Anatomy of the Perfect Bad Made-For-TV MovieKate Dries8/24/13 5:30pmFiled to: made-for-tv movieshow-to guide1174EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkGIF The end of summer is like that shadowy dark part of the television kingdom. Even though we live in a world of Netflix and DVR, pickings dwindle and the hyenas get restless for entertainment; you can only binge watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians reruns so many times.AdvertisementLuckily, there's a wide variety of oft-overlooked made-for-television entertainment out there, like 12 Men of Christmas, a Lifetime television original movie from 2009 starring Kristen Chenoweth. Will E.J. Baxter, our strong female lead, realize that there's more to life than public relations and New York City? Will her stubborn-but-sexy love interest finally give in to their very dramatic height difference? Will Anna Chlumsky's character be cheery enough to literally cheer the pants off of her random man crush? How will the town's volunteer firefighters get the money they need if not by posing for a calendar where they are half nude? Who knows! I certainly don't, but I would love to."Few artifacts of popular culture invite more condescension than the made-for-television movie," wrote John J. O'Connor in 1991 at the start of his New York Times review of the CBS made-for-tv movie Her Wicked Ways starring Barbara Eden and Heather Locklear. Despite this proclamation, O'Connor was optimistic about Her Wicked Ways, writing that "Television movies can be vehicles of substance," and he seemed quite sad when he had to report that it was nothing more than a "rip-off of All About Eve."AdvertisementO'Connor had plenty to be sad about; there's nothing worse than knowing that something has failed to meet its potential. That being said, it's hard to feel too bad for him, given that the real joy of a made-for-TV movie is in how carefully it can walk the line between terrible and fantastic. As follows, here are the things it takes to make a good/bad made-for-TV movie.It airs on ABC Family, the Hallmark Channel or Lifetime.Anything that is HBO-worthy or might get nominated for an Emmy has no place on this list. Lindsay Lohan's Elizabeth Taylor, yes; Helena Bonham-Carter's, no.