I watched the Lifetime Channel

Background information. Palandine is:

*A woman
*A professional
*Between 25 and 35 years old

I was bored last night and had to do some editing, so for background noise and since nothing else was on, I turned on a movie on the Lifetime Network (Television for Women [TM]). It was called “Liar, Liar” (NOT the Jim Carrey version :eek:) and it was about a 12-year-old girl who accused her father of anally sodomizing her over a period of years. Of course, no one believed her and her family turned against her.

I guess, this being Lifetime, I should have expected the subject matter, but the plot twist was incredible–in the last 30 minutes of the film, it’s revealed that the father has raped ALL of his children (four of them) and had started in on his daughter’s son while he was staying with her during the trial. It was simply weird, hard to describe. I’m not familiar with sex abuse (thank God), but this seemed to stretch the limits of credulity. On the stand one of the lawyers asks the mother what their sex life is like, and after much hemming and hawing she says “very active,” with the obvious body language that that’s not how she likes it.

I saw another Lifetime film the other week (mainly because it had Park Overall in it, and I think she’s cool), and it was just as odd. Her ex-husband had custody of her son for a weekend and ended up abducting him for 10 years, abusing him wretchedly in the process. Overall eventually gets him back, and he’s basically turned autistic. The rest of the movie is about her attempts to get help for her son, while the new husband is no help at all and actually moves out for a few months because he can’t deal.

Here’s the MPSIMS: Why on earth is this supposed to appeal to me as a woman? I LIKE men, but I have yet to see a program, any program, on Lifetime that presents them as anything other than the enemy:

*They’ll sodomize your kids
*They’ll abuse your children
*They won’t be there to support you when you need it
*When you’re married to one, he expects you to occasionally satisfy his vile, sticky urges

It’s one thing to be pro-woman. It’d be great if they had shows about how to improve one’s professional life, how to prioritize time, and the like. It’s even okay to buy into the Oprahfication of society, if that’s your thing, but would any other network stay in business that thrived on presenting negative stereotypes of a group of people the way Lifetime portrays men? I find myself watching it more and more, simply amazed at the world-view it protrays to its viewers. What must a woman who watches Lifetime regularly think about the world and the men around her?

I was “downsized” a couple of months ago, so in between posting here and searching for a new job, I’ll get the oportunity to watch daytime television. Soaps don’t appeal to me, but I’ll admit to an odd fascination with talk shows – Jenny Jones, Rikki Lake, Montel Williams, Jerry Springer, ad nauseaum.

The female hosted shows all seem to have a slight anti-male bent. For instance, when a cheatin’ woman comes out, the crowd cheers her on, while a man who is accoused of cheating gets booed. Why is the woman cheating? Something the man did – and of course, he’s berated for working too hard, spending time with his friends, gaining weight, or whatever. The cheatin’ man, on the other hand – well, there’s no excuse.

Other observations:

Women can swoon over drop-dead gorgeous hunks, and cheat on their husbands/boyfriends is he isn’t one of them. However, men are condemned for not being attracted to women who are overweight, especially on Rikki Lake. “You should love her for what’s on the inside …”

It’s okay for a woman to be obsessed over a man. However, if a man calls a woman twice in a week, he’s a stalker.

Nerds: lots of men are bought on the show to see the woman they teased relentlessly in high school, who is now a bikini model or adult film star. However, you never see women dragged in to meet the guy they considered a geek in high school, who is now some beefy mutual fund manager or whatever.

My ex-roomie was addicted to Lifetime. It was on all the freaking time, and she even has certain movies on tape! I thought it was scary, to say the least. These movies were so dumb, just like the OP described - terrible stuff about men cheating, women going crazy, mass murderers, child abusers, etc. She actually scheduled her classes around the daytime re-runs this semester!

The only somewhat enjoyable one I watched had Carol from Growing Pains as this unpopular high school girl who gets tricked into thinking she’s in with the cool crowd, then ditched, so she goes crazy and kills everyone (I think _ I never watched the whole thing). It was certainly dramatic.

And she thought I was weird for spending so much time on the internet. :rolleyes:

Tonight, Silence of the Lambs was on Lifetime. I caught it while flipping channels, and had two thoughts:

  1. Wow, this is a great movie.
  2. Why is this on Lifetime? Hmm…

I happen to be one of those Lifetime junkies. Mind you only occasionally. I also read romance novels which may be the cause of me finding them ineresting. At least in my mind a plot thickens and resolves itself within 2 hours. I would rather see that then sitting through a 1/2 hour sitcom.

