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Lifetime Movie Network is a 24-hour movie channel, brought to you by the same people who run Lifetime. It was launched in July of 1998 and has since then become a repository for women-oriented films. Its parent company is The Walt Disney Company.

My mother and sister often watch this channel while I am doing work. After pseudo-watching (paying attention to the films like men pay attention to their wives) so many films, I've noticed there is a formula to each one. Most of them are made-for-television, some are feature films, but they all adhere to the same rules. Lifetime has strict guidelines as to what they show.

We start with the main character, who is most certainly of the female persuasion. This character is either single, married, separated, divorced, or widowed.

There are secondary characters that may play a pivotal role, such as children, parents, husbands, significant others, friends, and therapists.

The next component is the conflict. There is a handful, and they are: adoption, AIDS, child abuse, child custody, child molestation, domestic violence, divorce, Down syndrome, drug abuse, eating disorders, extramarital affairs, gay and lesbian issues, kidnapping, mental health, missing children, multiple sclerosis, murder, separation, sexual harassment, rape.

There is usually a secondary conflict, also taken from the categories above. Mix and match. For example: a woman learns her husband is having an affair, and on top of that, learns he has murdered his mistress. Another example: A woman learns her husband is having an affair and they feel the marriage is dissolving, however, it is due to the fact that the main character has been molested as a child and is fearful of all relationships.

After much conflict, there is the path to resolution. This involves some type of empowerment. Either through a friend, a therapist, or her own determination, the woman will overcome all obstacles in her way. In the end, the viewer learns that men are evil and that woman can do anything if they put their minds to it.

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