Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Lunch Lost

It seems appropriate to preface this post with a quote from Family Guy. I tried to find a video clip and failed miserably, so you'll just have to imagine the whole thing. Keep in mind this little snippet has a big ol' laugh track behind it...

Announcer: We now return to Girlfriends, on Lifetime.
Woman 1: Barry was over last night and he--
Woman 2: Don't tell me.
Both: He left the toilet seat up!
Woman 2: Oh, I ran into Frank. It's funny, he fought in Vietnam, he's an exorcist, but there is one thing that terrifies him.
Both: Commitment!
Woman 1: Oh, Midge. You're my 3rd best friend in the whole world.
Woman 2: 3rd? Who're the first 2?
Woman 1: Ben and Jerry!
Announcer: Lifetime. Television for idiots.

So here's the deal: has anyone seen any part of this horrible movie called "A Family Lost" on Lifetime? Oh good golly I wanna bottle this thing and sell it as a Cheez Whiz alternative, and I could only stomach about 15 minutes of it, hence the title above.

It's Saturday. I'm in between watching hockey games. I pause on Lifetime for no good reason, and I wonder what's going on. There's a woman talking to her boyfriend, and her snippy 13-year-old (are there any other kinds?) runs off to IM someone goodbye. They are leaving for a trip to Alaska. I begin to wonder what the issues are in this particular piece of Lifetime gold. Is the girl talking to a pedophile? Is mom's boyfriend a pedophile? Or just a regular psychopath? After the girl clicks her laptop closed, we hear a beeping noise. She lifts her shirt so we can see what seems to be a big, white circular piece of tape with a wire running into a fanny pack that she's wearing. It's stuck a few inches from her belly button. She unzips the fanny pack, and we see what appears at a quick glance to be a OneTouch UltraSmart meter lying face up on top of something.

"No!" I squeal aloud. "No way! Is she? Really?"

"What are you freaking out about over there?" asks Matt from his post at his computer on the opposite side of the stairs.

"Don't bother coming over. I know you're going to hate it already, but I am totally watching a Lifetime movie where this girl seems to be diabetic, and I think she's gonna get involved with a pedophile!"

"Oh God," he answers.

"This is blog comedy gold!" I cry out, and actually pick up a notebook and start scribbling quotes so I can fill you all in on how awful this really is.

The mother and daughter are packing up the car, and in true diabetes mom fashion, she checks with her daughter to make sure her diabetes supplies are in order. Which, is fairly realistic, except this is how it goes:

Mom: Do you have your pump?
Kid: (dramatically sighing, as all TV teenagers do in TV movies) Yes. (dramatically rolling her eyes)
Mom: Hey now, you know that pump helps you monitor your blood sugar better than ever!

It's no wonder people think that when you get an insulin pump, you're set for life. Apparently they monitor your blood sugar...and they do it MORE accurately than your meter, which is still in your pump-toting fanny pack. And, um, "Do you have your pump?" Generally speaking, I don't think most moms of kids with diabetes need to ask them if they have their actual pump. All accessories relating to the pump, yes, but the thing itself? I'm going to assume no. Moms, feel free to correct me if necessary.

It comes out that mom's new boyfriend helped pay for the pump. I wonder if maybe this movie has nothing to do with pedophilia, but everything to do with divorced moms with no health insurance, which wouldn't make the movie NEARLY so awful. Then the mom asks the daughter if she remembered to bolus.

For what? I ask myself. We didn't see her eat, and we didn't actually see her meter give her a blood glucose reading. Plus, isn't this pump supposed to monitor her blood sugar, therefore giving her the correct amount of insulin automatically? Maybe they did do their homework after all.

Foiled again! The daughter replies with, "Ugh, do I have to wear this thing all the time?" I think it's made pretty clear to type 1 kids that yes, you have to wear your pump all the freakin' time. What a whiny brat. Daughter shall hereby be known as Brat.

