After her father passes away, L.A. attorney Natalie Jones (Melissa Gilbert - Mistaken Identity) is shocked to discover that before he married her mum he had been married to a rodeo rider called Maggie. Intrigued to learn more Natalie heads to horse country where she discovers Jess (Lindsay Wagner - Once in a Lifetime), Maggie's daughter who could be her half sister. But not only that Natalie learns all about Maggie, the impact she had on many people's lives and that the wild horses she desperately wanted to keep on her land are struggling to survive with Jess doing what ever she can to keep her mother's legacy alive.
The storyline to "Thicker Than Water" is very simple and it is also very obvious. You know that when Natalie discovers that her recently deceased father had been married before he married her mother that she will end up finding a relative who she will end up bonding with despite initial fears that a half sister could end up wanting half of her inheritance. And at the same time as we meet Jess the half sister we know that in bonding Natalie will end up helping Jess, in this case preserving her mother's legacy of wild horses on the land she leases. Oh and just for good measure with there being a handsome vet in the picture there will also be some obligatory romance. As I said "Thicker Than Water" is obvious from start to finish and occasionally very cheesy with a happy ever after ending which borders on the corny.
But the thing is that whilst "Thicker Than Water" is very obvious it is also very pleasant. It is one of those inoffensive movies which trade on being nice, on showing human kindness which isn't present in every day life and as such it is very easy to watch. So it doesn't have much drama and what drama there is, is often corny and yes the romantic subplot is cheesy but it exudes warmth which makes it pleasant to watch. And whilst like many Hallmark movies it is all a bit sugar coated and detached from reality, well a little bit of nice fantasy doesn't go a miss once in a while.
As for the acting, well as with the story you don't expect greatness from a TV movie but what you get in "Thicker Than Water" works. Melissa Gilbert as Natalie delivers the transformation from being sceptical and all city like into a friendly country girl quite nicely and at the same time Lindsay Wagner as Jess exudes homely warmth. Basically it's solid and nice which is the same as what can be said for Lindy Netwon who plays Jess's friend Lulu and Brian Wimmer who plays handsome vet Sam Nelson. Yes the dialogue they get to deliver is often cheesy but there is a touch of sincerity about it which makes you forget that it's not great.
What this boils down to is that "Thicker Than Water" is your typical Hallmark movie with a general sense of niceness about it. It doesn't have the greatest of storylines or great performances and it is all very obvious but it is pleasant to watch with its feel good vibe. As such "Thicker Than Water" is the sort of movie that if it's on TV and you have nothing else to do is worth a watch as it will make you feel good.