I now understand why the ABC Family original series, “Pretty Little Liars,” is so popular that Sara Shepard had to extend the book series it’s based on. It’s addictive, and every girl I know is currently falling to the addiction. If you haven’t caught up on this show yet, you might as well or risk being left out of conversations on girls’ nights. Seasons one and two are now available on Netflix Instant (season two as of last Tuesday) and season three is currently playing on ABC Family every Tuesday at 7 p.m. (tonight), and it’s only four episodes in.
I wasn’t in love with the show at first. Aside from the very interesting disappearance of the four girls’ clique leader,
Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse), and all the mystery surrounding it, I found the show frustratingly melodramatic and soapy. I think it’s pretty awful that a 16-year-old, Aria (Lucy Hale), has an ongoing affair with a 6+ older teacher that’s showing no signs of ending. What exactly is this show trying to say? Statutory is alright as long as you really like each other? I really don’t agree.
And at first Spencer (Troian Bellisario) really bothered me as well when she kept making-out with her sister’s boyfriends. What kind of sister does that? But I quickly started to get that without some good dirt, this show wouldn’t be as exciting, since the whole point is that there’s an evil mastermind (or several) named “A” who uses the girls’ dirty laundry to keep them lying puppets, and possibly killed, or is, their friend Alison. And the secrets have to be juicy enough to keep the audience hooked on this guilty pleasure. And the most satisfying guilty pleasures tend to come with some soap. Plus it’s just a show and Lucy Hale is 23 in real life.
The core cast overall is great. I love the slightly air headed Hanna (Ashley Benson) and the sweet Emily (Shay Mitchell) who are also, coincidentally, the two whose secrets don’t make me blush for them. And aside from questionable romantic choices, every girl I know wants to be Aria (and have her wardrobe) and the Spencer character has really grown on me too. She doesn’t accept the victim role easily and has a tendency to fight back and shake things up, which this show definitely needs at times.
Overall, it’s been a pretty exciting ride and I can’t wait to see where it’ll end, though I don’t always buy that any one person, or group of people, could be as brilliant and omnipresent as A has turned out to be. But I bet you’ll enjoy trying to piece together this impossibly complex mystery anyway.
Below is a featurette of the best “A” moments. Skip if you don’t want spoilers.