Stuff We Love, by Lisa Burstein

When it comes to writing and reading I am a sucker for well-written literary work. Beautiful, lyrical prose that makes you think; rather than the easy, thrilling read of a page-turner. I certainly value and am jealous of writers who write this type of work and do it well, but when I am at the bookstore I am much more likely to pick up something heavy. Something my MFA professors would be proud of.

This certainly wasn’t always the case. When I was younger one of my favorite authors was V.C. Andrews. In middle school I inhaled her books. If you’ve ever read her work, you know it is sexy, lurid, chilling, and can be read in one sitting. It usually features an MC that is exceptionally beautiful and surrounded by dirty secrets. While my love of literature does not mirror this early love any longer, I am positive my secret obsession with Lifetime Movies has its origin here.

Yes, I admit it. I LOVE Lifetime Movies, the cheesier the better. The more formulaic the better. The more dead pets to show there is a murderous child around, the better.

I haven’t figured out what it is about Lifetime Movies that I can’t get enough of, but they relax me and–as embarrassing as it is to admit, considering my love of serious, literary books–I will watch them until my eyes bleed.

I’ve never had to think about why I love them, but my guess is that as a writer sometimes you need a break. When I watch movies in the theater I am always analyzing. Does is character make sense? Does this plot play out as believable? Does this love story make me want to clutch my heart and cry? I am watching like a writer, like an editor.

It’s tiring. Certainly I find myself reading this way sometimes, but is it easier for me to turn off.

The thing about Lifetime Movies is I know not to expect the characters to make sense. The plot to be believable. The love story to build and grow the way a love story needs to.

The woman being stalked by a crazy guy who videotapes her within feet of where she is at all times, of course she wouldn’t notice. A man lives a double life for years and it isn’t until after he is killed by a business partner that it all comes out; why would his wife ever suspect it? A married policeman who is paralyzed decides to give up his own life so his wife and his best friend can fall in love, like they were always meant to; all men would do that. A woman who is bat-poop nutso and carries rancid meat around, but her parents think she will be fine because that is how she is “dealing” with her divorce; no reason to commit her.

Lifetime Movies are my escape. My guilty pleasure. I know they are never going to be nominated for an Oscar and I never expect them to be. Perhaps that is why I love them. When I’m watching I don’t have the editor in my head questioning if there is too much back story, dead pets or rancid meat.

What are some of your embarrassing guilty pleasures?

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