Feb 22, 2006

So bad they're good

I count Lifetime movies among my guilty pleasures. They take me back to the not-so-halcyon days of network TV when the big three made movies of the week with verging-on-the-cusp-of-has-been stars in melodramas that were often, as they say, ripped from the headlines. The last gasp of this network phenomenon were the dueling Amy Fisher movies of the 1990s.

In fact, if you're really lucky, you can catch some of those movies on Lifetime now. Movies such as A Killing Affair, starring Elizabeth Montgomery as a detective who has an affair with her married partner played by--get ready for this--OJ Simpson! What can be better than that?

Lifetime movies are the video equivalent of those women's magazines you can buy at the check-out line at the supermarket. I prefer the "true" stories in which one woman stands alone in her pursuit of justice against sexual harassment, fraternity hazing, crooked cops, or--most recently--a segregrated prom. Another common theme is the murderderous/deceiving/bigamist husband who has fooled everyone into thinking he's the perfect man until one day ...

Lifetime has become the haunting ground of faded TV stars. Melissa Gilbert often stars. Patty Duke, Annie Potts, Meredith Baxter, Lea Thompson are also heavily featured. Gregory Harrison and Brian Dennehy often play the male parts. But, really, the men are beside the point; it's all about the feisty little woman.

I've noticed that lately Lifetime has actually been showing movies that were originally shown in theaters. A big mistake, in my opinion. Why tamper with perfection?

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