• Sun, Feb 2 - 11:00 am ET

How I Imagine Lifetime’s The Gabby Douglas Story Got Made

The Gabby Douglas Story

The following conversation is how I imagine the new Lifetime movie The Gabby Douglas Story got made.*

Setting: A conference room at Lifetime HQ. A bunch of people sit around a table.

Someone raises their hand and says, “We need to talk about February’s programming. Flowers in the Attic and Lizzie Borden both take place a long time ago. If we don’t do something modern afterwards, people will forget how good we are at telling them what they already know.”

“You’re right!” somebody else declares. “Remember that time we started working on the Jodi Arias movie before she was even convicted? We need to remind people that Lifetime is ranked number one in unnecessary and premature adaptations of true stories. Let’s brainstorm! Whose story can we tell?”

“Casey Anthony!” another person replies. “Oh wait, we did that one already.”

Someone else chimes in: “We have to make sure it also takes advantage of a highly anticipated event that everyone will be talking about around the time the movie premieres. Like the Olympics or something.”

“Why not the Fab Five? That girl who writes for Crushable suggested we do that back in 2012.”

“No, we can’t focus on all five girls. It’ll take too much time to show all their lives from birth to adolescence. We need to focus on one.”

“Then let’s just focus on Gabby Douglas. We can tie it in with Black History Month. The rest of our movies for February are all about white people, but this one’ll make up for it.”

“Good thinking! Now if only we had some way of knowing her life story so we could easily write a script. She’s so young, she couldn’t possibly have documented her experiences yet.”

“Just ordered her memoir off Amazon. It’ll be here tomorrow.”

A day later…

“Well, unfortunately it looks like we only have enough material to fill approximately 25 minutes of runtime. That’s simply not gonna cut it.”

“What if we inserted like eighteen dramatic gymnastics montages set to uplifting music here and there?”

“Brilliant. Simply brilliant. This is why I hired you.”

“Here’s an idea. Bear with me here, because I might sound crazy. What if the movie had a theme?”

“Theme? What’s a theme?”

“It’s like the thing your movie’s about.”

“I’ve got it! Hopes and dreams. Having hopes and dreams, following hopes and dreams, questioning hopes and dreams. Hopes and dreams!”

“That’s good. We’re making progress. But we want to make sure everybody watching understands that the theme is hopes and dreams, so let’s find a way to work it into every conversation.”

“This is coming along great, but I’m thinking we should add a voiceover narration. Telling is so much easier than showing.”

“Exactly. But I don’t think a professional actor would be able to sound awkward enough reading it. Let’s have Gabby herself do it.”

“That’s really the best choice. And if we’re gonna tell her life story, we’ll have to figure out a way to show people how much time has passed in between scenes. Changing actresses won’t be obvious enough.”

“Okay, we’ll just give her a puppy when she’s a little girl and then edit it dramatically to show that the dog has grown up. It works in dog food commercials.”

“Guys, we’re really doing great work here. But it looks like we’ve stretched it out so much that we only have about a minute of story time to focus on the actual Olympics.”

“That’s fine. We’ll just do another montage of real footage. We rush the ends of all our movies. No one will think it’s weird.”

“Alright, guys. We did good work today. We’ve got another great one here.”

They all get up and leave for a celebratory breakfast. The clock reads 9:30 AM.

*Okay, so I cannot in fact prove this is how The Gabby Douglas Story got made, but I also can’t prove it’s not, so…

(Image: Lifetime)

You can reach this post's author, Jill O’Rourke, on twitter.
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  • Jenni

    This is perfect.

  • jenni268

    Do… do you think they really put THAT much thought into any of their stellar programming choices? I’m not convinced.

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