A Deadly Adoption

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(2015) ★★½

Channel 5: PREMIERE Sunday 5 July, 10pm

Having already spoofed Dallas and Dynasty-era TV shows in 2014’s The Spoils of Babylon, Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig reunite to make a mockery of Lifetime’s quarter-century output of trashy TV movies. When news first leaked of A Deadly Adoption back in April, it was dismissed as a prank. But soon enough billboards in Los Angeles proclaimed the film was real. And it would be airing on Lifetime. The joke, as in Ferrell’s 2012 Mexican melodrama Casa de mi Padre, is that this ludicrous, lurid material is played dead straight. Beverly Hills 90210 totty Jessica Lowndes is the putative surrogate mother given a place to stay by desperate childless couple Ferrell and Wiig. The Saturday Night Live skit-show alumni are well versed in parody and the funny thing is Bridesmaids star Wiig is also familiar with the role of surrogate mom, having carried a baby for fellow SNL-ers Will Forte and Will Arnett in The Brothers Solomon. A proper comedy with actual jokes. And on Thursday at 9pm, Lifetime has a proper premiere: Stephen King’s Big Driver. Maria Bello stars as a mystery novelist who survives a brutal encounter with a serial-killing roadside rapist. Revenge is uppermost in her mind (some might say she has A History of Violence) as she remembers a phrase used by one of her fictional characters: “Soonest begun, soonest done.” The harsh story is given a briskly efficient sheen in a TV movie that somehow passed the Lifetime Channel’s watchdogs.

Certificate: 12
Duration: 90min