Ben Affleck's 1994 'Lifestories: Families In Crisis' Performance Will Compel You To Write HBO A Thank You Note

A long time ago (OK, from 1992 to 1996) in the the land of the Home Box Office network, there was a based-on-true-events scripted program called Lifestories: Families In Crisis. I didn't have HBO in the '90s, so I missed the Lifestories: Families In Crisis boat entirely. Well, that changed today when I discovered the after school special-esque episodes stars a young, pre-Mallrats, pre-Chasing Amy, pre-Good Will Hunting, pre- Armageddon Ben Affleck. I knew I had to check out 1994's Lifestories: Families In Crisis: A Body To Die For: The Aaron Henry Story immediately. And check it out is what I did.

In Lifestories: Families In Crisis: A Body To Die For: The Aaron Henry Story, Baffleck plays a high school football player who develops a steroid addiction. Ooh, boy. That took a dark turn. No, I'm not here to laugh at either steroid abuse nor Aaron Henry’s story. I'm a dirtbag, but I'm not that callous of a dirtbag. Instead, I'm here to appreciate Baffleck's performance. A performance so beautiful, I almost want to write HBO a thank you note. Just because I'm two decades late to the party doesn't mean I shouldn't express my gratitude, right?

As I watched this episode of Lifestories: Families In Crisis for the very first time, I took down notes (as one is wont to do while watching an HBO miniseries from the '90s). Approximately 65 percent of my notes were the phrase "OH NO BAD IDEA," but the rest of the notes were slightly more specific. I will share the more specific notes now.


The first time Baffleck appears on screen feels like a really important moment.

Why Isn't The Referee Doing Anything About This? Shouldn't This Kicking Warrant, I Don't Know, A Flag On The Field Or Whatever?

That guy in the red jersey literally kicks Baffleck while he's down. I'm no football expert, but I would think that'd be worth a penalty. That is some next-level excessive celebration.

Aw, It'll Be OK, Baffleck

He's the physical embodiment of the word "dejection."

This Football Coach Has No Chill

Ironically, "Summer vacation JUST ENDED!" gave me chills.

He's Such An Enthusiastic Team Member!

Way to be a leader, Baffleck.

Why Is Baffleck So Mesmerized By That Random Soda Can?

Seconds after Baffleck sits down at a diner table, he grabs someone else's soda can and stares at it. Hard. No explanation is provided.

Seriously, What's Up With That Can?

He can't stop and won't stop fiddling with that soda can!

I'm So Glad "Pump Up The Jam" Is In This Movie

TechnotronicVEVO on YouTube

Technotronic's hit shows up not once, but TWICE. What a gift.

Whenever I Hear "Pump Up The Jam," I Will Picture This Scene

Pump up the iron, pump it up, a little heavier!

Baffleck's Retort In The Wallet Confrontation Scene Is Everything

Baffleck: "So I’m the thief, is that what you’re saying? If that’s what you’re saying, go ahead and say it.” Mom: “No, I’m not saying that. I’m just asking.”Baffleck: “Well, I’m replying, OK? No. How’s that?”

"Well, I'm replying, OK?" is so ice cold, I needed to fire up the heat in my apartment before I could continue watching the episode.

Oh, Man. Baffleck Keeps On Crushing This Wallet Confrontation Scene

At the end of this scene, Baffleck stomps his foot and delivers the best line of the entire episode: “If I need money, I’ll go to a bank where my word’s still good!”

Don't mind me as I make a point to sprinkle that line into at least one conversation a day.

Oh! He Just Gave His Girlfriend A Kitten! Things Have Taken A Turn For The Cute! I'm So Happy!

Little did I know that we were, like, 10 minutes away from things taking a turn for the mega-yikes.


Aaron Sharp on YouTube


Images: HBO (12); trollvhs/YouTube (12); Kristie Rohwedder/Bustle (11)