What’s On

10/20/2006 8:00 PM Eastern

Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy

Lifetime • Monday, Oct. 23 (9 p.m.)

Laughter is the best medicine, and coping mechanism, in Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy, a dramedy from the book by Lifetime’s own executive, Geralyn Lucas.

Sarah Chalke (Scrubs) plays Geralyn as an overachiever charging through her life-list until she has to put her aspirations on hold when, during a self-exam at 27, she discovers a breast lump. Rather than tell the story as a clinical drama, the movie has a humorous, indomitable vibe, with Geralyn cracking wise, coping through drinks with her gal pals, and sometimes narrating the film by talking directly to the camera.

The highlights are the “only in New York” moments, such as when Geralyn, overcome by her diagnosis, tells a cabbie she has cancer, only to have him confess that he’s a survivor of testicular cancer and provide her the real-world reassurance she needs at that moment.

The cast is uniformly great, including Jay Harrington, properly empathetic and frustrated as Geralyn’s physician-husband, Tyler. The standout, though, is singer Patti LaBelle as a sassy fellow patient.

The explanation for the title: Red lipstick becomes a totem in her struggle, the war paint she puts on, symbolic of the confident woman she needs to be to be, what all breast cancer victims need to be, to survive.

Linda Haugsted

Masters Of Horror

Showtime • Friday, Oct. 27 (10 p.m.)

Showtime will revisit the horror genre with the sophomore season debut of its anthology series Masters of Terror.

The series once again brings some of the genre’s top film directors together to develop the skein’s chilling 13-episodes, including newcomers Brad Anderson, Ernest Dickerson, Tom Holland, Peter Medak, Rob Schmidt and Norio Tsuruta. First-season directors Dario Argento, John Carpenter, Joe Dante, Mick Garris, Stuart Gordon, Tobe Hooper and John Landis have returned to the series.

This season’s shows seem to be more star-driven than last year’s offerings, with such actors as Jason Priestley, Christopher Lloyd, Elliot Gould, Meat Loaf, Michael Ironside, John Saxon and George Wendt making appearances.

If Wendt’s eerie but strong performance in Landis’s “Family” episode is any indication of what’s in store for the rest of the series, fans of the directors, the actors and the genre should be very satisfied.

Wendt plays a disturbed, single man seeking to create the perfect household by using the corpses of people he’s killed as surrogate family members. When a young, married couple moves in across the street of his suburban enclave, Wendt decides its time to increase the number of in-house relatives. But through a number of interesting plot twists and surprises, he gets more than he bargained for.

R. Thomas Umstead


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