Entertainment

Highway To Heaven On Lifetime, A Reboot Of The ‘80s Drama With Jill Scott And Barry Watson Providing Heavenly Assistance

Freeway To Heaven was Michael Landon’s final collection; for 4 years, he and Victor French rode across the nation giving heavenly help to these in want. Now the favored collection is being revived as a collection of Lifetime motion pictures. This time, Jill Scott performs Angela, an angel of a unique type than Landon’s Johnathan Smith. Learn on for extra.

The Gist: Angela Stewart (Jill Scott) walks right into a center faculty in Boulder, Colorado, trying to fill a short lived opening for a steering counselor. The principal, Bruce Brooks (Barry Watson) loves her credentials, however wonders why she’s making use of for a short lived spot. However he hires her, and straight away she’s put into service to assist Cody Grier (Ben Daon), a vibrant Eighth-grader who has been doing nothing however getting himself in bother since his mom died the yr earlier than.

We already know that Angela has assist from “the boss,” who does issues like assist flowers bloom when she appears at them. So she tries to get Cody to open up about how his mom’s dying has affected him. She offers him a journey house with a purpose to introduce herself to his dad Jeff (Robert Moloney). He’s a chef who was going to open a restaurant with Cody’s mom Melissa (Ashley Ross), and by no means revisited these plans after she died. He has put all indicators of Melissa in a utility room closet, considering that’s the perfect for Cody.

By way of a number of of Angela’s actions, she discovers that Cody needs to see this stuff, and within the technique of getting the closet open, a bunch of previous vacation presents spill out. One of many newest ones has the return deal with of a math tutoring web site. He’s failing math, so she indicators him up. There, he’s taught by a 12-year-old prodigy named Kaia (Sasha Rojen).

As she probes Cody and Jeff to search out out extra about why the 2 of them have each shut down in their very own methods, she arranges Kaia and Cody to fulfill in particular person and create a robotic for a faculty robotics match. It’s there that Cody sees the identical photograph of his mom that he noticed within the utility room closet.

That is when he finds out for the primary time that Kaia is his cousin and that Kaia’s mother, Vanessa (Victoria Bidewell), was near his mother till her preliminary most cancers prognosis when he was a child. After Vanessa panicked and deserted Melissa, Jeff reduce off contact.

Within the meantime, Angela and Barry are rapidly turning into buddies. After a enjoyable day on the “batting area,” as she calls it, they return to her residence (only for him to make use of the toilet), and he sees that there isn’t a baggage or the rest; that is after he couldn’t discover her on the alumni record of the school the place she stated she went.

That is when she admits to Barry that she’s an angel, despatched not solely to assist out Cody but in addition Barry. In fact, Barry doesn’t consider her, and appears to fireplace her after he witnesses her utilizing Cody’s faculty e-mail to ask his aunt and cousin to the match. Will he come round, and can Angela have the ability to deliver Cody’s household again collectively?

Highway To Heaven
Photograph: Lifetime

What Films Will It Remind You Of?: Whereas this can be a remake of Michael Landon’s Freeway To Heaven, which ran from 1984-89, this new model of the collection feels a little bit extra like Touched By An Angel, for causes we’ll clarify under.

Efficiency Price Watching: Jill Scott is extremely charming because the perpetually constructive Angela. She doesn’t make the position too saccharine, and provides her angelic character numerous coronary heart and simply the correct quantity of wiseacre angle to make her as human as any of the human characters within the film.

Memorable Dialogue: We stored fixating on the “1996 BASEBALL” pennant behind Barry’s desk. We all know he was on the baseball crew of his school, and virtually went professional. However that pennant is so generic, we marvel why they didn’t cheer “YAY SPORTS!” sooner or later in the course of the film.

Intercourse and Pores and skin: None. The film is rated TV-G, and is certainly OK for youths 7 and up.

Our Take: This new Freeway To Heaven collection, written by Angelica Chéri and Cathryn Humphris — Landon’s property produces it together with Scott and Howard Braunstein — is meant to be the primary of a collection of films on Lifetime. It’s fairly clearly an introduction to Angela, Barry, and the way the 2 got here to work collectively to present folks across the nation some heavenly help of their troubled lives.

The 90-minute movie (with out commercials) establishes this origin story properly, however for probably the most half, the story’s throwback really feel made us simply wish to watch the reruns of Landon’s model once more. It’s such a light-weight story, even though it includes a lifeless mom, a disaffected teenager, and an estranged sister, that with out the attraction of Scott and her chemistry with Watson tying it down, it will float out of our reminiscences virtually immediately.

One factor we have now to get out of the way in which earlier than we go on: This model of Freeway To Heaven comes dangerously near perpetuating the trope the place a “magical” Black particular person comes and provides smart counsel and help to a largely white forged. More often than not, it’s a supporting participant. However right here, it’s the star. Scott’s aura and power overcome this trope, and we hope subsequent movies have extra various casts, however the unlucky option to make the remainder of the forged principally white could invite some backlash.

And one other factor: The place is a few of this “magic” that Angela is utilizing, the place she will ship emails, make flowers bloom or shut and lock doorways with out touching them? Is that this the identical as “The Stuff” that Landon’s angelic character had at his disposal? It looks like Angela has extra direct “powers” than Johnathan Smith did, which makes the present really feel extra mystical, akin to Touched By An Angel than the extra down-to-earth Landon collection.

However all that being stated, if Scott and Watson can show the identical chemistry that they did on this first film, the brand new Freeway To Heaven will nonetheless be very watchable, regardless of what’s more likely to be a large high quality swing for every story.

Our Name: STREAM IT. The brand new Freeway To Heaven isn’t intellectual by any means, but it surely’s good household leisure, with a extremely successful lead efficiency by Jill Scott.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about meals, leisure, parenting and tech, however he doesn’t child himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared within the New York Instances, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Quick Firm and elsewhere.

Stream Highway To Heaven On MyLifetime.com

https://decider.com/2021/11/08/highway-to-heaven-lifetime-review/ | Stream It Or Skip It?

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