Home Movie How Did Lifetime Develop into the House of V.C. Andrews Films?

How Did Lifetime Develop into the House of V.C. Andrews Films?

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How Did Lifetime Develop into the House of V.C. Andrews Films?

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The Huge Image

  • Lifetime’s acquisition of V.C. Andrews’ catalog and their success in adapting her works reveals that the attraction of Lifetime programming and Andrews’ novels are virtually synonymous.
  • Andrews’ model of storytelling captivates readers, particularly girls, with its mixture of genres, wild twists, and exploration of the inside lives of sophisticated girls.
  • Lifetime’s give attention to centering girls’s tales and offering an area for narratives that acknowledge the severity of ladies’s experiences makes it the correct car for realizing Andrews’ works onscreen.


In February 2022 Lifetime acquired the rights to everything of V.C. Andrews’ in depth catalog. The community had already produced in style feature-length diversifications of the creator’s most well-known works, beginning with Flowers within the Attic in 2014. Based on The Hollywood Reporter, the Flowers movie and its direct sequel Petals on the Wind “have been the highest two authentic cable motion pictures of that 12 months amongst Lifetime’s core demographic of ladies 25-54.” One other miniseries based mostly on Andrews’ Casteel novels, launched in 2019, noticed comparable success. The floodgates then opened to incorporate a Flowers within the Attic origin story and two different miniseries with extra within the manufacturing pipeline.

For some, the temptation to sneer at something involving the phrases “Lifetime authentic film” and “V.C. Andrews” is perhaps too nice to disregard. There isn’t any doubt the Lifetime community developed and perpetuated a mode, and few will declare their contributions are Oscar-worthy. However to mock is to overlook the purpose: these motion pictures aren’t making an attempt to attain crucial acclaim. The attraction of Lifetime programming and the attraction of V.C. Andrews’ novels are so overlapping, they’re virtually synonymous. Placing the 2 collectively is an natural equation.

RELATED: Is ‘Flowers within the Attic’ Based mostly on a True Story?


Why Are V.C. Andrews Books Interesting?

The Dollanganger family in Lifetime's Flowers in the Attic
Picture by way of Lifetime

When Virginia Cleo Andrews revealed Flowers within the Attic in 1979 on the age of 55, the world went wild. Particularly, adolescent ladies gossiped in regards to the Gothic paperback and its magnificently lurid contents. Adults have been equally hooked on the melodrama even when they discovered Andrews’ prose lower than outstanding. Flowers has offered over 40 million copies since its debut, spawned 4 direct sequels by Andrews and a number of spin-offs from her estate-approved ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman, one sanitized and subsequently untrue Hollywood manufacturing, and Lifetime’s appropriately campy made-for-TV film.

Simply the title V.C. Andrews has connotations. Between the seven novels Andrews wrote earlier than her loss of life and the 100+ penned by Neiderman, there’s one thing about Andrews’ works that captivates readers — girls particularly. Her model mixes genres with audacity, combining hallmarks of the traditional Gothic novel with the psychological thriller, horror, historic, and even the supernatural. She will’t technically be shelved beneath romance given all of the twisted toxicity, however the claustrophobic, tense atmospheres and heavy emphasis on heightened feelings faucet right into a collective love for wild twists, generational mysteries, and, principally notably, the inside lives of sophisticated girls. Andrews’ early catalog let girls be disasters with out condemnation or celebration. It did not matter in the event that they epitomized the tortured, delicate heroine (till they rebelled) or pranced round like a vindictive villain: Andrews aired the soiled laundry that gendered social norms needed to disregard. Her distinctly female viewpoint specialised in intercourse, terror, and breast-thumping weeping whereas nonetheless indulging in accelerated horror.

