The news broke so close to April Fool’s Day that some thought it was a prank. Saturday Night Live alums Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell making a Lifetime made-for-TV movie? Why would such a thing happen? Maybe because both are fans of the network’s overwrought dramas?
Now we have a first trailer for their Deadly Adoption, made by Ferrell’s Gary Sanchez Productions . And it’s slyly sensational:
At first glance, this looks like it could be any Lifetime morality tale, complete with sneering dialogue, a (probably) deceitful husband, and a wife pushed to her limit with a gun in hand. But look at that last moment where Ferrell says, “You really are a strange girl.” There’s something here just off. Part of it is his voice, which seems staunchly in character. Part of it is that beard and haircut combo that’s too clean somehow, making him look like a bearded Ken Doll.
Combined, these details recall Ferrell and Wiig’s 2014 TV-collaboration The Spoils of Babylon, a bonkers parody of grandiose mini-series written by Deadly Adoption scribe Andrew Steele.
I don’t suspect Deadly Adoption will be as campy as Spoils of Babylon (which you can now enjoy on Netflix.) I don’t even think that it will be as over-the-top as her Lifetime-like performance on 30 Rock in the “biopic” A Dog Took My Face And Gave Me A Better Face To Change The World.
But as Vivian has pointed out, Wiig has been developing an offbeat kind of comedy that is all her own. And Ferrell has dabbled in parodying this brand of drama before with the telenovela-inspired Casa De Mi Padre.
All this is to say that yes, I do expect Deadly Adoption to be a parody. But not one like Police Squad or Blazing Saddles where the humor will be big and brash, and the laughs easily accessible.
It’s been said this pic is meant to help transform the perception of the network that’s aired such films as The Choking Game, Fatal Trust and A Job To Kill For. So Deadly Adoption is to birth a new Lifetime, that will let the network get in on the joke instead of be a constant punchline. And who better to help them turn this than two comedians who relish in the chance to twist a genre’s expectations, and deeply understand the upside of terrible TV movies.
Deadly Adoption will air Saturday, June 20th. You can bet we’ll be watching.
Kristy Puchko knows the exquisite joys and embarassment of day-long Lifetime movie marathons.