On Lifetime, Rob Lowe gets what he wants, and he's gone from playing Amanda Knox's lawyer to starring in an adaptation of the Narcy and Ben Novack, Jr. murder case, which has a lot of ground to cover. So, will there be a Beautiful & Twisted sequel? Well, of course Lifetime will wait for the ratings before they make a final decision, but the story sounds so much like a cross between a Carl Hiaasen novel and an episode of Dateline that I can't imagine why they wouldn't want a sequel, but the reality of putting one together when the story is based on true events is a very different animal.
If this wasn't based on a true story involving real people, it's definitely the type of story that would benefit from a little sequelitis: Narcy gets her revenge on high school bullies, Narcy seduces OJ, Narcy goes to space to have a fight/threeway with Freddy and Jason. However, turning Narcy Novack into a cartoon slasher villain is probably too disrespectful to Novack's actual victims (even for Lifetime).
Instead, they could write a sequel focusing on the trial, which continued the craziness that seemed to follow this family just about everywhere. Narcy and her brother, Cristobal Veliz, her co-conspirator, decided to blame her daughter, May Abad, for the murder. She had worked for Ben's highly profitable company while he was alive, after all. Abad claimed that once Novack and Veliz decided that she would be the patsy (even before the deaths were ruled a homicide and the police started to suspect Novack) they began to threaten and intimidate her, and the cops couldn't help.
They flew me up to New York and told me that my life was being threatened, then flew me back to Florida. So, basically, they told me I was in danger, then didn’t do anything about it except to tell me to protect myself.
A second movie with Abad as the protagonist and an increasingly aggressive Narcy could be some icy Mommy Dearest realness. The only problem — all those details may already be covered in Beautiful & Twisted, which simply has to end with a shot of Narcy, a totally unglam 56-year-old, being hauled away to prison. I mean, I don't see how they wouldn't jump at the chance to have Paz Vega in old-age makeup reenacting Novack's interrogation.
While a good courtroom drama is irresistible, I can't help but feel that the most exciting part of the Novack story has passed... because Rob Lowe and Candice Bergen, as the wealthy mother and son Bernice and Ben, look like they are giving their best impressions of a grown up, slightly less campy Gloria and Dandy Mott. And that's going to hard to top, especially if the courtroom stuff is already glanced over in Beautiful & Twisted.
And it's not quite a true sequel, but Lifetime will be airing a companion documentary, Beyond the Headlines: The Novack Murders, about the real facts behind the case, which will probably including just how unglamorous and unsexy these murders actually were, despite the couple's very real initial attraction. It'll be on right after Beautiful & Twisted, so you don't have to spend your whole night curiously Googling all the details about the real Narcy Novack.
Image: Jack Zeman/Lifetime