Tag Archives: Lifetime TV

Subtle? No

Do you watch those cheesy made-for-TV holiday films on Hallmark Channel and Lifetime?

I do. I’m a sucker for all that sap.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t notice the product placement that they sneak into each movie…mainly because it tends to be the same products used in the same way in every film.

FolgersFor example, at some point in every story, the lead characters gather around the kitchen table with steaming mugs of Folgers Coffee in hand.

And yes, the logo is prominently displayed on the canister of coffee. Sometimes we even see them prepare the coffeemaker — primo screen time.

walmartbagThe other advertiser who gets lots of TV movie love this time of year is Walmart. Characters return from shopping trips with their logo bags in hand, which are usually placed front and center on a table or cabinet.

It’s so obvious but so subliminal at the same time.

But I see what you’re doing, guys…even through all that feel-good, sticky holiday sap.

Don’t go in the water

Yesterday Vulture looked at “Six Forgotten Teen Films of the Late ’90s and Early ’00s.

Erika Christensen, who currently portrays Julia on TV’s Parenthood, starred in one of the movies on the list, a 2003 drama about a high school shooting called Home Room.  

I missed that one — actually, I haven’t seen any of the films listed, making the article title really hit home — but I did see Erika in a movie she made a year earlier:

swimfanSwimfan

(Did you see it?  If not, watch Lifetime any weekend.)

In the film, Erika’s character Madison transfers to a new high school, has a one-night stand with the school’s star swimmer  (Jesse Bradford, whose character already has a girlfriend…dude), and then turns into this bizarre stalker chick.

It is a B-movie classic.

I recognized Erika in the first episode of Parenthood and sometimes still expect her to be that Swimfan stalker.  There was even an episode where she took to the pool to teach her young daughter Sydney how to swim.

There was lots of screaming.

 

Yellin’ and screamin’ and dancin’

Back in my improv days, we learned that agreement was the name of the game. Audiences don’t want to sit and watch people disagree, right?

Then why do I enjoy Dance Moms so much?

grrrrrI started watching the Lifetime reality show at first out of simple curiosity.  But I was quickly sucked in.

I could pretend it’s the dance numbers.  Or the rehearsal process.  But let’s be honest —

It’s the conflict.

Abby, the dance teacher, yelling at the kids.  The moms yelling at Abby.  The entire group yelling at moms and dancers from other troupes.  They are whackadoodle, and I love every minute of it.

I’m not sure what that says about me.  Perhaps my life is just so calm and centered that I am looking for vicarious insanity?

Doubt it.

The word

Each year, the Oxford English Dictionary adds new words and phrases from popular slang to its pages “for the ages.”

Some are questionable…like “LBD,” which seems more like the acronym for “little black dress” than a new word.  Others are spot on — like “overthink,” which I thought was a word already (but let’s not overthink that decision).

OED editors are busily compiling their list for 2011 as we speak, so I had wanted to nominate a new word for their consideration:

“mondo”

But I checked, and the word is already there.  So I guess what I’m really asking is that OED update the definition…and here’s why.

Mondo Guerra is a designer on the current season of “Project Runway” on Lifetime.  Although an extremely quiet person by nature, Mondo’s artistic style is bold, graphic and saturated with bright color.  He doesn’t need to speak; his work speaks for him.

I admire that very much.

In fact, I feel his design sense is so distinctive, it would be appropriate to include his photo and bio under the definition for “mondo” in OED as both a noun and verb, as in…

“I think we should mondo that”…or, “That needs a touch of mondo.” Or perhaps even, “You’re looking especially mondo today.”

I love the way that sounds…and I for one would consider being called “mondo” the highest form of praise.

So, join my crusade, won’t you?  It would be very “mondo” of you.