Lifetime's Fertility Thriller 'The Lottery' Makes Us Rethink The Network's Stereotype

Lifetime as a brand has, to put it lightly, been through the satirical ringer throughout the years. This is in part due to the patriarchal habit of dismissing female-branded things as silly and/or frivolous, and it is in part due to the fact that you are hard-pressed to find a network more prone to melodramatic programming for the V.C. Andrews-lovers of the world. In other words: Lifetime has a brand, and they stick to it, and they're programming can be amazing and at the same time, totally ridiculous. And Lifetime's new show, The Lottery? That one already has our interest enough for an almost guaranteed pilot watch.

The show stars Marley Shelton (pictured above), Michael Graziadei and David Alpay, FYI.

So. Remember in those early seasons of Lost, after we'd settled into all the characters but before the extended time travel? Remember when there was this whole hoopla playing in the storyline that the women on the Island couldn't get pregnant and it was making the Others act like huge kidnapping drama queens every time they encountered a pregnant woman? Well, this new Lifetime show isn't exactly that, but it's reminiscent in the way that all pregnancy thrillers are, I guess.

Here's the Hollywood Reporter description of The Lottery, the new series for which Lifetime just ordered ten episodes:

Set in a time when women stop having children, The Lottery reveals a human population staring down the barrel of impending extinction. Remarkably, 100 embryos are successfully fertilized and a national lottery is held to decide the surrogates. As conflict, control and mystery over this important scientific breakthrough unfold, government interests and power begin to dominate one of the most personal and basic elements of humanity — the right to have a family. 

And so, yes, in many ways this thing sees to fit neatly into a Lifetime packaging: Women's interest (wombs and such), and heavy-handed themes that bring up questions of family, etc. There's also the sheer drama of women competing for who gets to carry a baby inside of them. And political allegory! Governments interfering in women's lady-parts? Sound familiar?

There is every chance that this could turn out just as melodramatic as She's Too Young or Cyberbully, but I don't think it's time yet to rule Lifetime out as a potential place for interesting television. After all, I'm invested in multiple ABC Family shows right now, and who ever thought that would happen eight years ago?

Plus, I think I'm just attached to the phrase "fertility thriller."

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