For me, Lifetime movies are one of those things that I’m not sure that I like because they’re hilariously bad or if I sincerely, right down in the warmest, middlest part of my heart, enjoy them for real. You know, things like bad action movies or Red Lobster or reality TV or Keystone Light. Yes, I seek out these strange, bad things. But why?
Do I watch the Lifetime Movie Network (LMN) because of the terrible writing, the baffling plots, the weird acting, and the blatant catering to middle-class women’s deepest and darkest fears and fantasies? Because each movie is a terrible car wreck of twisted murder plots, unusual addiction, strange sex, confusing love webs, and maybe, indeed, and actual terrible car wreck? Or do I watch Lifetime movies because I’m one of those middle-class women?
I suppose the answer is that it doesn’t matter — why should I waste my time trying to name or categorize this love of mine, when I should concentrate on simply loving.
In any case, here’s a listing of the movies I’ve reviewed so far:
Cyber Seduction: His Secret Life This is a cautionary tale that chronicles the terrifying downward spiral of Justin Peterson, a high school sophomore who stumbles upon internet pornography and is never again the same boy. Before titty sites, Justin is a star on the swim team and is good at math. He has a loving family, supportive peers, and a wholesome girlfriend who he studies math with. But when his internet whacking evolves from a recreational pastime to an ADDICTION, his life spirals out of his control.
Dare to Love Jesse Wells has it all – money, a loving family, a great boyfriend to have sex with during moving jazz standards, a job helping people in wheelchairs, a beautifully toned bare midriff, and a vague trophy she wins for riding horses during the opening credits. Unfortunately, having it all also means having schizophrenia.
A Killing Secret Little does Nicole know that while she and her boyfriend Greg have only innocently been exploring heavy petting in popular teenage hangouts, Greg has been going to an abandoned shack and secretlybanging a poor unpopular brunette girl (Soleil Moon Frye) who tries to look and act nothing like Punky Brewster, who even looks as if she’s just exploring some new roles, really pushing her talents to the limit, breaking out of the constraints of her casting type.
Imaginary Playmate I’m not going to go into the various boring plot twists and turns of Imaginary Playmate – it’s your basic haunted house plot – but I would like to focus on the underlying real horror of this movie, which seems to be the terrifying real-life tale of having to deal with your new stepdaughter and husband, both of whom seem to still love their dead mother/wife.
Maternal Instincts This is a Delta Burke vehicle in which she plays a woman who descends into madness after a hysterectomy. After accidentally killing her husband during a rage a few days after the operation (which a was necessary procedure to remove cancer) Burke plots to ruin the life of (and steal the future baby of) the pregnant doctor who gave her the operation. You might even say she’s a woman who is designing a plan to kill the doctor who wronged her.
My Stepson, My Lover It’s happened to everyone at one point or another: you marry a ruthless, deceitful bald and mustached man, fall in love and start having sex with his hunky, meticulously waxed son, and then become involved in your husband’s mysterious death. That’s the great thing about some of these Lifetime movies – sitting and watching them with my coffee on Saturday morning, I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I’m not alone and that at least one other person understands.
The Patron Saint of Liars Rose is a woman who can’t help but run away from the people who love her most – and when she finds out she’s pregnant she abandons her loving husband to move across the country to a Catholic shelter for unwed mothers. The only thing she truly loves is driving. At the Catholic home she marries the handyman, Son, has her baby, and runs away from them, too, after 15 years (or approximately 45 minutes of meandering and episodic plot and about 30 Target and Nair commercials).
Secret Cutting This one stars BROOD’s favorite Lifetime movie actress, Kimberlee Peterson. Dawn Cottrell (do I have to tell you it’s pronounced Cut-trell?) is a high school student with a bevy of problems. Girls are mean to her at school, her boyfriend is pressuring her to go farther than she’s comfortable with, her parents are in a loveless marriage, and she has the pressure of designing decorations for the Winter Ball dance on her shoulders. Whenever she hears people talking about her behind her back (which seems to happen every five to ten minutes, with commercial breaks) she runs to a stairwell or bathroom and cuts herself.
Stolen Miracle On Christmas Eve, a bipolar woman named Mary kidnaps a newborn baby boy from a hospital. Months before, she suffered a miscarriage but continued to believe (and tell her live-in boyfriend) that she was pregnant. While the birthmother (who has an actual husband, making her less evil) spends the movie so distraught that she barely has a speaking part, Sgt. Jane McKinley takes on the case – perhaps putting her own family aside in order to do her job and recover the baby in time for Christmas.
To Be Fat Like Me A pretty, popular jock puts on a fat suit in order to explore the world of overweight people like her mother and younger brother. Perhaps by experiencing their everyday world, she would learn something about humanity and compassion and begin to understand the complex struggle with weight that many people confront daily. Or, perhaps, she would just learn that fat people eat cheese fries, keep candy bars in their glove compartments, and are good at math.
Too Young To Be A Dad A fun twist on the teen pregnancy genre of LMN flicks. Instead of following the girl’s story as she makes hard life decisions, the movie focuses on ninth grader Matt Freeman. Freeman, after impregnating a classmate, matures into a man and learns a lot of hard life lessons (“matures into a man” in this case means dropping out of traditional high school, giving up your dreams, and working at a pizza joint).