V.C. Andrews’ Dawn Review: Cutthroat Cutlers, Granny Dearest & Sexy Bro Woes


Oh yes, Lifetime is back covering another V.C. Andrews Saga.

And we’re back with our reviews of this utter madness. We’re kicking off the cutthroat Cutlers saga with V.C. Andrews’ Dawn this time.

And the generational battle of the badass blonds was deliciously epic and entertaining.

It wouldn’t be a V.C. Andrews special without scandalous family secrets, shady rich people, incestual relationships worth side-eying, and deliciously evil women.

But dare one say they were fairly light on some of those things, which was a bit of a surprise.

Another surprise was just how enjoyable Dawn Longchamp Cutler (?) was as a protagonist.

No offense to some of the other V.C. Andrews’ girlies, ahem, HEAVEN, let’s be real, it’s freaking Heaven, but for the most part, Dawn at least seemed like she had full control of the brain cell at all times, if you catch my drift.

The girl was sassy, savvy, fearless, and undeniably fierce.

Listen, Brec Bassinger was fabulous in this role, and her performance is worth looking forward to for the following three parts of this movie event.

Bassinger had a daunting task ahead of her playing off against the iconic Donna Mills, but damn if she didn’t hold her own!

A girl could watch those two fabulous women play off one another for hours! Every scene they shared together had me dipping into my popcorn bowl, eyes glued to the screen.

Their constant game of back and forth and power struggle was truly at the center of this film, and it was all the better for it because Dawn and Lillian were just fun to watch.

Everyone else was playing checkers while these two women were playing chess, and it was evident that no one had ever challenged the HBIC that is Lillian Cutler.

By the end of the film, she even respected Dawn for having the gumption to hold her own against her. Dawn had that Longchamp sweetness to her at the start of the movie, but she proved to have a ruthless, cutthroat Cutler streak, too.

In our Brec Bassinger interview, we spoke about how freaking fierce Dawn was, and there was no shortage of that as we watched her go from a seemingly sweet, loving girl from the wrong side of the tracks facing off against snobby brats to fighting for her life in that hotel of horrors.

Life was okay for Dawn, except she and her family were hovering on the poverty line and bounced around regularly as her hot Zaddy chased after new jobs.

Speaking of the hot zaddy in question, it came as a hell of a reality check that Jesse Metcalfe could just casually play the lumberjack daddy of a teenager. When did that happen?

The only thing more distracting than processing that John Tucker himself was even old enough to pull off this role was that obnoxious Bostonian accent of his.

But alas, a girl could ignore it because he pulled off the bearded ’70s look quite well.

Ormand seemed cool enough, just a bit naive about everything around him. He was a loving family man, hardworking and pretty, but just a smidge dumb AF.

When you know you’re somehow involved in the disappearance of a pretty, rich blonde girl, the last thing you should do is go anywhere near where the deed happened. I’m 100% “Free Ormand,” and would happily get a t-shirt made, but I need Ormand to be wiser about his choices is all.

They had “Wanted” posters of Ormand and Sally plastered on bulletin boards. They should’ve hauled ass as soon as they realized their kids were at the same school as the Cutlers.

Ormand also royally screwed up by not dragging Sally kicking and screaming to the hospital when her cough got serious, and they wouldn’t have had to worry about her dying from tuberculosis.

Even in the ’70s, healthcare sucked for poor people.

But even Sally’s death didn’t come as a surprise since the only characters that fare worse in these series than walking-dead moms are the random babies and younger siblings who disappear into oblivion, never to be seen or heard from again.

What’s the over/under on us ever seeing Fern again?

They definitely stayed on Dawn’s neck with this one when you consider from the time her mother died — she was on a steady path of all the sh*t getting thrown at her at once with literally no time to process a single damn thing.

Sally wasn’t even cold yet, and Ormand was getting hauled to jail, and some detective dropped Dawn off at the Cutler home like he was doing our girl a damn favor.

And, sure, maybe on the surface, it would seem like a dream come true to learn that you’ve risen from squalor to filthy rich, but hell, they were still treating Dawn like the literal help the entire movie, and she didn’t even get to bond with any of her newfound family.

Before we learned that Lillian had arranged for Dawn’s disappearance so she wouldn’t be a stain on the family name, one wondered why they even bothered having her return to that place!

They had NO love for Genny from the Block. From the moment she stepped foot out of that car, it was evident that she could’ve stayed “dead.”

In all of their minds, she smelled like poor, may as well have been raised by wolves, and didn’t belong in their family at all.

Dawn had no transition period and went into this house of vipers without support.

Clara Jean hated her, and not even learning that they were siblings helped in any capacity. Dawn had to go from attending school with the Mean Girl who bullied her to living with her.

Strangely enough, Clara Jean would just occasionally float in to stir up the opposite of good trouble and then disappear again and overall just lacked real presence.

She rocked the pigtails well, but it would’ve been nice to have a better idea of how she ticked or even know what she contributed to the hotel since Lillian insisted everyone had to work in some capacity.

It didn’t seem like Clara Jean was under Lillian’s thumb like everyone else, but as far as plot devices go, she did what she had to do.

Philip didn’t have any real connection with anyone outside of Dawn.

Thankfully, unlike other protagonists, Dawn did not let her hoo-ha rule her, and her man-picker wasn’t broken beyond repair.

We can forgive her for the initial attraction to Philip. Baby Boy had that timeless type of hotness that’s attractive in every decade.

