Ah, Lifetime movies. Rumor has it they’re created when a chef mixes eighteen different cliché in a frying pan that will later be used as a murder weapon. One of the biggest clichés is how often the movies reuse the same women’s careers over and over again. They then go a step further and make sure there are plenty of sub-clichés and sub-sub-clichés to go along with those careers. In the time that I’ve been watching and reviewing Lifetime movies, I’ve noticed a lot of recycled jobs, and I’ve put a little list together for your reference. If you want your life to have any suspense or drama, I suggest you get yourself one of these careers ASAP. Those serial killers won’t catch themselves.
1. Working Mothers With Nonspecific Professional Careers
As we’ve already established, Lifetime dads do not exist. Therefore, it’s pretty likely that all the moms sitting up at night worrying about their daughters’ cyberbullying problems likely have a job outside the house to support the family. They’re always the jobs that require them to wear very high heels. The problem is that their jobs aren’t always specified, and sometimes they don’t even seem to go to them, like in Social Nightmare, where Daryl Hannah doesn’t seem to have much to do besides practice having emotions in the mirror. I have a feeling they’re all architects of some sort, like in Dangerous Intuition. Architect is kind of the go-to choice when you’re making up a career. Just ask Art Vandelay.
2. Sympathetic Psychologists
Here’s a little tidbit about Lifetime movie psychologists. They’re into psychology because they themselves are dealing with past trauma. Like in The Toyman Killer, where a shrink questions a prisoner and reveals that she was raped and impregnated as a teenager and is now trying to find the daughter she gave up for adoption. Sometimes they even used to have a different Lifetime movie career, like in The Eleventh Victim, where a lady lawyer (see below) becomes a therapist. Don’t worry, she has past trauma too.
3. Detectives Whom Nobody Takes Seriously
Sometimes a lady cop gets an assignment that’s different from all the others, but nobody believes her/takes her seriously when she tries to explain her unconventional approach the the case. Sometimes, like in Willed to Kill, it’s because the lady cop has a tendency to shoot perps. And also because she’s probably on her period. It’s also very likely that she’ll take a break in the middle to hook up with someone. All part of the job. Oh, and sometimes the lady cop really can’t do anything and has to rely on her precocious daughter to do all the heavy lifting, like in A Mother’s Rage.
4. Lady Lawyers, Very Often Assistant D.A.s
Much like lady cops, these lady lawyers get involved in cases that are different from all the others. And they raise some eyebrows with their methods. They also often inexplicably act as detectives, like in Hunt for the Labyrinth Killer, because that’s something lady lawyers do these days, I guess. As I said before, sometimes they’re tired of being lady lawyers and decide to be lady therapists instead.
5. Nannies With Ulterior Motives
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and other times it’s a crazy nanny who managed to get the job without a background check and wants to enact revenge and/or steal your baby. It helps if the word “nanny” is in the movie title to really drive the point home. In The Nightmare Nanny, failure to do a background check leads a nanny to kidnap her client’s kid and come down with a case of the Crazy Eyes. In A Nanny’s Revenge, a nanny’s out to avenge her parents’ deaths, because aren’t they always?
6. Dirty Teachers
Sometimes a female teacher just wants to get it on with a teenage boy and maybe frame his girlfriend for murder. All in a day’s work. Now to get back to grading those pesky term papers. It helps when these movies have very direct names like, I don’t know, Dirty Teacher or something.
7. Marketing/PR/Advertising Gurus Who Work On Christmas
Christmas Lifetime movies are famous for two storylines. One is the little girl who asks Santa to bring her mom a husband, and the other is the workaholic woman whose hip, creative job requires her to work at Christmastime. Can’t she just live in the moment?! In Holly’s Holiday, it’s advertising. In All About Christmas Eve, it’s event planning. In The March Sisters at Christmas, it’s ghost-tweeting for a celebrity. If only these women knew the true reason for the season — finding a husband.
I know what you’re thinking; murdering isn’t a job. Well, these ladies sure treat it like one. Do you know how many cheesy clichés they have to cover in a two-hour period? There’s watching the victim while he sleeps, doing stripteases, and screaming a lot. Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret is an excellent example. Somebody’s getting Employee of the Month!
Let me know your favorite Lifetime movie career, and then check out our Lifetime movie review directory and see if you can spot all the examples.
(Lead Photo: Lifetime)