August 11th, 2011, 04:09 PM
The Russian Dolls–but not that kind of Russian Doll!
Oh, Lifetime. What are we going to do with you? Your programming is all over the place! Gone are the days when the casual viewer can depend on Lifetime to simply deliver syndicated sitcoms like Reba and How I Met Your Mother, and ridiculously dramatic made-for-TV movies like Mother, May I Sleep With Danger (starring Tori Spelling!). These days, Lifetime has gotten into the original programming game, like so many other, more successful, cable networks.
Now, as I am a woman, you’d think I would be stoked to have a network dedicated to things I theoretically love, right? I mean, Lifetime is the original–WeTV and Oxygen and OWN are the young upstarts! Lifetime has been around, it has been in the poo and come out the other side, right? WRONG. Lifetime is for a particular kind of woman, probably one who would not be out of place in a Nora Roberts or Mary Higgins Clark kind of world (two authors Lifetime adores, bee tee dubs). It’s all ABC Family meets A&E with a little USA thrown in for the quirky crowd. Lifetime seems to think women want to watch shows about exaggerated, dramatic, ridiculous women. Case in point? Drop Dead Diva. Army Wives. Hell, Project Runway! And the movies–the movies! Every woman is a woman scorned or a woman hurt by a man, or both. It’s enough to make you want to hide under the bed.
And speaking of the bed–have you seen the promos for one of Lifetime’s newest shows, Against the Wall? I’m all for women having healthy sex lives, but holy moly! Every promo goes like this: family disappointment at lead character; lead character has sex; family disappointment at lead character; lead character has sex; repeat repeat repeat. All this hussy seems to do is argue with her family, feel like a martyr, and have sex with random dudes. It’s off putting. Following Project Runway tonight at 10:30pm is Lifetime’s newest show, a takeoff on Jersey Shore called Russian Dolls. Set in Brighton Beach, the show follows some Russian people as they do whatever they do–be crazy Russians, I guess. Unlike Jersey Shore, however, these people are being followed at home: they all actually live in Brighton Beach, a historically Russian-American community! And to make things even better, Russian Dolls is a term often associated with the prostitution trade. Epic work, Lifetime.
There are some great things coming up, too, like The Client List, based on the made-for-TV movie about a housewife-turned-secret prostitute that somehow got Jennifer Love Hewitt nominated for a Golden Globe–don’t worry, she’s starring in the television show, too! Also in the pipeline is America’s Supernanny. I think the title explains it all.
Ladies, if you’re into wildly unrealistic television shows about wildly unrealistic women, if you like watching other people’s bratty kids shape up (only after acting out for 45 minutes out of an hour), or women turn to high class prostitution after being scorned or scorning someone else, Lifetime is the channel for you. If you love Russians, shows about thin dead women reincarnated as curvy women, or movies about eternally terrified women who find love and comfort only in the arms of a man, you have found your place. The rest of us, we’ll keep looking.