Proving once again that its old slogan, “Television For Women,” was an abbreviation of the longer phrase “Television For Women’s Deepest, Most Horrific Nightmares To Dance And Cavort On Your TV Screen In An Endless Carnival Of Fear,” Lifetime has announced that it will be adapting the 2013 case of Ariel Castro and his kidnapping of three women in Cleveland to its Lifetime movie format. It’s a bold move, clearly designed to steal back the title of “Crassest, Least Tasteful TV Adaptation of a True Story” from the people making that Boston Marathon event series for Fox.
In case you've forgotten—presumably, in a desperate bid to keep some tiny shred of your faith in humanity intact—the Cleveland kidnappings came to light last year, when Ohio resident Amanda Berry escaped from imprisonment by former school bus driver Ariel Castro, who used threats, restraints, and psychological abuse to trap Berry and two other women in his Cleveland home for more than a decade. The survivors’ accounts describe—among a litany of other horrific abuses—hundreds of instances of rape, several of which resulted in pregnancies that Castro then forcibly caused the women to miscarry. Like any sentient human being with a soul, you probably read that last sentence and thought, “Boy, I’d love to watch some actresses pretend to have that happen to them while I relax with a nice bottle of wine! Maybe some popcorn!” Don’t worry, person-who-is-definitely-not-a-sociopath! Lifetime has you covered.
We don’t know yet when The Michelle Knight Story—named for one of Castro’s other victims, imprisoned for more than 11 years—will oozily congeal on your TV screen, or how long you’ll have to shower to remove the sickening feeling of having watched it. There’s also no word yet on whether the Lifetime producers have hit Rob Lowe’s speed-dial to pitch him on playing Castro.