Lifetime Dips Toe in Streaming, Is Immediately In Over Its Head

Isn’t it funny (because it’s true) when old people have trouble with technology? Like that time you were in Florida and tried to get nana on Facebook. But then she got it. Thank you for ruining Facebook! But sometimes they never get it, like your uncle who’s not even that old and still has AOL and no longer answers the phone because his palm sweat shorted out the touchscreen.

Sometimes old cable channels are like old people. Take Lifetime for example. Critics are still debating whether their recent movie A Deadly Adoption was a brilliant satire of every movie Lifetime ever made or just a terrible drama. (Hint: Neither or both! It was a terrible satire.) But whatever it was, it’s not clear that whoever is in charge was in on the joke if there was one.

will ferrell

“This IS my serious face.”

Now Lifetime is trying to get in on this streaming racket at the low-rent price of $4 a month. Will they be following HBO’s lead and offering an all-you-can-eat buffet of everything they have, including the ability to watch live on almost any device? Nope. In fact, most of their current shows are already available for free on their website, with none of that pesky “sign in” crap that requires you to still have a cable provider. So what will your hard-earned moneez that you could be spending on a fancy coffee drink get you?

Lindsay is such a dedicated method actor she deliberately aged herself 20 years to play Liz Taylor.

Lindsay is such a dedicated method actor she deliberately aged herself 20 years to play Liz Taylor.

Movies! About 30 of them in rotation—all at least a year from their original air date. We don’t know what will be in the lineup, but we’re betting it will include such camp classics as The Murder of Princess Diana (2007) or Liz and Dick (2012) or Lizzie Borden Took an Axe, the 2014 version with Christina Ricci (not to be confused with the original ABC TV movie starring the legendary Elizabeth Montgomery), and maybe some other movies either about royal families (Windsors and/or Kennedys) and/or people named Elizabeth. “But wait,” says you, “Aren’t these movies available on Netflix? Which I’m already paying for?”

Why yes, they are! So what is the point of this enterprise exactly?

"Where's my agent!"

“Where’s my agent!”

According to Variety, which broke this super important story, Lifetime may be aware their meager offerings might not gain much traction. This might be their teeny-tiny foothold in the brave new television world that will fully come into being when we’ve all cut the cable cord and instead of paying too much for 656 channels most of which we don’t watch, we’ll be paying even more to string together a bunch of different streaming services.

 

Marion Stein

Marion writes television recaps and reviews for the Agony Booth, and books you can find over at Amazon.

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