A few weeks back while enjoying homemade pizza we decided to check out whatever was airing on Lifetime that night. Lifetime has a pretty great reputation for making a steady stream of movies we love to hate. In fact they are so popular Lifetime established a movie network that runs almost 24/7 showing them off. They have just become one of those things you can turn on in the background or watch all day long while laying on the couch. They are just so addicting.
The one viewed that night was Manny Dearest. I thought I could share some thoughts on it because rarely do you get a story about a creepy male nanny. There was quite a bit of humor involved in such a dark subject, but not as much as the classic, A Deadly Adoption, starring Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig. Instead I decided to revisit 4 truly iconic Lifetime movies from yesteryear. Lifetime movies have a few formulas, but the best ones are based on true stories that become even more dramatic for television. For this reason all the movies below are based on a true story (which happened accidentily).
She’s Too Young (2004)
This one is a mother/daughter story that no one should actually watch with their mother. It’s incredibly awkward because the “good girl” daughter catches syphilis. This causes the mother to go on a really strange crusade to inform other parents of their children’s indiscretions but it turns out the other parents don’t really care. This movie is based on a true story out of Atlanta where the school needed to handle an STD outbreak although I’m sure they didn’t do it with a series of public events shaming the students. She’s Too Young has been called an unrealistic portrayal of teenage life which is entirely true. First of all no school would line up a bunch of children public to give them a vaccination for an STD (which doesn’t even exist?). Emma from Degrassi is in this film if you’re interested in knowing that. Part of the reason this was deemed to unrealistic was it’s use of 1990s culture and appearance despite being made in 2004. I mean who didn’t wear pigtails in 2004?
No One Would Tell (1996)
We watched this one in high school P.E. to warn us about the dangers of abusive relationships during our time in high school. In true Lifetime movie fashion, DJ Tanner has a crush on a popular boy, Kevin Arnold. When he shows interest in her she is (naturally) surprised and a relationship blossoms. He becomes possessive, abusive, and despite her friend’s worries she stays with him until one day when she has the courage to break things off with him. She goes missing and foul play ensues. It’s definitely out of the box to watch these two actors in these particular roles (same for the one with Zach Morris & DJ Tanner) which is probably why it sticks with me today. Oh, and Sally Jesse Raphael plays the judge in this one.
A Friend to Die For (aka Death of a Cheerleader) 
This might be the most iconic Lifetime movie ever made and many consider Tori Spelling’s performance polarizing (You either ironically love it or hate it). A Friend to Die For is based on an incredibly popular murder story of the 1980s. In a nutshell a quiet, unpopular girl finds her way in to the popular clique at school until her attempts at friendship with the leader, Stacey, are rejected. Feeling like she is a failure and will be gossiped about she kills Stacey. Of course, Stacey is portrayed as snotty and rude which encourages Angela to snap. No one can figure out who has done it until Angela confesses despite doing an immense amount of volunteer work to forget what she has done.
15 and Pregnant (1998)
Ah, Kristen Dunst what were you doing with your life when you took this role on? Enter the original 16 and Pregnant. 14-year-old Tina ends up becoming pregnant by her deadbeat boyfriend Ray. In true teenage girl fashion she attempts to get her boyfriend to stay but stumbles upon him kissing someone else at the mall. She looses her friends, throws a bratty tirade at a baby shower she threw for herself, and alienates her younger sister. No seriously, the younger sister has a broken leg and is forced to go upstairs on crutches to lay down because Tina wants to lay on the couch. Why…..? Somehow this baby reunites a completely shattered family who enjoy a reunion at the end and surely what brought them all together was the iconic line, “Sperm doesn’t entitle you to much,” right?