Top Five Fridays: MFTVMs (Made for TV Movies) Continued

by Judi

5. Her Hidden Truth (1995)

I apologize that there’s no video or even a picture to go with this one but even the picture on Lifetime’s Movie Network site is horrible. So, clearly it isn’t my fault that this fantastic example of the MFTVM genre is totally underepresented by the Internet.

This was one of the first Lifetime Movies that made me sit up and say, “This is something I’d like to watch at my Grandma’s house.” And so I did. Starring Kellie Martin and Antonio Sabato Jr (in a clear violation of the Looks Hierarchy as only Lifetime can accomplish), she’s a juvenile delinquent who may or may not have burned down the house that killed her mother and sister. He’s a sexy cop who chases after her when she escapes the detention center to find the real murderer. Except she clearly wants to kill the murderer instead of that whole “bring him to justice” idea. But you know, every relationship has its problems right?

4. A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story (1992)

The fact that there’s no YouTube clip is, in short, A CRIME AGAINST NATURE. Still, I’m soldiering on in part because Meredith Baxter Bierney plays, erm, a woman scorned and also because it’s my friend Mark’s favorite TV movie and I would be remiss to give it a snub. Happy Belated Birthday, Mark!

In this fantastic sample of Sha-Na-Na-Na’s (as she’s known at NTO HQ) TV movie repertoire, Betty Broderick is your typical devoted housewife. Her husband, a big shot lawyer (played amazingly by Aaron from The First Wives Club, aka Overbearing Eric Camden from Overbearing 7th Heaven) decides to basically become the poster child from Asshole Husband cliche and hires a STEWARDESS to be his “legal assistant”, even though Debra Jo Rupp is all “The bitch can’t even type!” and then, clearly, wants to leave Sha-Na-Na-Na to marry her instead. This leads to the usual stalking and throwing of things and scrawling nasty messages on walls and then, MURDER. The movie’s so good, there’s a SEQUEL called, “Her Final Fury” which just sounds amazing. Of all my Lifetime Movie choices (and all of mine ARE from Lifetime), this is pretty much the Gold Standard here. Think of Kristen Wiig’s hilarious Lifetime Movie spoof for 30 Rock’s CC (Edie Falco) “A Dog Took My Face and Gave Me a Better Face to Change the World.”

3. Gracie’s Choice (2004)

I have to admit here my predilection for stories about orphans and/or plucky children who raise their own siblings because their mother is a CRAZY drug addict. I also loved, loved, LOVED Veronica Mars and I’m probably one of the only people who has not only READ but REREAD Anne Heche’s bonkers memoir Call Me Crazy (thanks, I think I will). Having said all that, is it any surprise that I would really loved Gracie’s Choice? I think the moving courtroom finale speaks for itself although I wish I could’ve found the scene where Anne Heche tries to strangle her daughter in the kitchen while her younger brothers and sad grandma stand by, and then does a weird moaning-crying thing in remorse. Pure movie magic, right there.

2. No One Would Tell (1996)

What do you get when you take our beloved Kevin Arnold, jack him up on steroids, and then make him DJ Tanner’s abusive high school boyfriend? This movie is so burned in the memories of young girls everywhere that since then, the old “hey, let’s take a canoe ride in the middle of the night- isn’t that romantic?” idea is now code for “my abusive, stalking boyfriend is clearly going to murder me. AKA run for your lives.”

This movie is also great because, like everything else made in 1996, it’s so dated as to be fit for a ’90s time capsul. Candace Cameron’s ’90s wardrobe alone should be in a museum somewhere. And if I have my way, one day it will. I swear to it.

1. Martha Inc. (2003)

I paid about $.78 for this DVD last year and I’m not going to lie to you, I would’ve paid TWICE, nay TRIPLE that amount. Cybil Shephard is, of course, Martha Stewart but not the craft-making, Connecticut loving domestic denizen we all love and slightly fear. I’m talking about the TV movie version, the batshit-crazy, pot-throwing, hair-pulling NUTCASE inhabiting NBC’s bastardization of Martha’s life and her incarceration.

Golden moment? Martha pulls up to a lovely, young lady and rolls down her car window. “Hey, slut! I’m writing your mother a letter and telling her you’re a whore!”


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