “YOU’RE UNDER ARREST!” and blows the sting… and cowboy has a cell phone on his belt. Not a gun. Doh. Annie Potts really blew that.
Also, they don’t have the funding to have someone going into chat rooms but they have like 10 people for the prep work and the sting operations. They can’t share the chat room job? What do these people do when no one is doing the chatting and setting this shit up? Just sit around waiting for stings to miraculously happen?
Fred is pissed and fires Annie for a little thing like ruining an undercover bust and letting a serious creep get off unscathed because of it. Fair enough.
Lumpy and Annie are arguing but she’s all “you should be happy, I’m not doing it anymore” as though she quit at her husband’s bequest. He argues and she’s all “I was doing important work!” again acting like she gave it up because of him and not her own negligence.
Her daughter has answered the door and they find out Annie has been served by the pervy cowboy. On trial she talks like someone with a severe learning disability. GOD! Joanna Kerns, tell her to stop that!
She’s also wearing some weird bed sheet around her shoulders. She’s being charged with entrapping “innocent fantasizers.” Whatever you say, lawyer lady. The lawyer brings up some guy named Thomas who apparently molested her when she was a kid so that we know she has a vendetta against child molesters. Who the hell doesn’t have a problem with child molesters?!? This lady is acting like only some ex-victim with an axe to grind would care. I want to murder lawyers like this on Law and Order and I want to murder this lawyer right now. Shut up, already. You’re awful and also a crazy person. The judge seems equally horrified. Annie Potts is found to be honest and the evidence against pervy cowboy stands.
Fred is pissed that she never mentioned that she was molested as a kid. Apparently that alone would have stopped him from working with her because her past will ruin everything. What? She is left standing there in her bedsheet, just pondering things.
She tells Lumpy that her past came out in court and he’s very nice (for once). The daughter is all “how did it go, mom?” and it’s clear that she decides to tell her daughter about her past too. Sad mother-daughter scene, coming right up.
She even tells the daughter about how when she was 13 the child molester thought he had gotten too old and moved on. Tears.
The next scene is a scene in so many movies- middle aged lady working in a generic office, looking bored as hell and wishing for some excitement. In this lady’s case though, the “excitement” isn’t a fling with a swarthy European, it’s getting back into catching pedophiles on the internet.
She’s even READING at home, with a blatant disregard for the computer. It tries seducing her back…
Some news story breaks about a girl who is murdered by a guy she met in an online chat room and Lumpy is all running home and telling Annie Potts that she can’t stop now- this is important! Um, why are we still acting like she had a choice in this job ending and wasn’t fired?
She storms into the station and tells them she’s coming back and gives them details on some guy she’s already been chatting up. They remind her that they fired her but she’s not having it. She brings up that they have no choice since they have no men to put on this so they begrudgingly let her back. Her typing fingers are raring to go! She’s on the case.
Somehow in the next scene the daughter is reading a news story about pedos who have been caught and in the article it says that they were brought down by local lady Julie Posey…would you want your name in there? I wouldn’t. The daughter is super proud though and thinks her mom is kicking ass. So much so that she lets her mom read some of her stories.
Annie Potts cries and reads, what an exciting scene this turns out to be. They are a happy family again. Well, she and the daughter are fine. The husband is still being totally neglected and lumpy but that doesn’t seem to be a big deal.
She’s up late and some dude chats her… it’s totally the dude who tried to get her daughter before! ACTION. He says he’s from Boulder and Annie runs into her daughter’s room and drags her out of bed and Lumpy follows. They all get in on it and chat with him together (like a happy family!). At least the daughter is interested in busting him this time and isn’t whining about how embarrassing this is.
The doorbell rings… at like 2am… that is creepy. It’s the FBI and they’re seizing her computer for some case and they just unplug it and leave. Can they just do that?
She’s more freaked out because she just lost her daughter’s pedo and she has a personal vendetta against him. Lumpy runs and gets his laptop but the creep isn’t online still. Annie Potts is a mess.
We find out that the FBI has taken her computer because the case she had researched wanted to prove that she had child porn on her computer… but she doesn’t? Okay, that was a weird side story that went nowhere.
The police partners got hitched! And she broke her ankle! And they’re not psyched to hear that she talked to Sam online- that was forbidden! (If you can’t tell that this lady having a broken ankle is going to lead directly to Annie Potts going undercover then you have never watched tv before.)
In the very next scene she sits online waiting for him and then chats with him for hours. She is terrible at following directions and in these, the legal system. If he gets away with this she will have no one to blame for it but herself.
She goes and tells the cops and points out that dark haired lady is on crutches and can’t go undercover… she has a folder of child porn found on this guy’s computer but holds it back, clearly because there is a picture of Kristen in it but Annie Potts just grabs confidential police evidence and starts flipping through it and moving things around like it’s nothing. Sighhhhhhhhh.
Annie Potts offers to go undercover and Fred is all “maybe in total darkness.” OHHHHHHH SNAP! Especially considering that the lady they think can pass for 14 can’t even pass for 25. They pig-tail her out and put a floppy hat on her and apparently that’s enough.
Hahahah, she sends Sam a photo and it’s like there is Vaseline on the lens as well. Man, they are really rubbing in that Annie Potts looks too old. Sam calls her and sets up a time to meet. Lumpy doesn’t realize she’s on the phone with a perv and calls her by her real name and she plays it off like her awful stepfather just came home- Sam is curious but is so driven by his boner for kids that he keeps talking to her about meeting up.
Annie Potts needs 14 year old clothing for the bust so Kristen helps her get dressed out of her own closet. How dark is this room going to be? Is it going to be one of those magical dark room that shrinks you down to a 14 year old size?
The sting operation montage. Even in the montage Fred reminds everyone that Annie is so old that she will only fool this guy for a few seconds so they have to move quickly. Ease up, you aren’t looking too youthful yourself, Fred!
She goes into some kind of busy circus but Sam changes his mind and calls her to meet him at a playground. While they’re on the phone someone bumps into her and knocks her wire out so now the police have lost her and she’s one on one with this perv. (shouldn’t the wire have been more sturdy than that?)
He finds her and luckily they’re in the dark because he doesn’t notice how old she is right away (har har). He does make a comment that she looks older than 14 after a few minutes and she says he looks old too (nice one!) and he backpedals and tell her she’s perfect. Somehow the cops find her and bust in and nab him- he’s all “you’re a cop??” to her and she revels in telling him that she’s “just a housewife.” That really seems to burn his butt.
The end is all about how great her work is and how many people have gone to jail because of her work. There are over 400,000 registered sex offenders in the US and after many years of work she lead to the arrests of SIXTY. Honestly, good for her but holy crap those numbers are depressing.
Now, let’s talk about the titles.
For some reason they decided to do all the credits in this awful font made to look like cruddy little kid handwriting. I hate it. So much. Joanna Kerns, please stick to being in the movies from now on instead of directing them.
Rory will be pleased to hear that the classic “Mother, May I Sleep with Danger” is up next!