A Killing Secret, staring Ari Meyers (Family Blessings, Confessions: Two Faces of Evil) and Mark Kassen (Growing Up Brady, various After School Specials), delivers two of the most important aspects of Lifetime Movie Network films: killing and secrets. It is also a tour de force of one of the oft-ignored but vitally important components of Television for Women: exposed midriffs.

Meyers and Kassen play Nicole and Greg, a high school couple who has it all – she’s a blonde cheerleader, he’s a dashing football captain, and they’re both rich, attractive, and popular. They attend a lot of pool parties where they light-heartedly splash each other. After graduation, they plan on attending college together and eventually getting married.

But! Little does Nicole know that while she and Greg have only innocently been exploring heavy petting in popular teenage hangouts, Greg has been going to an abandoned shack and secretly banging a poor unpopular brunette girl (Soleil Moon Frye) who tries to look and act nothing like Punky Brewster, who even looks as if she’s just exploring some new roles, really pushing her talents to the limit, breaking out of the constraints of her casting type. You know, someone who can handle serious roles in feature-length productions and hold her own on the bronze screen with heavy-hitting established LMN stars. Anyway, Greg kills her fifteen minutes into the movie when he finds out she’s pregnant, wraps her in some trash bags, drops her in a lake, and then keeps it a secret. It is up for debate whether Soleil Moon Frye saw this coming or not – she looked pretty surprised, but it could have been the acting.

For the rest of the movie, Nicole slowly uncovers the secrets of the killing. She’s a little slow, though, and doesn’t quite put two and two together even though the evidence is piling up faster than tissues next to an internet porno addict’s computer: she finds out that Soleil was his secret underprivileged unpopular easy girlfriend, she discovers that Soleil was pregnant with his child (which is a really daring, non-Punky Brewster thing to be), and she uncovers that Greg doesn’t really deny the murder or is even very sad that his po’ ho has turned up brutally murdered. Finally, she finds a tiny button in the secret shack that belonged to Soliel and she puts it all together. Somehow. Then Greg tries to kill her but he has an emotional breakdown and confesses to everything.

But the real star of this movie is Nicole’s bare midriff, which peaks out of every single outfit that Nicole wears during the film. No matter whether she’s at a lake party or attending a funeral, her tanned, toned abs are flashing and flexing their way through every single one of Nicole’s emotional revelations and discoveries of secrets. I would estimate that her navel has ten times the screen time as Punky – I mean, Soleil Moon Frye.

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