Lifetime movies have developed a reputation over the years – and it’s not necessarily a phenomenal one. The most recent Lifetime original movie, The Unauthorized Full House Story, has attracted a great deal of quasi-controversy and concern, but the higher ups at Lifetime seem unphased, and even happy, with the attention.
When asked about comparisons between The Unauthorized Full House Story and Sharknado, Tanya Lopez, senior vice president of Lifetime original movies, spoke out to The Wrap:
It’s not as though [Syfy] is looking at the films as being any more than what they are. I’m not putting these up for an Emmy nomination. But there’s a lot of things out there on television that we all watch and may not admit to.
It puts our reasons for watching both programs into perspective; we understand that neither of them have a snowball’s chance of winning a prestigious award, but we still indulge because they possess an inherent entertainment value. Lopez’s perspective also comes off as surprisingly refreshing when we consider, in the era of prestige television, how much effort is put into affecting drama these days. These films also clearly have found an audience, with two Sharknado sequels already released, and The Unauthorized Saved-by-the-Bell Story (which preceded The Unauthorized Full House Story) garnering 1.6 million viewers on its premiere.
Lopez also remarked on the overall quality this latest Lifetime film.
That’s why people are so interested in watching these movies — poking fun at them. That’s part of the entertainment value. We know what they are… It’s not like everyone is exposing us to the fact that there is some silliness and some winks in these films. We’re in on it.
It’s a difficult comparison to try and make between these flicks, while Sharknado and The Unauthorized Full House Story both delve into sensationalized, hammy portrayals of their subject matter, one is completely fictional, while the other is firmly rooted in pseudo-reality. The original cast of Full House refused to take part in the Lifetime Original, and as such, much of what makes it to screen was extrapolated from public records, rather than obtained by sources close to the original sitcom.
In the end, The Unauthorized Full House Story probably did not do much in the way of revealing scandals or dark times behind the scenes, and in many ways proved completely harmless. However, it does not discount the fact that while these overblown melodramas certainly entertain, when they concern the lives of real people, some would worry that they walk the fine lines of good taste.