Wiggin’ Out About TV: Lifetime movies
Few things make a rainy day perfect like the Lifetime Movie network. These made-for-TV movies are a part of television history. No matter how cheesy and predictable they are, you can’t deny that you’ve seen one.
And they suck you into their vortex of drama. They are reminiscent of the ’90s, no matter what decade they were made in, and there is usually bad hair.
I like Lifetime movies because there is one for any mood you could be in. If I’m in a “Man has double life” mood, there’s always a movie for that. If I feel like watching a cheesy holiday special that may or may not include the magic of Santa, Lifetime has it.
There are several elements of Lifetime movies that are tried and true. And Lifetime usually does not divert from a handful of situations (because we all know in real life, everything is predictable.) And these are my top three:
1. There’s always a girl in distress.
Whether the girl has been beaten, left by her husband, alone at Christmas time or abandoned in a train station with three kids to feed, there is always some sort of female that is in need of rescuing.
Sometimes these ladies’ lives read like a country song. To go with the complete theme of overacting, these ladies take their hardships and turn them into something different depending on their situation. If it’s a crazy-psycho-stalker-lady movie, then the distress is turned into revenge. If the girl’s life is too pathetic for words, then by the end of the movie, her life is golden.
2. The male characters are always extreme.
The man is either so sweet it hurts or he’s completely psycho and his actions rival Patrick Bateman of “American Psycho” (2000). He’s usually good looking, suave and the stupid girl always trusts him. Honey, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is, so run!
But no, not in a Lifetime movie. Lifetime movies kind of remind me of horror films. The girl should know that the man she’s fallen in love with is also a crazy man, but she can’t help it, she’s blinded by love! She also says to the bump in the night, “Hello?” expecting it to answer back.
3. Use of a has-been actor.
Sometimes, I like to think of Lifetime as a retirement home for actors. It’s where the actors who had cashed in their 15 minutes of fame go to “hang out” on television. These actors just didn’t quite have the staying power they had hoped for. Tiffani Amber Thiessen, Tori Spelling, Alexandra Paul (also known from “Baywatch”) all have a couple Lifetime movies under their belts, and ya know what? I commend them for it. At least they haven’t fallen completely under the radar.
In years to come, who knows. Maybe we’ll see Rachel McAdams or Katherine Heigl on Lifetime.
And there you have it, the ingredients for a Lifetime cocktail. You can also add out of control teenagers or movies based on true life stories that seem too crazy to be real for extra spice.