This weekend, Lifetime premiered Stalked at 17 as part of a marathon of 17-themed movies, including Accused at 17, Fugitive at 17 and Kidnapped by Clowns at 17. Confession: I made one of those up as practice for my game show pitch Lifetime Movie or Jill’s Recurring Nightmare? In honor of Lifetime‘s continued interest in the age 17, I’m shaking things up this week by revealing 17 life lessons I learned from Stalked at 17.
1. Always trademark your movie title by putting TM next to it. Darn it, Lifetime, you beat me to it!
2. Don’t cast someone named Chuck Hittinger as a violent boyfriend. Will next week’s movie star I.M. Killinger?
3. Avoid college boys who pick up girls by calling out random names in the middle of campus. This is how Kurt attracts high-schooler Angela’s (Taylor Spreitler) attention during her college tour. Angela’s more interested in Kurt’s friend Chad (Chuck Hittinger), who stares at her with a furrowed brow that puts Edward Cullen‘s to shame.
4. Don’t join a fraternity if you can’t handle a little vomit on the front steps. Chad isn’t going to just step over that vomit. And he’d rather eat an entire pizza alone in his room than go to a loud frat party. You and me both, Chad.
5. If a guy’s life story sounds oddly like a Lifetime movie, he’s probably lying. Chad tells Angela his mom was murdered, and he was passed from foster home to foster home as a kid. Lies!
6. If you throw up, you’re probably pregnant. As a schoolmate tells Angela after she explains that she probably got sick from bad yogurt (similar to Peggy Olson‘s Bad Sandwich Hypothesis on Mad Men), “Good to Know you’re not contagious or pregnant or something.” Angela’s face says, “Wait… you can get pregnant from bad yogurt?”
7. “He keeps telling me he loves me” needs to be Lifetime‘s new slogan.
8. Babies grow in your stomach? Angela, what’s in your stomach is that bad yogurt. The baby’s in your liver. Don’t you know anything?
9. Want your baby daddy to stick around? Be 1,000 percent sure it’s his baby. According to Chad.
10. If your boyfriend yells at a waiter, that’s a dealbreaker. Angela, listen to the nice waiter who told you, “The way he treats other people, one day he will be that way with you as well.” Didn’t you see Fatal Honeymoon?
11. “Fathers love their daughters even more than the woman they married.” I can name a dozen absent Lifetime dads who dispute that claim, but whatever you say, Angela’s Mom (Amy Pietz).
12. If your baby daddy says he’d KILL for you, that’s a red flag.
13. Your obsessive boyfriend is hiding close by in a hoodie right now. Coffee shop, school bathroom, your house, restaurant where your mom works…
14. Never go to a fancy banquet and leave your daughter and her baby home alone.
15. When being kidnapped, leave one important thing behind and trick your kidnapper into stopping for it. In this case, it’s baby teething cream. I’d also suggest tampons, particularly if you have a male kidnapper.
16. Read all bathroom graffiti very carefully. This includes Bible verses, crudely drawn genitalia, and Shakespeare quotes with words changed to “poop.” The woman who sees Angela’s written plea for help understands this lesson.
17. Tired of writing your screenplay? Just stop. Did Chad die from that bullet wound in the convenience store? Did they arrest his creepy mom (Jamie Luner)? Will I extend Lifetime‘s advice to this post and just stop writ