I prefer the romances to the weird incest/abuse flicks. I beleive all of us will though. My husband hates to get stuck watching this with me though. But I have to watch his freakin’ star trek enough that I make him sit through the anorexic/bulimic love affairs anyway.

Yeah I think i noticed Silence on there once, too. I sort of wondered why. I guess Clarice Starling embodies feminism…or something? (Nah…maybe Lifetime just had to show a good and actually original, well written and well acted movie for once…)

Just a few Lifetime movies …

A Deadly Silence
A teenage girl is trapped in an incestuous relationship with her father. Driven by the fear that he might molest her younger sister, she hires a schoolmate to kill him.

Abandoned and Deceived
A beleaguered Ohio woman struggles in court against her child’s deadbeat dad.

Crimes of Passion: Badge of Betrayal
A single mother becomes the latest victim of a powerful and abusive small-town sheriff. She takes a stand and fights back against seemingly insurmountable odds.

Eye of the Stalker
An Arizona girl is tracked and stalked by an obsessive man. She ends up setting a trap for him.

Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?
A naive female college student falls in love with a charming pathological liar, credit card scammer and murderer. When her mother attempts to break up the relationship, the psycho boyfriend abducts the daughter and hides her in his cabin in the woods.

She Said No
A rape victim must overcome more emotional trauma when her attacker brings her to court in a multimillion-dollar slander suit.

Silencing Mary
Holly, a young college student, is date-raped by her school’s star football player. Despite constant harassment, Holly’s roommate, Mary, leads the effort to make sure that the rapist takes responsibility for his actions.

After undergoing intense therapy for abusing his wife, Paul Hegstrom establishes more than 70 treatment centers for abusers.

When Husbands Cheat
Housewife Tess McCall discovers that she has a knack for detective work when she helps her sister, Denise, catch Denise’s cheating husband. Impressed by Tess’ undercover skills, a divorce attorney puts Tess on retainer. With the help of her husband, who is a police detective, Tess soon masters the tricks of the detective trade and finds herself with a thriving business. But when the signs of infidelity crop up in her own home, Tess is forced to face the fact that her own marriage might be in jeopardy. Based on a true story.
Seems that most Lifetime movies, if they aren’t tales that essentially reveal what bastards men are, are frustrating stories about child abduction, divorce, disease, abuse, dysfuncational families, recovery, and so on. I don’t know any women who enjoy stories of such heartache, even those that are into “chick flicks.”

I never saw this, but I’d like to nominate it for Worst Movie Title.

I don’t watch Lifetime, and if they’re going to keep running movies about abuse with titles that make me laugh, I’m not going to start any time soon.

“Adjective Noun: the Proper Noun Story”

(I stole that from someone, but I can’t remember who.)

This, of course, was a Tori Spelling vehicle.

I can go one weirder than that…

A couple of months ago they showed “Goodfellas.” I can see where “Silence of the Lambs” fits the Lifetime Philosophy ™:

  1. Men are out to skin or eat you.
  2. The woman is right but the men ignore her.

But Goodfellas? I think there’s a grand total of one woman in that movie. Where does that fit in–“in addition to being a rapist or abuser, the man you pick might also be in the Mafia”?

Anyway, I am a hypocrite. Like I said, I do watch the movies from time to time, especially the ones I heard described once as the colon movies (in this example “Liar, Liar: Between Father and Daughter”). But just once, I’d like to see one in which a man is portrayed as a decent human being.

I know really understand why I instinctively programmed this channel off of my remote.

A truly hideous display of programming.

And may I nominate Crimes of Passion: Badge of Betrayal for the cheeziest title after the reigning Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?

I do watch the Lifetime channel…
But only because they have reruns of “The Golden Girls” on every morning. Other than that, I’m horrified by the advertisements for the movies. So much so, that I refuse to watch even one.

The Lifetime Channel is definitely geared towards women who like romance novels. The twisted drama where the woman is victimized to fairy-tale extremes and overcomes it. It’s very addictive. My favorite is the one with Meredith Baxter Birney playing a bullemic woman. I don’t really know anything about bullemia and I don’t want to insult anyone, but the image of her on the floor during a family get-together eating a whole fudge cake was too much. I kept expecting Alex P. Keaton to come into the room. They almost make these issues seem laughable because they go to the outer limits to impress how heinous life can be for these wretched souls.

