Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The tyranny, cruelty, and sheer hell of high-school peer pressure and teen bullying has seldom been so vividly realized as in this made-for-cable drama, which some critics have likened to the theatrical feature Mean Girls. Alexa Vega heads the cast as Vanessa, a popular straight-A student who enjoys the friendship of campus queen Stacey (Leah Pipes). But when a quarrel fomented by a couple of Stacey's envious hangers-on results in a rift between Stacey and Vanessa, the latter girl suddenly finds herself persona non grata. Treated as a leper by her schoolmates, Stacey is not only exiled from the "cool" lunch table and subjected to vicious insults and accusations in the hallway, but she is also victimized by a "Hate Stacey" website -- but when her mom, Barbara (Lisa Vidal), complains to the principal, she is bluntly told that the school has no authority over any non-school activities, no matter how odious they may be. Driven to desperation by this onslaught of hostility, Vanessa becomes dangerously self-destructive, and it takes the combined efforts of her mother and her fellow "outcast" Emily (Shari Dyon Perry) to restore our heroine's pride and self-esteem...and, ultimately, to get her real priorities back on track. Director Tom McLoughlin, hitherto a specialist in horror films, invests this adaptation of Rachel Simmons' novel with just the right amount of foreboding and subliminal evil. First telecast by the Lifetime channel on April 4, 2005, Odd Girl Out obviously struck a nerve with viewers, if the incredible outpouring of audience response in both print and on the Internet is any indication.