Is anyone else out there totally obsessed with Lifetime Television (television for women!)? More specifically, perhaps, are they obsessed with the movies that air on Lifetime? For the novices out there, let me explain. There is a body of work on Lifetime that truly deserves to have a dissertation written about it by some enterprising, top-rung state university American Studies graduate student with a Kate Jackson fetish. Lifetime regularly airs a mix of made-for-television movies and movies made especially for Lifetime, but they all have one thing in common:The Lifetime Movie Heroine
, who usually falls into one of the following categories:
**The Harried Single Mom **The Teenage Girl Who Gets Pregnant **The Teenage Girl Who Gets Syphilis **The Harried Single Mom of the Teenage Girl Who Gets Syphilis **The Thirtysomething Vixen Who Witnesses a Murder and/or Is Being Stalked **The Pretty But Not so Pretty She’s Not Relatable Woman Who Triumphs Over
a) breast cancer b) sexual assault c) an eating disorder d) domestic violence e) all of the above.
The Lifetime movies feature actresses that Miss Pop Rocks hasn’t seen in a while, but who she’s always more than happy to visit with again. It’s like running into an old college friend at a bar, or catching up with your best friend from high school while home for Christmas. It feels familiar and safe, if not a little sad.
For example, when I started reminiscing about Brenda and Dylan and the rest of the kids down at the Peach Pit, all I had to do was flip on Lifetime and find Shannen Doherty in The Ticket, View of Terror and Friends `Til the End. (The last one combines sorority life, murder, and a love triangle – a Lifetime triple threat if ever there was one!).
Lifetime has also provided a haven for another one of my favorite 90210 gal pals, Tori “Donna Martin Graduates!” Spelling, who is for my generation the patron saint of Lifetime movies. She also starred in perhaps the best titled Lifetime film ever, Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? Shannen and Tori not enough for you? Well what about Kellie Martin from Life Goes On, Tracey Gold from Growing Pains, and Tiffani (Amber) Thiessen from Saved by the Bell and, but of course, 90210. All of these sisters and more are just waiting for you to look them up again in Lifetime Land.
Recently, Lifetime films have gotten so popular that they’ve earned their own channel (Lifetime Movie Network, of course), which serves very well for the private little drinking game Miss Pop Rocks has created for herself called “I Spy Meredith Baxter-Birney” – Meredith being my mother’s generation’s patron saint of Lifetime movies. Finally, there’s a network full of films that almost always have a happy ending, that almost always show just enough skin to keep you mildly interested, and that almost always have a scene where some woman is soaking in a bathtub surrounded by lit candles. On a Sunday afternoon when it’s either cleaning the toilet or eating cold leftover pizza in front of a Lifetime movie, need you even struggle for a moment to make your choice? -- Jennifer Mathieu
Make your own Lifetime Movie Title here.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.