A Deadly Adoption

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
A Deadly Adoption TV Poster Image
Thriller spoof with comic stars confuses, falls flat.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Vulnerable folks connecting with bad people is never good.    

Positive Role Models & Representations

A cheating parent, conniving criminals. 


An accident and a miscarriage, neither of which is graphic. Punches, kidnappings, gunshots, murder. 


Pregnancy, infidelity themes. People in underwear. 


"Slut," "hell," "damn."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Beer drinking; alcoholism discussed. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that A Deadly Adoption is a parody of a classic Lifetime-style thriller but still features strong themes such as infidelity, pregnancy, loss, kidnapping, and murder. There are occasional punches and a few bloody wounds. Expect the occasional iffy word ("hell," "damn," "slut") and some drinking. Alcoholism also is discussed. 

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What's the story?

A DEADLY ADOPTION is a Lifetime movie about a couple who find themselves in a difficult situation after deciding to adopt a woman's unborn child. Five years after wealthy author Robert Benson (William Ferrell) and his wife, Sarah (Kristen Wiig), lose their unborn baby to a freak lake accident, they decide to open their home to Bridgette (Jessica Lowndes), a young woman who is six months pregnant, and adopt her baby. But as she becomes part of their household and gets to know the couple and their beloved, diabetic young daughter Sully (Alyvia Alyn Linda) better, Bridgette doesn’t seem to be who she claims to be. 

Is it any good?

The movie attempts to spoof Lifetime's classic campy-thriller formula, which this time features a troubled couple being preyed on by a deceitful pregnant woman and her lowbrow significant other. But, despite the movie's best intentions, it fails to deliver most of the expected humor you'd think would come from watching Wiig and Ferrell play it straight. Once you get beyond the novelty of seeing these two out of their element, it's just a string of endless melodramatic moments that fail to take the parody far enough to make its point -- or to generate much laughter. 

Not even the performances of superstar comedians such as Ferrell and Wiig can help the sometimes-sluggish narrative. Those tuning in who aren't familiar with the duo's SNL comedy style also may find it hard to figure out exactly why the tone is slightly off. All this being said, though it isn't the sharpest parody ever produced, it certainly has the potential makings of a cult classic. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about parodies. Parodies are supposed to imitate and exaggerate things for comic effect. What is the purpose behind doing this? Do you think this movie succeeds at it? 

  • Why do you think these kids of dramatic, over-the-top movies are so popular? 

TV details

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For kids who love drama

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