I don't remember this well enough to rate it.

Not Like Everyone Else, on Lifetime
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Caution: potential spoilers.

It begins with Brandi Blackbear (Alia Shawkat) and her family and lawyers heading into a trial with lots of protesters outside. Which of course immediately put me on edge, and made it clear that the story is about a modern day witch-hunt. I've always hated witch-hunts, whether literal or metaphorical. It was bad enough in the 1600s, but for it to be happening today seriously pisses me off, and scares me... because it shows that human beings continue to be unspeakably stupid and intolerant and perhaps always will be. I don't like being reminded of the nature of the species to which I belong.

But then the story flashes back almost a year. Brandi was in fact not a Wiccan at all, though she dressed in a somewhat gothlike way, and wrote horror stories. She wasn't really popular, but didn't care. She did however care when popular kids bullied her or her friends. Not that she seemed to have a lot of friends, but there were a couple of them, at least. Anyway, some of the kids who didn't like Brandi made false accusations that she had threatened to shoot people, and because of heightened paranoia following the recent Columbine shootings (this was in 1999), as well as the kinds of things Brandi wrote, she was suspended for a little while. The next school year, her friend Casey started hanging out with the popular kids who had spread lies about Brandi, so now her only friend seemed to be Kyle, who never seemed to take anything very seriously, but he was, it seemed to me, in a rather abstract, sarcastic way, anti-establishment. But not seriously. Anyway, he was, like Brandi, an independent thinker. There was also a new student at school named Noah, who wanted to become friends with Brandi (and seemed to perhaps have a bit of a crush on her).

One day, Kyle discovered a book in the school library, on world religions, including Wicca. He showed it to Brandi, suggested it might be good research for her stories. Some elements of Wicca also remind her of Native American traditions (she's half Native American, herself). Some of the other kids heard them talking about the book, and soon accused Brandi of witchcraft. There was also an art teacher named Mr. Gray, who was actually pretty cool, and understanding. But when he got sick, the kids thought Brandi had put a spell on him. Everyone started getting scared of her. Naturally enough, she was upset by all the false rumors and stuff, and she didn't react well to it. Some of her sarcastic comments were taken seriously by her moronic fellow students, of course. And Kyle tended to say lots of sarcastic things to people, himself, and got in a bit of trouble, though not nearly as much as Brandi. She was suspended again, and as things got worse for her, she got upset that he seemed to think everything was a big joke. But he really just never expected everyone to be so unbelievably stupid as to take all this seriously. Meanwhile, things were getting worse for other students besides Brandi. The school confiscated Casey's laptop because of "subversive materials" on it... song lyrics she'd written. Her so-called friends had turned her in, so she was alone, but soon made up with Brandi. And Brandi also made up with Kyle, and Noah, who'd been ignoring her lately, also got back on her side.

But another important thing that happened was that Brandi's relationship with her father began to improve. The family never had much money, so both parents worked as much as they could. While her mother was constantly on her side, her father tended to ignore her, and when not working spent more time with Brandi's brother. He often took his son to see like a shaman or something, getting in touch with their Native American heritage, but he never took Brandi. He really didn't want to deal with her, because she was different. Eventually we learn the reason for his feelings. But even before that... he begins to realize that his daughter has been mistreated by the school, and he and Brandi's mother eventually go to the ACLU, who think they have a good case against the school.

And... that's all I'm gonna say about the plot. Don't want to spoil how it ends. But it's based on a true story, and it was definitely a story that needed to be told.

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