Whether you like it or not, Ashley Madison is coming to your TV — and not just the 24-hour cable-news cycle. The Hollywood Reporter said Thursday that a company called OutEast Entertainment is working on a fictionalized version of the scandalous story centered around a woman (Ashley Madison was, of course, founded by a man) who creates a website for sneaky spouses wishing to cheat.
In this early stage, the creators should still be open to different ideas and homes for their upcoming project. Here are a few suggestions:
Lifetime: “Ashley, Dearest”
Debra Winger is Ashley Madison. Tears are shed and vases are smashed in this original movie, led by Winger as a desperate suburban housewife who longs for independence and some extra cash. She takes on the pseudonym Ashley Madison, starts a WordPress site and as soon as you can say “Dissatisfaction!,” she’s developed a thriving side business arranging illicit liaisons between the local townsfolk.
After a Lamborghini arrives in the driveway, her husband, played by Gary Cole, starts to question exactly how much his wife is charging for her “homemade candles.” When the site is hacked by a know-it-all high school sophomore, her list of clients is exposed for all to see, revealing an affair between the mayor (Stephen Baldwin) and the owner of the bakery. Viola Davis plays the high-powered, fist-slamming lawyer.
ABC: “How To Get Away With Cheating”
Producer Shonda Rhimes adds another notch to her television bedpost with this Ashley Madison-inspired drama, starring Kerry Washington as a Washington, DC, infidelity entrepreneur. Taking place in a chic, bleached-white office populated by Plexiglas walls, plush couches and oversize novelty glasses of merlot, Madison and her team of crafty misfits — all with their own dishy backstories — hide affairs involving powerful senators, Silicon Valley execs and even — gulp — US President Gibraltar Barnes, portrayed by Patrick Dempsey. Viola Davis plays the high-powered, fist-slamming lawyer.
HBO: “Game of Flings”
Set in the faraway world of Westeros, a couple of incestuous royal siblings (Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) fool around on their very-significant others — paralyzing children and starting wars all in the name of forbidden lust. In the Seven Kingdoms, after all, life really is too short.
Ashley “Littlefinger” Madison (Aidan Gillen) facilitates the affair and many others from his not-so-coy brothel that guarantees privacy, a guarantee it keeps — until the Sparrows, a sinister group of Canadian religious fanatics, expose their dark secret and threaten the crown into moral submission. Littlefinger must cope with the backlash, and Lena Headey is forced to do that CGI-enhanced walk of shame.
Viola Davis plays the high-powered, fist-slamming oracle — who murders Daenerys Targaryen with her bare hands during a bloody fight for honor in the eighth episode.
Netflix: “House of Tarts”
A dramedy. How novel! Should I laugh? Should I cry? Neither. Instead stare blankly at Jenji Kohan’s newest show, “House of Tarts.” In the back room of a dingy Detroit UPS store, illuminated by a single, flickering fluorescent light bulb, an ensemble cast of complicated characters (Laura Prepon, Jeffrey Tambor, Laverne Cox and Sally Field) organize people’s affairs. The group collectively calls themselves “Ashley Madison.”
Every episode includes a flashback to when a particular character chose to pursue such a bottom-feeder career — typically a result of a traumatic family event in a skeevy, minimally furnished apartment. Viola Davis plays the high-powered, fist-slamming district attorney who discovers their lucrative plot.
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