Readers of the book will by now be well familiar with my friend Lou, my former producer at MTV2. Among many other things, Lou possesses an encyclopedic knowledge and highly discerning appreciation of that most overlooked genre, the made-for-TV movie. Read on for Lou's highly original take on the stuff Michael Medved is afraid to touch.
Poor Judith Light. She’s a rich, bored housewife unsatisfied with her beautiful home and gratuitous museum job. (She’s also stuck with the kind of disturbing hair more suited to Victorian potboilers, but that’s always been Light’s thing.) Anyway, her hubby is always away earning money to keep her in Donna Karan but she needs more. She finds it in young stud Jack Wagner, who still sports the same hairstyle as Eddie Furlong in Terminator 2. He’s a rich architect and one of those rumored men who actually wants commitment. When Judith calls the affair quits, Jack refuses to let her go.
To prove his love, he rapes her (???) in the museum and then starts dating her daughter. (Tracey Gold in a casting coup.) It all comes to a head at a winter retreat where Judy must decide whether to keep her awful secret or reveal all and save her family. Shots are fired, Tracey screams, there’s a lighthouse balcony and a struggle – you know where this is going.
PLAYBACK MOMENT: The creepy scene in which Light listens outside the door as a supremely unconvincing Gold giggles while having sex with Wagner. Why do women always laugh in movies while having sex? Is she trying to tell us something about Jack’s equipment? Discuss.
Anne Heche finally rises above atrocious movies with Harrison Ford and all the Ellen mess to become a living legend in TV moviedom. She's a trashy bored housewife who is a bit of a slut, so she goes online, instant messages Eric Roberts (memo to Eric: sunscreen), flies to Atlantic City to meet him and with the power of her p…um...persuasion, convinces him to kill her dull husband, who she falsely paints as a wifebeater. These few lines can't begin to do the plot or her performance justice. Both are completely insane. Suffice it to say Anne attacks her role like Meryl did Sophie’s Choice, and I say hand over the Emmy now.
PLAYBACK MOMENT: There are two: The scene in which Eric flies into a rage after Anne tells him the latest tale of supposed spousal abuse. It's much like Brad Pitt’s opening of the box at the end of 7even but even funnier. Also be sure to enjoy the parking garage lovemaking scene in which Anne puts her heels up and together she and Eric rock the house, setting off all the car alarms. Call the fire department!
Friends 'Til the End
Shannen Doherty stars- and sings. Really, nothing more need be said to inspire an immediate tune-in. Nevertheless, she plays a college student who also fronts a local band and is suddenly the object of a fatal attraction in the form of new sorority sister, Zanne. The stalker wants Shannen’s life (who doesn’t?), her boyfriend and of course, her burgeoning music career. The reasons don’t matter much – it's all explained in flashback - but rest assured, before the night is over, someone is murdered, someone is seduced and oh, did I mention Shannen sings – a lot?
PLAYBACK MOMENTS: Zanne shows off some frightening Single White Female potential, but it’s the music video within the movie that inspires true horror. Then there’s the acoustic jam session where Doherty channels her inner Sarah McLachlan (with brain damage) singing “Does anybody hear me?” repeatedly. At that point you’ll be wanting the stalker chick to start stabbing repeatedly.