Lifetime is airing a two-part miniseries based on Anita Diamant’s novel, The Red Tent (December 7 & 8, at 9pm). The tent refers to the biblical tent where ancient women were sent during their menstrual cycles. While TV critic Sara Smith of The Kansas City Star admits that the series is a bit of a mess – is it a steamy romance, a heartwarming family tale or an action-packed war movie? – Smith says it’s the perfect storm for getting “modern men” out of the house. This isn’t just a Midwestern idea–that men will leave rather than see this production. The New York Times assigned a man, Neil Genzlinger, to write about the series, and he agrees. His review starts: “Sunday and Monday would be good nights for the men of the world to go out somewhere. Anyplace that doesn’t have television. That way they won’t accidentally channel-surf their way into ‘The Red Tent.’”
Even though the God of the Old Testament is noticeably absent, Smith concludes that The Red Tent is “an enjoyable tale of one woman’s survival [Dinah’s]…[it] covers more ground than expected.” The Times‘ Genzlinger won’t commit. “Fans of the novel will no doubt watch and revel in this relatively big-budget treatment. Others might find its pseudo-biblical, pseudo-feminist mix hard to take.” But not the men, of course. They will be elsewhere.