Liz & Dick: Will it Enter the TV Movie Hall of Fame of my Mind?

With Liz & Dick just HOURS away, I am beside myself with excitement. Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor? Check please!

Are those white diamonds, Miss Lohan?

It got me thinking, what are some of the other great tv movies that changed your life? Months ago I asked this on Facebook. Now, I was thinking I would get such responses as The Burning BedRoots, or Brian’s Song. Nope. None of my friends are apparently that conscientious or concerned with the world. What I DID get was several mentions of Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? and Drew Peterson: Untouchable. Both amazing films, for sure, not necessarily ones I would call life-changing. But then again my personal email address is a Degrassi reference so who am I to judge.

The TV movie that made ME the woman I am today is In the Shadow of Love: A Teen AIDS Story. And yes, it was an ABC Afterschool Special.

This is the only f’ing press photo I can find of this brilliant telepic!

In the Shadow Of Love: A Teen AIDS Story, was first broadcast on September 19, 1991. If you can recall, AIDS was all THE issue in the early 1990s. Ryan White had passed away the year before, everyone wore red ribbons, and less than two months later Magic Johnson would retire from basketball after announcing he had contracted HIV. This movie came along at the right point in my life, when I was a seventh-grade mathlete with zero sex appeal and thus zero chance of getting a STD. But damn, I watched the sh– out of that movie!

Basically, it was about this prissy white girl who befriended a streetwise Latina (of course) as they investigated a story for their high school newspaper on an HIV support group. Turns out Whitey was having unprotected sex with her boyfriend (they used withdrawal, just like all the Catholics who had 18 kids!) who was about to join the Marines or the Army or the Navy (sorry I can’t remember!) but when he went for his physical it turns out HE had HIV! And he passed it onto his girlfriend. Damn.

Things I remember about this movie: Harvey Fierstein, writer of my favorite children’s book The Sissy Duckling, played a counselor; Lisa Vidal who went on to star in The Division with Jo from Facts of Life was the Latina; and they played the song “Policy of Truth” by Depeche Mode in the soundtrack.

I blame this movie for the fear it instilled in me of contracting AIDS and that’s what kept me a virgin for 2 billion years. Not the math team or the glasses. Nosiree.

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