‘Dying to Belong’: The Lifetime Original Movie Then & Now


Lifetime is giving remakes the old college try! In the original 1997 version of Dying to Belong, starring Hilary Swank (now streaming on the Lifetime Movie Club service), a pledge-hazing gone tragically wrong rocks the Pi Gamma Beta sorority at Anders University and leads to a campus cover-up. Now, two decades later, the update shows that the more things change, the more they stay insane.

Hell Week

Then: Gothic candle-lit ceremonies, dark robes, blood oaths, booze, and body shaming.

Now: Grueling foot races, capture-the-flag challenges, ice baths, booze, and body shaming.

The Vibe

Then: Flannel, frat guys being encouraged to sexually harass coeds and a lot of white folks.

Now: Athleisure, #MeToo talk, diversity.

Tragedy Strikes

Then: Eager-to-impress freshman Shelby (Blossom’s Jenna von Oy) falls to her death after being bullied (by ScrubsSarah Chalke, among others!) into hanging a banner from a campus building.

Now: Generalized anxiety disorder sufferer Riley (Jenika Rose) falls to her death after being bullied into climbing an obstacle course wall.

The Lie

Then: Shelby went rogue in hopes of winning the “Sisterhood Award” and lost her footing.

Now: Riley went off her meds and died by suicide.

Beverly Hills, 90210 Alum

Then: Future Oscar winner Swank (above, with Mark-Paul Gosselaar) starred as Shelby’s grieving roommate, aspiring journalist Lisa Connors, who refused to believe the Pi Gamma story.

Now: Shannen Doherty stars as Riley’s grieving mother, who teams with Lisa-ish journalism student Olivia Rivera (Favour Onwuka) to try to debunk the Pi Gamma story.

Moral of the story

Then: Maybe join mathletes instead?

Now: The same!

Dying to Belong, Movie Premiere, Saturday, October 9, 8/7c, Lifetime