Saturday, December 09, 2006

She Should Have Changed The Channel

Random self-confession. Sometimes, perhaps once every 6 months, I decide lay on my couch for a maximum of 4 hours and check out what sort of Moment of Truth I can have while watching the Lifetime Movie Network.

Usually this happens when I'm scanning through the Tivo guide while procrastinating doing anything of real substance and because I didn't get enough sleep the night before. I usually end up stopping because one of the terrible titles intrigues me (The hands-down winner for best Lifetime-aired film is always going to be Mother, May I Sleep With Danger). Many times, I'll just scan through the upcoming programs on LMN because I enjoy reading these ridiculous titles, some of which can be interchanged with adult films. Most times I stop because the cast synopsis is just too terrible not to at least check out what's going on in the films. Sometimes, you'll find credible actors before they had credible careers, for instance, you can see Christopher Meloni with HAIR in some film with Connie Selleca and Gregory Harrison as her stalker. (FYI, its always a Lifetime movie when you have Selleca and Harrison.)

One of my favorite loathesome actors is Jack Wagner. Jack Wagner is simply terrible, with a smarmy look that makes my skin crawl. In 1997, I met Mr. Wagner at the Deja Vu nightclub in Columbia, MO. Wagner is from Missouri and hosts an annual celebrity golf tournament in nearby Boonville (Home to the "wineries" we would frequent on Friday afternoons once the weather would warm up).

Because its Columbia, MO, Wagner thinks he can show up with an actual entourage and throw out $100 bill for drinks, maybe scoring some coed tail or something. The bar was packed that Thursday night and I kept hearing how "Jack Wagner's here." This was incredibly amusing for the group of friends I was with. At one point, I ended up actually bumping into his P-list smarminess and he turned around, giving me some sort of grin that said, "You want to talk to me because I'm famous." I wanted to laugh in his face, but I didn't want to be rude, so all that came out was "You're Jack Wagner."

He replied, "Why, yes. I am." (Repeat smarmy grin chock full of self-satisfaction.)

I walked away laughing because it was just too funny. That ridiculous answer. Just too damn funny.

Eventually, I saw a ridiculous Wagner movie on Lifetime called Frequent Flier. Good ol' Jack is a commercial pilot juggling wives in both Dallas and Chicago (major hubs, obviously). This movie is absolutely horrible, yet hilariously so. It's up there with Mother, May I Sleep With Danger and the Ricki Lake masterpiece, Babycakes (All you really need to know is that she seduces a ice skating-subway driver played by Craig Scheffer and then he has to choose between his skinny & wealthy — and MEAN — girlfriend).

This afternoon, I stumble upon 1995's Lady Killer about 15 minutes after the start. I encounter Judith Light (Angela Bower! Angela Bower!) getting into a bathtub with Jack Wagner. And Wagner is beyond smarmy, sporting that chin-length hair and sideburns only considered desirable between 1994-early 1996.

This is disgusting. I really could have gotten through life without having a mental picture of Judith Light and Jack Wagner doing it. (And no offense to Judith Light. She's done Broadway and some credible work, so I won't really bash her, however, I don't want to see her in a bubble bath with Jack Wagner.)

She ends their affair but he's an obsessed psycho (Duh! This is a LIFETIME MOVIE!), so he ends up getting involved with her daughter. The daughter is played by the one-tiny-step-above-Kellie-effing-Martin Tracey Gold. Anyway, the whole family is at some cabin and Wagner does it with Gold so Light can hear them.

The whole experience was painful and made me feel dirty, although the requisite psycho-falling-off-high-place death scene was good (However, the gold standard for this sort of scene will always remain 1996's Fear, when Mark Wahlberg bites it on a bunch of rocks in the end.)

I know people need work but, even in 1995, there is absolutely no reason for anyone casting ANYTHING to think the general public needed to visualize the coital goings-on of those three individuals.

Must. Go. Bathe. And not watch any television for at least 12–24 hours. There are reasons such crimes are only committed every six months.

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