Boyfriend is going to meet up with Mom and Brat in Alaska. Mom and Brat get on plane. Attractive stranger also gets on plane. Brat gets snippy again with Mom. Big surprise. Mom, giving her best teeth-gritting grin, says, "Claire, what is with you today?" Brat does not answer. I assume it's high blood sugar. Lord knows that's when I get really testy. Attractive Stranger strikes up a convo with Brat, and he distracts her with some kind of a men's celebrity magazine. The dude on the cover is either the Attractive Stranger himself or some kind of eerie combination of one of the Jonas Brothers and Jorge Ramon, a stylist I've seen on some TLC makeover shows like 10 Years Younger. Why does he have a magazine that a teenager wants to look at? Maybe this dude is the pedophile I've been waiting for!

Brat quickly tires of the magazine, probably because it contains, like, ugh, actual, like words. Ew. You can't expect her to like, want to read? She's, ugh, like thirteen? She wanders off to the tiny private plane's cockpit and starts interrogating the poor pilot. What does this button do?

Attractive Stranger strikes up a conversation with Mom. She gazes deeply into his handsome eyes, perhaps her bosom is heaving beneath her conservative suburban soccer mom sweater. He says, "I notice your daughter is wearing a medical device. Is it serious?"

"It's her insulin pump for type 1 diabetes," Mom answers. "It's not easy, but we make the best of it." Amazingly, something sage from an otherwise ridiculous bit of television.

Meanwhile, in the cockpit: What does that button do? What is that light for?

That light means something is wrong! Oh noes! The plane is gonna crash! Everyone get in your seat and put your head in your lap and...

I am honestly waiting for the kid to instantly have a low blood sugar and a seizure at the same time as the plane is going down.

I can't take it anymore. I have to change the channel. I have to come over here to the computer desk and look for a plot synopsis. Turns out, the Boyfriend is going to come to everyone's rescue, but oh ho! He's actually a psychopath who is going to kill them all for the government secrets he's hidden in the lame-o teddy bear backpack he gave to the Brat in the car-loading scene! And he's not afraid to take her insulin as a means to get what he wants!

I am so sad to be missing this piece of riveting television. I think the thing I hate the most about Lifetime movies is that they take 2 whole hours. I just want to see the trashiest bits, one after the other. I want to see if we see the Brat's insulin pump. I want to watch the Boyfriend wildly waving his plastic gun about, holding a vial of Humalog hostage. It's your call as to whether the vial is wearing a tiny blindfold. Can't I just get the soap opera version of this in an hour? I want the Brat to have some kind of "insulin reaction/shock/coma/diabetic ketoacidosis" whatever the writers decide to name it so we can see if they did 3 minutes of research on Wikipedia about diabetes.

If you happen to see "A Family Lost" on Lifetime, make sure you can quickly zap back and forth to it while some better TV show's commercials are on. I think it would be good for an eye roll, a laugh, and maybe a bit of a bratty attitude for anyone who knows anything about Type 1.


  1. If you liked this one, you have to look out for "Twelve Hours To Live". My favorite line from the mother of the kidnapped girl with Type 1 says something like, "We bough Julie (I made the name up) a glucose meter so she could know he bloodsugar whenever she wanted." It was like the meter was a gift, not something you walk out of the hospital with as a diagnosis parting gift! Also the girl wore a glucose watch thing that kept beeping HI when the screen said 80. Such a crazy story.

  2. Thank you so much for a huge smile on my face right now! I don't have Lifetime, so this is the closest I will get to seeing that TV movie treasure. Btw, don't you wonder whether the producers can afford a medical consultant/even bothered to think about getting one to read the script?? Wtf.

  3. Jillian AND Beth--Hmm, perhaps we need to put ourselves out for hire as diabetes consultants for TV movies. We can at least tell them what reasonable numbers look like and what equipment is used in what ways. We could make a quick buck, and they wouldn't have to pay us as much as a professional consultant!

  4. LMAO!! Lifetime is the WORST. If Jasmine is watching something I ask, So, who is getting beat up this time, the mom from Who's the boss, family ties, or Joe from the Facts of Life?


    thanks for making me laugh!

  5. Ok - Tv and movies purposely screw up diabetes for the drama. Ever see "Panic Room." Jodi fosters daughter blows like a 67 and Jodi either sneaks out to get her daughters insulin or gives her insulin, I can't remember. Either or, if the girl's mom had given her insulin in real life, she'd a killed her daughter, or at least put her in an insulin induced coma BIG TIME.
    I'm all for being a Movie Diabetes consultant. I got 30 years of experience and a great day rate!


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