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Villainess Review: Maria Delgado (My Fatal Social Following)

A high school student's investigation into the disappearance of her best friend unveils a surprising and fiendish conspiracy in this 2024 Lifetime film

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished about a month ago 4 min read
Malone Thomas as Maria Delgado

I literally beamed when I went to Lifetime Movie Club and saw an actual new original film hit the online site: My Fatal Social Following. The reason for my elation is simple--it's because Lifetime Movie Club originals are villainess magnets. I'm dead serious, I really wish that Lifetime would release more original movies to LMC. It all started with the film, Dead in the Water, back in 2021, but the aforementioned recent film is only the eighth LMC original released since then. Now, I'm not asking that they release them by the bunches like Tubi, who releases about four or five Lifetime-esque thrillers per month! All I ask is that we get a Lifetime Movie Club exclusive thriller just once a month. That's not too much to ask.

Regarding this latest film, it centers on Julia, who was returning to school for the first time after the disappearance of her best friend, Nina Reynolds. Nina had been presumed deceased, and as Julia returns to school, she is hit with cruel accusations of killing Nina, with the main culprit behind the bullying accusations being mean girl Brittany. One of the few allies Julia had at school was her teacher, Maria Delgado, who served as a sympathetic ear for Julia.

Suddenly, Julia starts receiving text messages from a group simply known as "The Family," which included promises of being welcomed, accepted, and loved (if you will)--all coming from someone known as "F." How Pretty Little Liars of them. All the while, Julia continues receiving taunts from Brittany, with another student, Adam, serving as an ally for Julia against Brittany--who actually outs Adam in a form of petty retribution. Seriously, that was one of many reasons why I couldn't help but laugh when The Family basically humiliated Brittany by setting up an apology in her name which exposed Brittany as a toxic witch.

So anyway, the messages from "F" become quite sinister, as they order Julia to engage in some immoral methods, including exposing the mayor's misdeeds at a gathering. All the while, Julia's looking for answers in Nina's disappearance, and it's an investigation that reveals that Nina's boyfriend, Matt, was also looking into The Family, as he felt they had something to do with Nina's disappearance. Speaking of the group, they wanted Julia to do something to Adam, but Julia warns Adam about this. We see Julia abducted by The Family, and after the covering is removed, Julia sees that "The Family" is basically a random group of teenage girls. That's one surprising revelation. A bigger one comes much later, as Julia sees the leader emerge, and it's none other than Maria.

Maria revealed to Julia that she formed the faction to help women and girls everywhere, while stating that women and girls are seen as less than all over the world. She later reveals her other objective: she wants her faction to eliminate all men, and it's followed by Julia receiving the biggest shock of all: Nina was alive, having been inside the barn. Afterwards, Maria presented Adam, tied up, to the group, and she ordered Julia to kill Adam. Her maniacal order included scolding Julia for befriending Adam and humanizing him and all men, but at that moment, Julia actually pointed the gun at Maria and attempted to fire...only to learn that the gun wasn't loaded.

Maria later tasks Nina with "re-educating" Julia, but once the girls are left alone, Nina reveals Maria's true insanity, stating that she had been brainwashing and imprisoning all of the girls under her control. Nina's rant was overheard by Maria, who was tackled by Julia, only for Maria to wrap her hands around Julia's neck. Nina knocked out the madwoman and saved Julia, and we would later see Adam rescued by Matt and Melissa (the latter being Julia's mother), followed by a group of police cars arriving at the scene. So the good guys were saved, the evil villainess was arrested, and Julia was reunited with her best friend and her other loved ones.

My Fatal Social Following (originally titled, Instacult) hit Lifetime Movie Club on June 7, 2024, and featured Malone Thomas as the evil Maria Delgado. LMC originals have had some delicious villainesses, and Maria Delgado continued that tradition. She was the poster child for the trope, "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"; a seemingly genial teacher whose friendly demeanor served as a cover for her true persona as a malevolent and insane cult leader. When that side of Maria comes out, we are treated to a very maniacal, bloodthirsty, and ruthless villainess, as well as immensely misandristic. Maria's also hypocritical in the worst way; she gives the tone of feminism, yet she basically exploits and mentally abuses the girls in her control.

Malone Thomas' performance was absolutely stellar; she acted out Maria's generosity very well in the early scenes, but the reveal saw Thomas execute a perfect swan dive into Maria's demented demeanor. This was Thomas' first Lifetime film, and it was absolutely amazing; I hope she does more in the future. Regarding other appearances, Malone Thomas has also appeared in episodes of the Dynasty reboot, the MacGyver reboot, the Wonder Years reboot, and The Resident.

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Check out Maria Delgado's profile on Villainous Beauties Wiki!

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

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Comments (1)

  • Philip Gipsonabout a month ago

    What an insanely wicked villainess Maria Delgado is, and I'm pretty grateful that you wrote about her.

Clyde E. DawkinsWritten by Clyde E. Dawkins

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