Are You Man Enough To Watch Lifetime?

There are some things you can count on. The satisfaction of an ice cream cone on a hot summer day, the sheer pleasure that overcomes you on Friday when your work week is through, and that squeamish feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when a lovers' quarrel rears its ugly head. That’s right, when it comes to TV, the battle of the sexes rages on, and I’m not talking about who controls the remote. I’m not using this forum to air my relationship dirty laundry, either. Of course not. I’m airing my dad’s dirty laundry. And maybe yours.

The other evening over dinner, my dad, with a smirk, revealed that my step-mom watches the Lifetime Channel. As if there was something deeply wrong or embarrassing about that. The truth is, Lifetime is a network that packages TV geared toward female viewers. What does that mean? Stories. With characters. That you care about. Sure, there are not a lot of guns, explosions or aliens to be found, but does that make it a bad thing? I think not.

It's true that Lifetime has been jokingly referred to as The Estrogen Channel. But this sassy network is having the last laugh. I’m telling you, my manly friends, if you let a little estrogen talk stop you, you’re missing out. Lifetime is one of the top-rated basic cable television networks, dishing out high-quality shows featuring women in lead roles, while shedding some light on real issues affecting women and their families. Lifetime can bring home the bacon and fry it up it a pan. Can ESPN do that?

Hold on, now. I know what you’re thinking. But just because some of Lifetime’s original movies star Meredith Baxter-Birney, Melissa Gilbert or Valerie Bertinelli, doesn’t mean this network shouldn’t be taken seriously. On the contrary, the reach of Lifetime is fairly mind-blowing. Just ask the hundreds of nonprofit organizations who swear that Lifetime’s commitment to raising awareness about issues -- including breast cancer, violence against women, race relations, bullying problems at schools, and AIDS -- has increased tolerance in their communities. Members of Congress and administration officials also credit Lifetime with helping to shape public policy and enact legislation to make video voyeurism a federal crime, which translates to landing more rapists in jail. That’s something both sexes can respect, right?

So whether you’re a gangsta or a geek, check it out and you’ll see: television-with-a-conscience doesn't mean boring, soap-box TV. You’ll definitely get your fill of talented hotties and a Who’s Who of Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Emmy Award-winning talent. The largest producer of original TV movies, Lifetime has gotten a thumbs-up from those hard-to-please critics. Some of whom are -- GASP! -- men. Just like you. (Only smarter, 'cause they watch Lifetime.)

Still not buying it? New programming is rocking the ratings boat. Take Lifetime’s mid-season replacement How to Look Good Naked, whose January premiere hosted by Carson Kressley was the most successful reality series in network history. See what I’m talking about? There’s clearly something juicy going on here. A friend of mine told me that all of her girlfriends' significant others love Lifetime TV. But they won’t tell anyone. But come one, what dude in his right mind isn’t at least mildly intrigued by a show with the word naked in the title? Not to mention the Heidi Klum factor. That’s right, straight boys, Ms. Supermodel can be found weekly on Project Runway, which starting next season will air, where else? Lifetime. Yup.

I could go on, but I’ll stop here so you can change the channel and see for yourself. Come on fellas ... you’ve embraced your metrosexual natures and you own man purses. Isn’t it time to leave your judgment at the door, park yourself on the couch, and embark on a lifetime of great TV?