Despite the fact that Mr. Max is male and I’m the kind of gal that usually stays away from lady-oriented entertainment, we both love Lifetime Movie Network (LMN).
You probably think Lifetime Movies are just after-school specials for women over 30. Or that Meredith Baxter is in all of them. This is only half right. Lifetime Movies are also awesome, so awesome in fact that I’ll be reviewing choice films here on the blog. But first, an introduction to the genre:
Why You Should Love Lifetime Movies
You cannot judge a Lifetime Movie by the same criteria you would a regular movie. The best Lifetime Movies
1) are campy.
2) are a little bit trashy. (It’s no fun if they’re too Oprah-y)
3) are imported from Canada. Why does this matter? Because there’s a special joy in watching actors forced to pretend that downtown Toronto is Boston, Atlanta, Seattle or some other notably dissimilar American city. It’s not just the setting that’s Canadian: many of the actors are veterans of other exported shows — like You Can’t Do That on Television or Are You Afraid of the Dark. Insta-nostalgia!
4) have a dada-esque approach to genre.
In normal movies, writers and directors are expected to pick a genre (such as comedy, drama, horror, etc.) and stick with it. In contrast, Lifetime Movies are free to start out as a suspense film, shift unexpectedly to slightly comedic/family and then, without warning, end as a courtroom drama. It’s like getting 3 films at once!
5) at least one WTF plot hole.
The Canadian Film Industry must run on tight deadlines and just film whatever they’ve got in the first draft because there’s always one detail in the script that makes no sense.
Example: In Intimate Stranger, a Sassy Single Mom who’s used to being on her own shacks up with an older dude, but he ‘aint no Mr. Harris. The older dude gets all controlling and weird (evidenced by a not too subtle scene where he teaches Sassy Single Mom’s milquetoasty teen son to crush butterflies to death). The big creepy reveal: older dude has been living in their attic the whole time, watching their every move. Giant Plot Hole: How do you miss that someone is living in your attic? They actually try to explain this away with the fact that Sassy Single Mom assumed the noises coming from the attic were “squirrels.” But, says the audience, Sassy Single Mom had an alarm system! But that’s explained away by the fact that older dude is good with computers and stuff and could just get around it. But — where did he take a dump? How did he get out of the house in time for work? Don’t start asking these questions — they will haunt you.
Stay tuned for some actual reviews!