Anyway, for some odd reason, I woke up early and went to work today and all day, I've been struck with the odd sensation that the day is Wednesday, but it's Tuesday. As much as I remind myself of this fact, my brain can't seem to grasp the simple concept of Tuesday. Just then, I went to type Wednesday into the last sentence. I got two or three letters in before I realized what I was doing and hit the backspace. I wonder if there is a name for the condition of constantly thinking it's one day when it's actually another.
Ooh, yesterday evening there was a special treat on the Lifetime Movie Network. In case you don't know, the Lifetime Movie Network is on the extended digital cable package. I almost never view this channel, but it pays off in unexpected ways, like when I spent a lazy summer afternoon shunning the outdoors and instead watching a young Julia Stiles kill her mother and seduce her father in Wicked or the possible increased chances I have of finally getting to see Dying to Belong again, hands down the best TV movie about a sorority, starring Hilary Swank, Mark Paul Gosselaar, Six from Blossom, and the second Becky from Roseanne [also, for you L Word fans, Laurel Holloman] - this movie includes some of the best bitchy hazing stuff I've ever gotten to see in a TV movie, plus completely unconvincing villainous performances all around from the sorority sisters, who all look like they'd rather be shopping. Not that it's the best TV movie ever, but it's one of my favorites, and it's never on television save for once or twice a year on a channel like LMN.
Anyway, so I don't really bother with LMN, but last night was a one-two classic mid-nineties' TV movie knock-out, starting strong with another one of my all-time TV movie favorites, Friends 'Til The End, followed by the anorexastic A Secret Between Friends. I won't really discuss ASBF, because I actually didn't stick around to watch it (um, the Most Evil episode on at 8 pm was "Partners in Crime" covering the Moors Murderers, Paul Bernardo and Karla Holmolka, and Lake and Ng. I couldn't pry myself away). But I know Friends 'Til the End like the back of my hand, and because I was with someone that a) writes and plays music & b) only had a vague recognition of the film, we watched all of it, aside from a block of minutes at 7:00 pm, where we watched Jeopardy instead, switching back to FTE during commercial breaks.
Alright, how to put this mildly... Friends 'Til the End is so mid-nineties, it actually burns my soul a little bit. It came around in that pre-Charmed Shannon Doherty era, the era of her terrible TV movies, but FTE is special, because so few of the mid-nineties bad TV movies capture the bad mid-nineties musical-landscape. I could go on and on to you about the lasting effect of the musical years of 1994 through 1996, but basically, this movie was made in 1996, and there's no mistaking that Shannon Doherty and her "bandmates" in "Dead Pink" are alterna-rockers, kind of a Mazzy Star without the eyeliner and nuance. Um, actually, Dead Pink is a shitty shitty college band that play terrible songs, and at even one point, make a video that features each band member in a phone booth in the middle of a desert-like landscape... ooh, very "standing outside a broken phone booth with money in my hand."
The actual plot of the movie goes something like... [deep breath] talented, beloved Heather meets Zanne, an awkward outsider who seems in desperate need of a makeover and some gal pal sorority friends. Zanne wins Heather over with sob stories of dead parents and childhood abandonment, and the two become close. Zanne gets into the sorority, is in Heather's writing class, and even gets to join Dead Pink when it's proven that having two foxy ladies might better distract from the doofus-patrol backing them up, one of whom happens to be a London (Oh, and it's Jason, known forever in my heart as Randall "Pink" Floyd from Dazed and Confused. One day I will chart up how to tell if you're watching a Jason or Jeremy London movie. It's harder than you think). Oh, and then things start going downhill. Zanne has a weird run in with someone from her past, giving the movie permission to no longer pretend to build any suspense by confusing us in regards to Zanne's true intentions -Bitch is crazy, we know it, and then we spend another hour and a half waiting for the rest of the characters to catch up. Zanne wins over Heather's friends. Zanne takes Heather's spot in the band. Zanne steals the London away from Heather. Zanne has the band all to herself, and what with the big upcoming "Battle of the Bands" just around the corner, looks like Zanne's gonna get to taste that glory all on her own. Because she likes to win, as Heather finds out while talking to Zanne's creepy (but sympathetic) mama. Turns out, Zanne probably killed a thirteen year old ballerina when she, herself, was only thirteen. Her mama insists that she didn't, but as an audience, having just watched Zanne beat a guy to death with a brick, our only response is "riiiggghhhttt. she didn't kill that girl. and this music is awesome."
Everything that is delightful to revile about the mid-nineties, this movie has in lethal doses. Heather drives a yellow VW Bug. How retro! Zanne wears barrettes in her bleached blonde hair. Whoa! So many short-sleeved velvet turtlenecks and tank dresses and combat boots and plaid flannel, my nostalgic self is reeling. But you know, it really comes back down to the music portion of this saga. The music is just so generically awful, it, at points, passes for stuff that could have been on the radio. The last, impactful song, at the very end, is all about contemporary disillusionment. Do you know how funny mid-nineties disillusionment as sung by Shannon Doherty is? Well, let me give you a sampling of lyrics, as procured from Shannon-Doherty.net:
"Lies on the TV, Lies on the movies, Lies on the billboards, Nobody tells the truth, I'm going deaf, Does anybody hear me? Does anybody hear me? Does anybody hear me? Does anybody hear me? Because I don't, no, no I don't, because I don't. Tired of all the violence, We've lost lives enough, And I'm tired of all the nudity so much sex without love, And I'm tired of all the smokers blowing smoke in my face, And the same old boring models decorating every fashion page, I don't trust the politicians, Or the movie ratings board, And I'm tired of fighting all these inner and outer wars, I've got bullets in my eyes, Got blood in my ears, And the world could drown from the truth I take, or tears...
Uh, yeah, it's a classic. Someone has actually posted videos from the movie on YouTube.
in case you are confused as to the presence of the little girl, that's crazy bitch momentarily freaking out. i can't get over how dumb the dudes are in that band...
For a while, VH1 was playing this movie has a part of its "Movies that Rock" collection. I think I probably saw the movie around that time. If you ever see it running on Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, Oxygen, WE, VH1 or any of its branches, etc., definitely watch it. Oh, and if you see that "Dying to Belong" is going to be on television, at any point, on any channel, CALL ME.