A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know Seeds of Yesterday is a TV movie based on a series of pulp novels about a highly unusual family. The central characters in the series are a brother-sister pair who wind up married. In this outing, the couple makes out passionately on the bed before the camera pulls away, with implied sex offscreen. A woman sinks to her knees, implying oral sex is to follow; family members, related by blood or by marriage and adoption, flirt with each other and sometimes carry on extramarital intra-family affairs. Women are frequently disparaged for being "evil" temptresses; one character in particular is frequently called "slutty" while others are called "whore" or "b---h." Cursing includes "hell," "damn," "ass," "b---h," and "d--khead." A man tells another he treats women as "sperm deposits." Characters die or are suddenly seriously injured, on- or offscreen. One character attempts suicide. An underage teen says she has a fake ID and drinks from a flask; others drink beer, champagne, and liquor. A man cuts himself in what appears to be a fetishistic manner during a religious ceremony.
What's the story?
SEEDS OF YESTERDAY, the fourth installment of Lifetime dramas based on the gothic Flowers in the Attic book series by V.C. Andrews, picks up with the Dollanganger clan getting back together for a big party to celebrate Bart Jr.'s (James Maslow) 25th birthday. The party's setting: the creepy Foxworth mansion that Bart has built in exacting detail after the house that his mother Cathy (Rachael Carpani) and adopted dad Chris (Jason Lewis) were imprisoned in in the original Flowers in the Attic. When a sudden, suspicious accident fells brother Jory (Anthony Konechny), Bart starts taking an unhealthy interest in Jory's wife Melodie (Leah Gibson), not to mention his own adopted sister Cindy Sheffield (Sammi Hanratty). More tragedies are in store for the Dollanganger family with this largely faithful adaptation, and, as always, mishaps galore befall them.
Is it any good?
As with the other movies in this series and the books themselves, the whole thing is a trashy hoot. Incest must be hotter than you'd think, because the minute Chris and Cathy are left alone together, in their son's house, on an exact replica of the swan's bed that symbolized their mother's unfeeling decadence in the first Flowers in the Attic movie, they start groping each other like teenagers. Granted, the film's just giving its audience what it wants; without the creepy-yet-titillating incest angle, Flowers in the Attic would be just another gothic horror novel. The younger, "refill" characters in Seeds are clearly following the family pattern, with Cindy exclaiming. "When did Bart get so effing hot?" the moment she lays eyes on her adopted brother, and he returns the favor by spying on her while she swims in her bikini.
Your enjoyment of this movie will largely depend on how much you like campy drama and the original books. There's no shortage of scenery-chewing in this movie, nor is anything ever telegraphed delicately when it can be revealed in clunky dialogue: "You know I haven't been able to leave this room since the accident!" cries Melodie. "This house has no power over us," says solemn Chris. "We're not mother's Dresden dolls locked up in the attic anymore." "Mother, you wore red. You always knew how to please me," says Bart to Cathy. Pass the popcorn.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the premise of a family with members unhealthily intertwined. Is the viewer supposed to be disgusted by the Dollanganger family? Amused? Intrigued? What dialogue, props, or setting clues does the drama offer the viewer as a hint of to how to feel?
Have you watched the other movies in this series? How does this one stack up to the other three Flowers in the Attic TV movies? Why do you think people have enjoyed these stories for so many years?
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