A Generational Guide to Viewer Interest in the 'Flowers in the Attic' Remake

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Lifetime is taking a crack at adapting the notorious V.C. Andrews novel of child abuse, incest, and melodrama, and they certainly seem to be covering their bases when it comes to offering something for audiences of any age to latch onto. We can help you find your entry point. 

The Flowers in the Attic trailer -- and quite an extended one at that -- debuted today, offering a look at a rather dark, certainly over-the-top rendering of the page-turner.

["Trailer is no longer available due to a copyright claim by A&E." We'll try to get a new clip up when it is available.]

So why should you care about this decidedly middle-brow paperback classic? Depends on where you're coming from.

For Baby Boomers: You're into that TV program Mad Men, aren't you? Reminds you of the early-1960s social structure you couldn't wait to tear down? Lifetime's Flowers remake stars Mad Men's Kiernan Shipka -- little Sally Draper -- as Cathy, one of four children forced to live locked away in their grandmother's attic, so that their mother may inherit the family fortune from her awful and abusive parents. The novel's main source of notoriety, of course, was that close quarters and the onset of pubescent hormones lead to an incestuous relationship between Cathy and her brother, Chris (Mason Dye), so get ready to be scandalized.

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Also for the Boomers: Ellen Burstyn plays the overbearing monster of a grandmother. Remember how great she was back in the '70s? How many times did you see The Exorcist in the theater?

For Generation X: You guys are definitely the sweet spot for Flowers in the Attic interest. You either had a friend in high school who carried the book around -- in their hands, not in their knapsacks, so everybody could see they were reading that book -- or else you were that friend. Then the movie came out in 1987, and even though it starred Kristy Swanson, you watched it anyway. You're either ready to cackle with your pals about what lurid awfulness you were into at age 14, or you are aghast that Lifetime would mine your own personal nostalgia for cheap monetary gain. Either way, you'll probably give this a look. 

Also of interest to Gen X: Kiernan Shipka (come on -- Mad Men crosses generational lines); the Lifetime cachet, borne from years of campy '80s and '90s TV movies about women in bad marriages; the fact that the trailer employs a haunting cover of Guns 'n' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine." 

For the Millennials: You kids are into Mad Men, too (right?!), so we all get to watch through our fingers as Sally Draper goes through her grand Gothic coming-of-age. You also get the triumphant (?) return of Heather Graham from obscurity. She was so promising back in Boogie Nights, and if we're being honest, she was probably the best babe to star opposite Mike Myers in the Austin Powers franchise (sorry, Beyonce). Now you can watch her try to claw her way back to relevance playing Corrine, troubled and troubling mother to four locked-away children.

Also of interest to Millennials: This fun new trend of Lifetime producing campy trash that screams to be live-Tweeted by the masses. This was essentially the mission statement for Lindsay Lohan in Liz & Dick. Gaze at the pretty people -- they think they're making a movie!

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.