For a cable channel that supposedly cares about empowering women, Lifetime does a good job of portraying women as victims – of men, of power, of themselves. It’s really disgusting :rolleyes: .


: “Adjective Noun: the Proper Noun Story”

A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story
Crimes of Passion: Badge of Betrayal
Criminal Instinct: Love and Murder
From the Files of Unsolved Mysteries: The Sleepwalker Killing
Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills
Moment of Truth: Abduction of Innocence
Moment of Truth: Why My Daughter?
She Stood Alone: The Tailhook Scandal
Sudden Terror: The Hijacking of School #17
The Other Mother: A Moment of Truth
Trial: The Price of Passion
Woman on the Run: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story

(Sticks finger down throat and makes “ACK! ACK!” noises)

I remember seeing one story with Peter Straub (I THINK) as an abused husband, and Judith Ligcht played his abusive wife. He finally gets her in a head lock when she starts to hit their daughter and HE is accused of abuse, and then he gets custody. I think it was called Men Don’t Tell, or something. And then there was one, Have You Seen the Muffin Man, about kids being molested by a satanic cult in their daycare. It was really bizarre. And the one with Robert Urich, as an abusive dad who killed all of his daughters’ husbands…Gwyneth Paltrow and Matthew Perry were in that one. One okay one I saw was called Miss Rose White, about a girl whose family survived the Holocaust and then came to America.

I like the reruns of The Golden Girls and Designing Women occassionally. But not often.
Lifetime is soooo cheesy. Please!

There are three types of movies I carefully avoid: Holocaust movies, serial killer movies, and Lifetime movies.

Holocaust movies are guaranteed to make me bawl, which I hate.

Serial killer movies and Lifetime movies scare the bejeezus out of me. I can watch any kind of stupid horror movie, with blood flying everywhere, gory wounds, zombies, vampires, improbable psycho killers with distinctive masks, whatever. Bring it on, baby. Doesn’t make me bat an eyelash because I know in my heart of hearts that it’s fiction.

The serial killers, and the Lifetime movies, they freak me out, because this kind of stuff happens in the real world. Christ, Sally Field movies about her daughter getting kidnapped by her ex-husband’s Islamic family and taken to the Middle East give me nightmares. I don’t have a kid and my husband is an agnositic from Iowa. But it’s still scarier to me than a mucous-dripping monster covered with fangs and barbed spikes with acid for blood.

Some of them make me laugh, though, the ones that were obviously written by the protagonist (probably with a ghost writer) that go to great lengths to show that SHE didn’t do anything wrong, SHE did everything any reasonable person could possibly do about the situation, HE is the evil one, it’s All HIS Fault, and there was Nothing She Could Have Done Differently. I wonder what fraction of Lifetime’s audience is capable of detecting the bias, and how many of them just swallow this woman - against - the - big - bad - world urban-legend stuff whole.

I saw a decent movie on Lifetime, it was about a female lawyer sueing the CIA for the suicide caused by MK-ULTRA. It was interesting, but then at the end, it said that the movie is based on fact, except that a man was the lawyer, not the woman. Since this lawyer was the main character, that’s stretching the truth a bit…

At any rate, the Onion has some great satires on Lifetime. I remember when it had it’s TV Guide listings, the movie listings for Lifetime were something like “How Can I Choose Between My Two Daughters?” and “The Little Boy Whose Mommy Watched Way Too Much TV”.

What are the demographics that Lifetime are targeting when they air the anti-male shows Palandine has mentioned?

Sooooo agree…
and glad that there’s a contingency out there that has accurately characterized what I’ve never quite put my finger on. Those Lifetime movies are so second rate I can hardly stand it. Every once in a while (a GREAT while) on some weekend afternoon, when we are bored and there is NOTHING else on my husband will tune in to one and just get… engrossed.

Elements of a Lifetime movie:
-formulaic title (see above)
-second rate sitcom star
-dramatic tale of abuse
-spunky and/or demure protagonist woman victim/mother
-scene after scene after scene after scene (after scene) of the ‘horror of it all’ and ‘but what can we do???’ dialogue
-weird-ish screenplay including 3 superfluous scenarios escalating the drama
-and let’s not forget one “the system fails [insert victimized group here]” scene
-bad guy gets come uppance at the end
-NEVER shown anywhere else but this network

I’m sure this list is only the tip of the iceberg.