When you think "Lifetime" you think "television for women," and when you think "women," you think "shoes!" then you put your head down on your desk for a few seconds cause all the beautiful shoe thoughts stomping across your brain are making you so dizzy but you don't want them to stop, you just want to enjoy them for a minute, right? Right.
Anyway, this is why it's virtually impossible for any article about women not to include some horrifically cliché shoe metaphor within the first few lines.
From the LA Times:
Sensible shoes or stilettos? Lifetime is still trying to figure out which fits best.
The women's cable network has struggled for years to change from plain Jane to glamour girl. But Lifetime's numerous makeovers have taken a toll: Its prime-time audience has plunged so much that the channel no longer even ranks among the top five favorite cable networks among women under 50, according to Nielsen.
OMG, it's like should Lifetime be a Veronica or a Heather, you know? Of course, the "which awful cliché are you?" questions are moot because Lifetime is neither plain Jane or glamour girl. Lifetime is the determined mom of the co-ed call girl, and sometimes the murderous housewife—both of which, obviously, are pretty decent roles. But Lifetime doesn't want them; it wants to be cool, which is a big problem.
Another problem? This:
Indeed, the current perception of Lifetime is, " 'It's great for my mom, but I wouldn't watch it.' That has to change," said JoAnn Alfano, Lifetime's executive vice president of programming. "In some ways it's not rocket science. We want to invite all women into the tent and offer a cross-section of programming."
"Lifetime is the girl that goes from boyfriend to boyfriend too much," said Susanne Daniels, a former president of entertainment at the network who left in 2008. "Why can't it get married to someone who cares and wants to be in it for the long haul?"
When the former president of the network doesn't even understand which cliché the network fits, there is a definite disconnect.
Lifetime's big problem is that it wants to be Bravo. It wants to be mean, and fashionable, and overly concerned with deliciously petty dramas. This is why Lifetime bought Project Runway. Unfortunately, this is why Lifetime also completely ruined Project Runway, because Lifetime is Lifetime. It's uplifting, and cheesy, and overly concerned with melodrama—not the best environment for a show that most people watch in order to hear sharp snipes about dresses made from candy wrappers and twine.
But Lifetime shouldn't be afraid to be Lifetime. What's wrong with being the network moms and lazy people on Saturday afternoons watch? Lifetime should back away slowly from the technicolor hot pink title cards of original sitcoms like Sherri and Rita Rocks!, and concentrate on the things their audience wants to see. Namely:
1. Melodramatic, ripped-from-the-headlines movies. What are Candace Cameron, Jenna Van Oy, and Kellie Martin doing anyway? Put them in some movies about sorority murder plots, or managing their teenage daughter's cutting, or missing children, or battling Pro-Ana websites, etc. Or don't. Just show Dying To Belong and Switched At Birth more.
2. Get The Golden Girls back from The Hallmark Channel. This should be the only intentional comedy on Lifetime. Well, this and possibly Designing Women.
3. Murder shows. You know what moms and lazy people on Saturday afternoons like to watch, Lifetime? Murder. Preferably with bad re-enactments. Come up with your own all-murder version of Unsolved Mysteries, and you'll never have to ruin another Bravo reality show again.
4. Sally Field. Just show anything with Sally Field in it: Steel Magnolias, Not Without My Daughter, Soapdish, Eye For An Eye, Boniva commercials. She basically is Lifetime. Embrace her. (Also Meshach Taylor)