The Death of the Made-for-TV Movie


I have a confession to make: I love made-for-TV movies. Golddiggers, babynappers, child molesters (oh my!)… whatever the flavor, I can’t get enough. And growing up in the 90s, I was like a kid in a candy store. It seemed like every week there was a new story of teen pregnancy or sexual harassment, usually featuring one or more of my favorite cast members from “Saved by the Bell” or “90210.” Here’s just a sample of a few clips from some old favorites:

“For the Love of Nancy,” starring Tracey Gold

“She Fought Alone,” starring Tiffani Thiessen

“She Cried No,” starring Candace Cameron

I mean, the titles alone are genius.

Lifetime, the mother of all made-for-TV networks, has made a valiant effort to keep the legacy going, but as with kids’ movies, I still have to turn to the 90s to truly get my fix. For some reason, most of the latest ones try to somehow involve technology, presumably in some lame effort to keep up with the times and attract a teen audience. Whenever I give a new MFTVM a chance, it always ends up being about internet porn addiction or a student sex tape gone live over the high school network.

The stories of women in peril that I so love are quickly becoming a dying breed. So some advice to the proud few who are trying to keep them alive: keep it old-school. Don’t be afraid to recycle the same formulas—there’s a reason they worked. Cougar bangs the pool boy. Girl gets dragged into the woods and tortured by the football team. A good old-fashioned eating disorder. These are the fairy tales that we never tire of seeing, no matter how similar the next one is to the last.

Believe it or not, someone’s actually starting to get it right, and it’s not Lifetime: it’s the advertising team over at Broadview Security. Their new commercials are like minute-long made-for-TV melodramas of the highest order.

Bravo, Broadview. Bravo.

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2 Responses to “The Death of the Made-for-TV Movie”

  1. Christiana Says:

    So, I came over here to check out your new blog design and I read this particular entry for the second time. exellent blog dear, but have you seen any of sci-fi’s made for tv movies? They are bringing back the b in b movie big time. Some of the titles make me laugh out loud just reading them. Mostly I’m happy that some exec out there keeps greenlighting these types of projects. Keep up the insightful and hilarious blogging!

    • I am not up on Sci-fi’s stuff! Or should I say… Syfy? :-\ I’ll be sure to check it out.

      I’m also ecstatic that no one has managed to pull the plug on these productions. But I wonder if there’s an audience out there that takes them seriously. If there is, I want to hang out with them.

      Thank you for the kind, encouraging words, darling.

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