In the case of Jodi Arias and Lifetime's movie, is life imitating art or is art imitating life? Technically, it's the latter, but given the coverage of the trial and the case itself, it seems like the line between fact and drama may be a bit blurry. Alas, now's probably not the time for commentary on the sensationalization of violent crimes by the media. It's the time for commentary on Lifetime's dramatization of those crimes, as Jodi Arias' story is getting a speedy made-for-TV adaptation - not a constitutional right, mind you but certainly an option in this day and age. The above clip gives us a glimpse of the story that's set to unfold in Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret. The clip shows Jodi and her boyfriend having an argument, indicating that things aren't going so well in their relationship and hinting that she might be a bit unstable, at least from his perspective. And from her perspective, she feels like a prostitute and thinks he's cheating on her. That leads to him suggesting they take a break.
The movie, which stars Lost's Tania Raymonde as Arias and Jesse Lee Soffer as Travis Alexander, the eventual victim, centers on Arias, a woman recently convicted of murdering her boyfriend by stabbing him 27 times, slashing his throat and shooting him in the head. Arias plead not guilty to the crime, though investigators found a camera hidden in victim's washing machine, which revealed images that indicated Arias - an aspiring photographer - was photographing her bedroom activity with Travis and also took photos during and after his murder. Arias claimed she killed him in self defense, but the jury didn't buy it, and instead sided with the police, who believe Arias was stalking her ex-boyfriend and seduced him one last time before murdering him. It's a dark and gruesome tale, with sex and betrayal involved, which makes it a good fit for a Lifetime TV movie, going by some of the other adaptations the network has produced.
On one hand, I want to gripe about the idea of real murders and other violent crimes being used for TV movies. It seems a bit exploitative. But on the other hand, fiction is constantly being inspired by real-life events, so where's the line? Maybe it's the direct approach and how fast Lifetime churned this one out that rubs me the wrong way. Sure, it's likely they were hoping to get the movie made while the story was still making headlines and of interest. But the story technically isn't even over, as Arias' sentencing has not yet been settled, since the jury couldn't come to an agreement on whether or not she should get the death penalty. Latest news updates on the case say Arias say her attorneys are trying to delay proceedings until early next year so they can have time to find witnesses to testify on her behalf. A new jury is going to be selected to retry her for the penalty of her conviction.
Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret is set to air this Saturday (June 22) at 8:00 p.m.
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