As viewers watched Lifetime's "Liz & Dick" Sunday night, one thing became very clear: Lindsay Lohan is no Elizabeth Taylor.
They may have both been child stars, endured hordes of paparazzi, and struggled with substance abuse, but that's where the similarities between the two women end.
Elizabeth Taylor was an icon and a respected actress who had two Academy Awards to her name. And while Lohan may have showed the glimmerings of that kind of talent early in her career, critic reviews thus far have excoriated her performance in "Liz & Dick."
"There is not one minute in this film where she's believable," the Hollywood Reporter sniffed.
The bad hype became a joke in the Twitterverse, spawning drinking games and hate-watch blogs. But even the number of witnesses to this train-wreck TV didn't translate into ratings: It had only 3.5 million viewers. That's 3 million fewer than tuned into Lifetime's remake of "Steel Magnolias" last month.
Still, there were some Lohan fans who cheered on the movie, saying it was her "comeback."
Let's be real: This wasn't any kind of comeback. #Sorrynotsorry, Lindsay lovers!
The movie begins on Richard Burton's last day on earth. He writes a letter to Elizabeth Taylor, his onetime love.
From there, it flashes back to Rome, 1961. Burton and Taylor, who are both married (to others) at the time, meet on the set of "Cleopatra." Sparks instantly fly. He thinks she's rude; she thinks he's pretentious.
Their affair begins offscreen, and their marriages dissolve as their photos are splashed across all the papers.
The movie follows the course of their relationship, which can be basically summed up as follows: They have sex. They drink a lot. They argue. He buys her jewelry. (After calling her fingers pudgy, Burton makes it up to Taylor by buying her a 33-carat diamond ring.)
Rinse and repeat for two hours.
After his brother dies, Burton falls apart -- and so does their marriage. We flash forward again to when Taylor receives Burton's final letter and then finds out he has died. She collapses.
Bowler is pretty convincing as Burton, and it's clear he worked on the voice and the accent. Lohan ... eh, not so much. Saying cringeworthy lines like, "You do know I'm shagging him senseless, don't you?" Lohan sounds no different than she did in "Mean Girls."
The weirdest thing about the movie was the interruption of interludes of Burton and Taylor being interviewed about each other -- for what or by whom is unclear. Maybe this is the afterlife for Hollywood stars?
Something to talk about
The #LizandDick hashtag was trending on Twitter during the movie's airing. It was a chance to show off some comedic chops for some:
The plot of Homeland is the second biggest terrorist attack I'm seeing tonight. The first was #lizanddick.— Alison Leiby (@AlisonLeiby) November 26, 2012
Finally, the sequel to Showgirls we were all waiting for. #LizAndDick— Jessica Joy (@J2thaJOY) November 26, 2012
Liz and Dick will get a great rating. It's Train Wreck TV. Lifetime is brilliant. They should have Lindsay play Jackie O next.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) November 26, 2012
Of course, there was a minority that stuck up for Lohan and the movie:
I enjoyed #lizanddick great job lohan - to anyone speaking poorly of her you watched- you tweeted- you helped her fame in the end. Loved it— JuanCuba (@juancubanation) November 26, 2012
But most of those who tweeted were not impressed:
That. was. terrible. No, you know what. This movie is an insult to the word terrible. And an insult to the legacies of #LizAndDick— Stephanie (@stephnebs) November 26, 2012
You'd think Lohan's acting during this chugging vodka and pills scene would be just slightly more realistic... #lizanddick— Jon Eiseman (@Jon_Eiseman) November 26, 2012