Every part following Andrews’ last e-book capitalizes on the success of her title with comparable (generally spinoff) plots and eventualities: haunted mansions, forbidden love, and imperiled girls struggling in opposition to familial threats. Regardless of how Neiderman’s contributions furthered her legacy, nothing can prime the Virginia originals like My Candy Audrina for sheer Gothic ludicrousy. In a 2021 interview with UPI , Neiderman stated of Andrews’ themes, “she was thinking about why individuals who have been supposed to like one another damage one another. That was the central theme of the V.C. Andrews novels — household and the ache individuals endure from individuals they love.” That concentrate on “home” feelings mixed together with her descriptive fashion recollects daytime cleaning soap operas (extra on that later). At one level, Flowers within the Attic heroine Cathy bemoans, “Chris, cleaning soap opera persons are like us.” V.C. Andrews is what some individuals deem purple prose and others dub nice, illicit enjoyable.

Why Are Lifetime and V.C. Andrews a Nice Match?

The cast of Lifetime's adaptation of the V.C. Andrews book My Sweet Audrina
Picture by way of Lifetime

So why is Lifetime the correct car to understand Andrews’ works onscreen? For one, the corporate prides itself on centering girls’s tales and using girls behind the digicam. Initially, Lifetime started as a cable service that broadcast speak reveals, recreation reveals (the place are my Grocery store Sweep followers?), and medical documentaries earlier than pivoting to girls’s sports activities, syndicated sitcoms, and authentic content material. Quickly, Lifetime was residence to actuality tv (Dance Mothers, Married At First Sight) and in style fiction (Military Wives), had a foot within the Christmas rom-com market, and produced each fathomable variation on true crime. After which there are the unforgettable authentic film titles: gems like A Nurse To Die For, Hazard Lurking Beneath My Roof, and a 2016 remake of Mom, Might I Sleep with Hazard? ensured Lifetime grew to become a family title.

In 2023, the model stays profitable by specializing in women-led tales. Do Lifetime’s routine plots conform to inflexible, outdated gender binaries? Completely. Ladies aren’t out right here directing motion blockbusters for Lifetime. Nonetheless, these motion pictures present an area for ladies who crave the validation and satisfaction inherent to such tales. Watching endangered girls combat for autonomy and security in opposition to fixed traumatic abuse may be tiring for some, however non-exploitive narratives that acknowledge the subject’s severity are safely cathartic.

Particular person opinions about Lifetime’s reliance on such matters apart, the community offers many assets for these affected by violence and assault by means of its “Cease Violence Towards Ladies Public Affairs” effort. The community additionally financed and broadcast Surviving R. Kelly, the Peabody Award-winning documentary exposing the musician’s sexual abuse crimes. In contrast to most firms, Lifetime appears to stroll the speak.

The Lifetime Community Facilities Ladies’s Tales

The cast of Lifetime's Dawn miniseries based on the V.C. Andrews series
Picture by way of Lifetime

The cleaning soap opera to V.C. Andrews to Lifetime pipeline is pretty simple. As a result of many ladies have been wives and moms residing at residence whereas their husbands labored, cleaning soap operas began as daytime radio serials centered on relationships and feelings. Ladies aren’t a monolith and are thinking about all story sorts, however as a result of cleaning soap operas and their non secular imitators are leisure geared toward girls, individuals will deride their worth. Now, please do not snort at that sentence. As with all fashion, not each melodramatic story qualifies as “good.” That reality goes hand-in-hand with one other: cleaning soap operas, romances, Lifetime authentic motion pictures, and V.C. Andrews books aren’t any extra ridiculous than long-running superhero comedian books that pressure creditability and bend over backward with cliffhanger twists.

To cite Flowers within the Attic, “why is all of it males suppose every little thing a lady writes is trivial or trashy, or simply plain foolish drivel?” The Barbie film’s success proves there’s an viewers of underserved girls craving narratives reflective of their experiences and pursuits. Lifetime has the formulation down, is aware of its demographic, and appears to respect it, which makes the community an ideal match for Andrews’ books. A streamer like Netflix could not pull these novels off; they do not have the braveness.

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