An open letter to Lifetime

Dear Lifetime,

Hi. It’s Kathleen. Yeah, you don’t really know me. Because except for How I Met Your Mother reruns, we don’t talk so much since you stopped showing Will & Grace.

But it’s winter break. Which means that I have spent quite a significant portion of my time (i.e., all of it that wasn’t spent celebrating the Incarnation) mindlessly staring at your channels.

And I get it- you’re not going for deep, philosophical, The English Patient-like programming here. In fact, I’ve realized that there are two basic formulas.

1.) A beautiful doe-eyed girl falls for a totally adorable boy who ends up being a serial killer who is obsessed with her and kills everyone to get close to her and she must outwit him with the help of the totally adorable and way-more-normal-oh-yeah-you-can-totally-tell-see-he-has-kind-eyes adorable police officer/rape counselor/district attorney. The guy either ends up dead (It’s an accident! This girl could never intentionally kill anyone!) or goes away for life and there’s absolutely no chance of ever seeing him again.


2.) A beautiful doe-eyed girl falls for a totally adorable boy who is usually her teacher or some other authority figure and she ends up being a crazy serial killer obsessed with the boy and kills everyone to get close to him and he needs to outwit her with the help of the beautiful doe-eyed-but-not-crazy-because-she-has-an-edgy-haircut-and-is-about-six-months-older-than-crazy-chick-and-you-can-totally-tell-she’s-mature friend/sister-in-law (from before crazy chick killed the wife)/district attorney. The girl never dies (because that’s just sad!) and while she goes away for life there’s always a scene at the end where she stares disconcertingly into the camera and you know she’s coming back. Because apparently girls are less scary?

With incredibly slight differences in dialogue, that’s pretty much it.

There are a few errors that I feel I need to correct, though.

The teacher theme is incredibly prevalent, mostly I think because you guys are operating under the illusion that all college campuses are staffed by ridiculously attractive people who only leave their well-appointed oak-panelled HUGE offices with, like, windows, and comfy chairs and built-in bookcases filled with first editions to have torrid interdepartmental affairs and teach classes where they basically talk about sex the whole time. But in an academic way.

Yeah. I don’t think any of you actually went to college.

Look, I get that I’m only marginally employed in the academic world. I don’t know everything. But I do spend a lot of time in the offices, because, well, marginally employed. And my office lacks windows, comfy chairs, and any sort of oak paneling.

(I mean, I do have a chair that only falls forward when someone actually sits on it, and a fan from the 1970s. So that’s pretty cool.)

Also not so many ridiculously hot professors wandering around. Like, it’s kind of an aging profession if you know what I mean. When people talk about my job prospects it’s usually followed by, “Well, some of us have to retire sometime…”

Torrid interdepartmental affairs? Probably not likely, and definitely not as hot as you guys seem to think. (See: the aging thing, above.) Most people are married to someone who also works on campus, so I guess that’s kind of…okay, not hot at all.

And most lectures don’t have anything to do with an academic discussion of sex in literature…oh, wait. My sister’s a creative writing major and I’ve been told that actually happens, like, all the time. So I’ll give you that one.

So. If you could arrange to actually visit a campus at some point that would probably lead to more accurate representations in your “movies”.  But, you know, they’d be way more boring. So, your call, I guess.



P.S. Anything we can do about Will & Grace?


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