Filmed in Austin and Lockhart, Texas, by Bonnie Raskin Prods. and NBC Prods. Exec producer, Bonnie Raskin; producers, Jay Benson, John Leekley; Texas producers, Dwight Adair, Bob Carter; director, Christopher Leitch; writer, Leekley; camera, Robert Primes; editor, John Duffy; sound, Richard Shexnayder; music, Pray for Rain; song “Scared by Love” by Gerald V. Casale/Mark Mothersbaugh; production designer, Cary White. TX:Cast: Brian Austin Green, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Isabella Hofmann, David Lipper, Maureen Flannigan, Keith MacKechnie, Jessie Robertson, Babs George, Marietta Marich, Jill Parker-Jones, Richard A. Jones, Ashley Jones, Rachel Wolfe, Lisa Cangelosi, Reed Frerichs, Christopher Dahlberg, Shane Steiner, K. Scarlett McAlister, Lidia Porto, Tonie Perenski, John Mansfield, Alex Allen Morris, Aaron Izbicki, Melodee Bowman. Acautionary, even sociological drama about a high-schooler anxious to join a hoity-toity group of undergrads turns dark under Christopher Leitch’s astute direction when the doll-faced girl, after undergoing initiation rites, is raped and publicly smeared. John Leekley’s script, despite plot weaknesses, creates vibrant characters and does wave a warning banner about social values and easy virtue. She goes for help, but people are doubtful; her mother, Avon (Isabella Hofmann), who was raped when she was 17, helps her in the fight of her life.
TX:The Crew joins forces behind Jace’s lies, as does Ethan, and she’s publicly humiliated with signs and snubs. Though she reports the incident, the school principal (Babs George) refuses to condemn the young gridders and girls. But one teacher (Marietta Marich) sees through just about everything and tries protesting. Federal agent appears with the news that no one can harass you in school about your sex life. The whole mess turns on the device of Jace letting something slip to Ethan.
Early frank scenes of Caitlin kissing Ethan’s torso border on teenage sexploitation. As convenient plot-outs, the decent schoolteacher is tossed aside and the federal agent simply vanishes. These are almost acceptable twists, but Caitlin’s new attitude toward Ethan doesn’t wash. The vidpic builds to a terrible letdown.
TX:Telefilm lensed shrewdly by Robert Primes flirts with violence and sexual abundance to sell its urgent message. Cary White’s production design looks sharp , and John Duffy’s editing is superior. Leekley, despite the excesses, has spotlighted a fearsome corner of Americana; in that, he’s provided a strong caveat.