So You Wanna Write a Lifetime Movie

After my coffee I sat there reading some of my favorite blogs, in the same sweats and shirt that I'd worn the day before and I thought, "Hell, summer's nearly over, the night time temps are dipping into the 60s, I'm sick of do-it-yourself shows and Lifetime movies... I'm gonna go take a shower, get dressed and spend the day in my hammock!" So here I am. The weather's lovely, my MP3 player drowns out the AC monster, the cat's asleep on the glass-top coffee table next to me, there's a slight breeze tickling the wind chimes, and all of the plants we potted in May have grown to the extent that the veranda resembles a small jungle. The only things missing are beers and mosquitoes. I can live without the latter and the beer isn't really what I want right now, anyway.

I haven't come up with a list of things that you learn watching TV, but I've noticed that if you ever write a screenplay for the Lifetime Network do not omit the following:
  • The leading female character must moan and grunt suggestively whether she's crawling out a window, falling down a flight of stairs, or opening a jar.

  • The lead character always drives a 90s model Jeep Cherokee.

  • The leading female must be either Tracy Nelson, Shannen Dougherty, Donna Mills, or Cheryl Ladd.

  • The leading male can be just about any actor on the downside of his career, as long as he's 20 years older than the leading actress and he's Tim Daly.

  • Lifetime movies are this decade's "Love Boat" -- you have a whole slew of has-been actors to choose from.

  • If someone breaks into someone's house and kills, or tries to kill the woman, it's the husband, and he's having an affair.

  • If there's a third person in the house watching the husband kill the wife, it will never occur to them to call 911.

  • It's apparently easier to kill your abusive husband that it is to pack a suitcase and leave.

  • And the judge will feel sorry for you.

  • The only people who go crazy are the creative people. Obviously, writers, artists, and musicians are dangerous.

  • And they somehow have the money to survive without a day job.

  • There are only white people in the Lifetime world, unless it's a police chief, then he's always black. In addition, the housekeepers for the white people are either Latino or Asian. However, it's okay to cast a token black couple as long as they live in a gated community.

  • Everyone can afford interior designers, memberships at the country club, and lunches on Rodeo Drive, but they drive a 90s model Jeep Cherokee.

  • Except for the leading characters' parents. They live in either a trailer, or a small Victorian bungalow.

  • I just like saying "bungalow".

  • Everyone's life is full of crime and murder.

  • Everyone carries millions of dollars of life insurance.

  • If you have a teenage daughter, she will run away from home to become a hooker while trying to become a movie star.

  • And her pimp will drive a 90s model Jeep Cherokee.


  1. that's good stuff and excellent observations. there's one i've noticed. ....if you're kids in school and getting in tons of trouble or cutting class....nobody ever calls...if they do's too late

  2. Very astute! I hadn't thought of that one.

  3. I think the lifetime movies are more like the "after school specials" for of this decade..... As the kids who watched the after school specials grow up they now go home from work and watch the Lifetime Movies.....

  4. Do they really? I didn't know that!

  5. If your husband is having an affair, the other woman will always try to become your next best friend so she can kill you.

  6. True! She'll also start wooing your children while you're still alive because she has a mental obsession with being a mother. This is because she's infertile. She's also a nurse in the maternity ward.

  7. Okey-dokey, I've made note of all that!

  8. Over from David's and I gotta say I agree with each and every one of these observations. Well documented! Keep it up - England / The USA needs you!

  9. *giggle*

    The leading female's clothes also slip or rip in a really sexy way.
    The 90's Cherokee must be an icon of sorts, it's only us folks who are not sophisticated enough to appreciate that! ;-)

  10. maybe it's fumes from the 90s jeep cherokee that drives all those creative people crazy?

    funny post. here from david's

  11. I had a 90's Jeep Cherokee, guess that's why I notice.

    Thanks for dropping in, Lime!

  12. This is so brilliant... I'm so glad I ran across your blog. I am an insomniac tonight..and a writer. I was talking with my husband today jokingly sort of.. about writing a lifetime movie, so I googled it. I am a photographer and do alot of editing on Friday nights and no matter how literary I am.. get sucked into these movies... They are hilarious. and you forgot Heather Locklear...LOL! I really am going to write one.. thanks for the checklist..hahahaha..

  13. You forgot: Everyone always has a swimming pool.  It is always summer. Everyone always has a gourmet kitchen.  Everyone has a piece of jewelry that is a family heirloom.  No one puts locks on their cell phone  nor do they check the call history. 

  14. It IS easy to get sucked into them! Since we moved two years ago I've gotten the addiction under control: we got rid of television. Not because of Lifetime, mind you, but it worked out great in the long run.

  15. The list goes on...

    Thanks for popping in!


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