Network: ABC Family
Original Air Date: July 17, 2011
Emily Osment ... Taylor Hillridge
Kelly Rowan ... (Taylor's Mom) Kris Hillridge
Kay Panabaker ... Samantha Caldone
Jon McLaren ... Scott Ozsik
Meaghan Rath ... Cheyenne Mortenson
Jade Hassouné ... Caleb
Nastassia Markiewicz ... Lindsay Fordyce
Robert Naylor ... Eric Hillridge
Caroline Redekopp ... Karen Caldone
Ronda Louis-Jeune ... Becca
ABC Family's two-hour original movie, "Cyberbully," follows Taylor Hillridge (Osment), a teenage girl who falls victim to online bullying, and the cost it nearly takes on her and her family. Taylor is a pretty 17-year-old high school student but a little awkward, and painfully aware of it. When her mom gives her a computer for her birthday, Taylor is excited by the prospect of freedom and the independence of going online without her mother always looking over her shoulder. However, Taylor soon finds herself the victim of betrayal and bullying while visiting a social website, and afraid to face her peers at school, including her best friend (Panabaker), she is pushed to a breaking point. It's only after this life-changing event that Taylor learns that she is not alone - meeting other teens, including a classmate, who have had similar experiences. Taylor's mom, Kris (Rowan), reels from the incident and takes on the school system and state legislation to help prevent others from going through the same harrowing ordeal as her daughter.
"Cyberbully" was written by Teena Booth and directed by Charles Binamé. Executive producers are Michael Prupas and Joel Rice.
Emily Osment single “Drift” premieres in the ABC Family Original Movie “Cyberbully.”
Listen to it, here.
Emily Osment reminds me of Reese Witherspoon and my best friend, back in high school (just a few, (gulping), years ago!). Emily is such a sweet girl, best known for her wholesome Disney image and role as Lilly, on Hannah Montana - which I guess is why this movie is all the more intriguing.
My thoughts after watching...
Wow! This movie was extremely intense and powerful. I'm hoping it has opened the eyes of many young people and parents. Bullying is real in person and on-line.
Parents should always beware of any social-networking site that a child/teen is active in.
I found this movie to be very realistic for all of the first part. Taylor Hillridge (Osment), is totally attacked on-line and called horrible names. Classmates and total strangers are rude, mean, and relentless in spreading terrible lies. There is a lot of typing back and forth on their computers, etc... and it's difficult sometimes to catch it all - but lots of cursing and slang lingo was used to stereotype Taylor as being - well,... a slut. Which, she isn't.
This movie is definitely not for younger viewers. Mature Pre-teens and Teenagers need to see this show - to hopefully prevent further bullying and warn them against potential dangers online. Taylor learns that two people who have injured her the most on-line are actually people she thought she could trust - first, her brother and then, her supposed best friend, Samantha.
The part I didn't find to be truly realistic... After Samantha betrayed Taylor and bullied her almost to the point of taking her life, Taylor learns what her friend did and eventually forgives Samantha, choosing to be her friend again. She states that it may not be in the same way (well, duh?) - but, I personally don't know how she could ever trust her again. Forgiveness is one thing, but actually being her friend again was unrealistic for me. They also confront the bullies at school together - in the lunchroom and other students stand up and support them. The bullies eventually just walk out - acting defeated. Would that happen in real life? - most likely not.
Overall, however, there is a good message in this movie. Taylor's mother is very sweet and somewhat overprotective, yet this attack came upon her daughter so quickly, she couldn't prevent the emotional turmoil it caused in Taylor. She does her best to help her daughter - telling Taylor her life is precious and eventually she takes her to a support group. It was good for Taylor and others to learn and understand that they are not alone in this.
See or Skip:
See... especially Parents and Tweens/Teens who are on Social Networking Sites.
Skip... for Young Viewers and Family Movie Night!
|*Emily Osment at the ABC Family Premiere of Cyberbully.|