Your weekend plan: Binge-watching classic made-for-TV movies on the Internet
The made-for-TV movie: where lessons are learned, history is awkwardly reenacted and celebrities are born. It’s a weird throwback genre that has been kept alive by a few cable networks (hello Lifetime, g’day Hallmark Channel), and continues to hold a special place in our hearts. And while you can’t find some of the best MFTVMs on your TV anymore, you can find them on that great big archival library known as the Internet. If you’re in a particularly weird mood, maybe you need to cuddle up with a blanket, your laptop and these very special prime-time movies.
We love Helen Hunt, right? So, due to our undying love for her, let’s all watch Quarterback Princess. It’s about a high school girl who just wants to play football — but uh oh! She’s a girl! And this movie was made in 1983 so by golly is it super outdated. But, fear not: Hunt’s Tami proves everyone wrong and plays football, and she becomes homecoming queen, if the title wasn’t a dead giveaway about that. It’s also got Barbara Babcock and Tim Robbins in it, too.
Okay, it’s unfortunately split up into six different parts on YouTube, but you should watch all of them. It’s based on the book from 1990 that I think I read at least 5 times growing up. You are guaranteed only the best made-for-TV campy style with this one, and it should have won at least fifteen Emmys, if you ask me. You watch 30 seconds of the intro, and before you know it, it’s an hour and a half later because you were completely sucked in.
Do you sometimes feel that Paula Abdul isn’t in enough made-for-TV movies? Thankfully the waiting game exists, but be warned: it bears the Harlequin namesake, so things do get a little bit steamy at times. It’s a movie about an art gallery, deception, and forbidden love.
Another based on a true story here. This one is about a woman who sadly suffers a miscarriage, and is devastated by the loss. Instead of trying for another baby, this woman, Bianca, fakes a pregnancy for nine months and then steals a baby. Now, it’s up to the baby’s real mother, Karen, to track down her missing infant. Plus, David Duchovny is in it.
Basically it’s The Wedding Planner, but without Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey. Sometimes you might feel as if you’ve reached your max quota for watching The Wedding Planner in one week, and want to switch things up a bit. In this 2004 version, the Matthew McConaughey is played by Dean Cain, best known for his role as Superman on TV, and he’s a fireman. Oh, Lifetime, never change.
I know we all really love Titanic with Leo and Kate, but did you know there’s a 1996 television version with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Peter Gallagher, and Tim Curry? Now you can watch the two-part CBS miniseries, all 173 minutes of it, from the comforts of your bed. The boat still sinks in this version, but sadly there is no Celine Dion soundtrack.
In this ABC Family original movie, which isn’t that old but is already a classic, Barry Watson plays a human from the future who travels back in time and falls in love with romance writer, played by the charming Sara Rue. Only problem? She’s got a boyfriend — that’s an obstacle this fish out of water is going to have to overcome. But, thanks to time travel (naturally) Barry’s Pax is able to win the girl of his dreams. It’s really cute and weird, no joke. Netflix, never lose this one.