He was supposed to be serving us ’70s hotness, and he did, but he also had that similar “bad boy” look that would’ve had folks weak in the knees in the ’80s, ’90s, and a particularly uncertain time during the early 2000s.

The hair, the smile, that jawline, Philip was serving looks. But he was also giving peak Nepo baby energy, and he was true to form with that, given he was pressuring the heck out of Dawn to get down her pants before he found out she was his sister and upped the ante when he learned the truth.

There’s nothing like the entitlement and sexual deviancy of rich white boys who never had to face a consequence.

Philip genuinely believing that all the girls that fought him off during his sexual assaults were just partaking in the “song and dance” of seduction was enough to make a girl scream.

Dawn pulling his number the second she stepped foot in that house was a blessing, but then there’s the whole dicey Jimmy thing.

Jimmy was my boy. Yellowjackets‘ Khobe Clarke was charming in the role. Jimmy was cute, sweet, and knew how to throw hands in defense of his faux sister, and I respect that.

But he was delusional if he truly sat in Dawn’s face and said that he only just started thinking about her as a woman and not his sister after the truth came out.

Did he not know what his face looked like when he was watching Dawn in the bathroom while wearing that low-key see-through nightgown that highlighted her silhouette?

The boy was parched! And he had to climb into bed with her every night and pretend like he wasn’t getting hot and bothered over his damn sister.

I’m all for platonic bed sharing, but, like, even I can’t make hormonal teenaged siblings in barely there sleep attire sharing a pullout couch bed acceptable.

Sharing a room? Sure, whatever, but a bed? Heaven’s no!

It didn’t help matters that Jimmy absolutely nailed whatever you call the ’70s equivalent of that look a dude gives you five minutes into Netflix and Chill.

The heart-eyes were heart-eying. Shockingly, Dawn didn’t pick up on that at all.

But, like everything else, she barely had the time to adapt to the notion that the guy she thought was her brother for 16 years wasn’t anymore before he was spitting his game to her and lowkey shooting his shot too.

Credit where it’s due, Jimmy-kins wanted to be honest with Dawn and not make a move. And he was more than willing to bounce to avoid things being awkward.

It meant he was lightyears ahead of pervy Philip.

But Dawn’s coping with her latest traumas and corrosion of her life consisted of falling lips first into Jimmy, taking their trauma bonding to another level by just casually accepting that since they’re no longer related, they can just jump each other’s bones.

It makes them one of the most normal and least problematic romances in the V.C. Andrews Universe, but also, how does one magically ignore that they were raised as siblings with someone for 16 years?

Is he her blood? No. Is he still her brother? Dammit, he is. And I stand on that ten toes down.

But our girl Dawn had her head on straight enough to finesse the hell out of the scandalous secret about her kidnapping and mystery paternity to haul ass out of there and pursue her dreams, so I’m going to let the shenanigans with Jimmy slide.

There wasn’t a single Cutler in that house that wasn’t the worst.

Randolph and his terrible hair and ascot basically let his mother neuter him, and he was pathetic.

Can we pour one out for how uninteresting Jason Cermak’s Randolph was here when he was serving us kind of sexy, depressed uncle-lover energy in V.C. Andrews’ Dark Angel not that long ago? A tragedy.

It actually came as a bit of relief that Randolph wasn’t biologically related to Dawn. I mean, she’s Stargirl, and he’s just Randolph.

And Laura Jean was coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs. But I cannot lie; I, too, would rather hide away in my room with a taxidermy cat than spend a moment getting glared down by those piercing blue peepers of Lillian, The Ice Queen.

It’s honestly a wonder Lillian didn’t have Laura Jean taken out for her infidelity and foolishness.

Lillian was just gangsta enough to pull it off.

And that’s why frankly, even though she was a terrifying presence and did some unspeakable things to Dawn (because that strip-down search probably violated the Geneva Convention), she was so wicked it was good.

When you get a load of the other Cutler lot, it’s no wonder Lillian is running sh*t. I can’t help but respect her for it. I genuinely loved all the OG Dynasty energy she radiated!

And can we take a moment to appreciate how much of a damn GILF Donna Mills was in this role? Was Lillian awful and evil? Undoubtedly.

Was she also serving LOOKS, hot AF, and stealing every damn scene she was in? Yes, baby! Auntie Donna is GOALS, you guys! We should only be so damn lucky to radiate that type of regal energy someday.

Mills and Bassinger carried Dawn on their backs, and I was 100% here for it! Get our girls a massage, pronto! They’ve earned it.

I also have to give a shoutout to Mrs. Boston, who was spilling more tea than the Boston Harbor but so slyly that she didn’t come off as a gossip. She was quite the scene-stealer.

Dawn played her card, literally forced Lillian to put some respect on her name, and is off to study music in the best school in the country.

Are you ready to follow her next chapter? Because we’re in this for the long run, so we’ll be there if you are. And don’t forget to keep your eyes out for more exclusives, too.

Over to you, V.C. Andrews Fanatics.

How much did you enjoy Dawn? Are we rooting for Dawn and Jimmy? Did they pull off this saga well? Hit the comments.

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You’ll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on Twitter.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Abbott Elementary Season 3 Episode 10 Review: 2 Ava 2 Fest
‘Wednesday’ Season 2: Everything We Know About The Cast, Premiere Date & More
TMZ TV Hot Takes: Will Smith Crashing Coachella, Traylor Kissing, Rob Gronkowski Spikes Pitch
Under the Bridge: The True Story Behind the Murder of Reena Virk
FBI Season 6 Episode 9 Review: Best Laid Plans

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *