So my boyfriend went away this weekend to visit his son, and though I knew I’d be working ’round the clock at Townhouse, I wanted to get some TV on DVD that was totally girly, that I could sink my teeth into and try and celebrate “girl/me time.” I chose “Pretty Little Liars.” The show had interested me since I saw it on “The Soup,” but I assumed that it would be just exploitative ridiculousness. But TWoP’s Jacob has been busy recapping this show all the while, and that was enough for me. Even if the show sucked royally, watching it would allow me to appreciate his recaps. His “American Idol” recaps are works of art.
Turns out, “Pretty Little Liars” is AWESOME. It could have been a way lesser show, and I’d still have enjoyed it. But it’s so not lesser. Y’all KNOW my love affair with television, so it is a pretty huge testament to PLL that I may possibly deem it as THE most fun show I’ve ever watched in my entire life. And I’m only three episodes in.
Five reasons to watch it:
1) The music
I’m a sucker for music, especially on television. “Pretty Little Liars” not only has one of the most kickass opening themes (I love opening themes!): “Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead” — but I have to say that I’ve never heard any song they’ve used on the show, IRL. That’s impressive. And it’s all very teen-friendly, but so not crappy. AND it does that “The Real World” thing, where they drop the dialogue and let the song metastate what’s going on, but they do it in such a cool way.
2) The Non-Crappiness
I texted my boyfriend earlier, that this show could have used the same cast and same source material, made a truly terrible show, and it still would have been popular. Instead, “Pretty Little Liars” went way more “Veronica Mars” meets “The O.C.,” than any number of meh shows that have made bank simply because their stars are pretty.
And speaking of which.
3) Eye candy
The title tells us from the jump that we are dealing with pretty people. But usually, in my experience, that means textbook BS that I’ve never liked in the first place, all influenced by the media and assorted others whose tastes I do not agree with.
But Lucy Hale is possibly THE prettiest girl I’ve ever seen in my entire life, and everyone on the show is beautiful in his or her own way (not damnation with faint praise, that IS how I praise). Thing is, the show’s so awesomely not about that, title aside. Aria’s not conceited, and Hale’s an awesome actress. So many times on shows like this, the actors just mug and pose. “Pretty Little Liars” is not that show. All the actors can act, and prettiness is secondary, if not…thirdary.
Everyone is interesting looking on this show. I love that it’s not white beefcakes and plastic chicks. It’s ethnically diverse (more with the women than the men), and while people are pretty, people are complicated. They age; they have terrible secrets…many times, the people feel like backdrop to the cool cinematography. Not with this show.
4) The scariness/suspense/intrigue
This show is soapy to the extreme. It’s also legitimately scary and ominous. I said to my boyfriend earlier that this show has the scariest use of technology since “The Ring.” Phones go off with text alerts, and it’s scary. Flashbacks happen during thunderstorms, and that’s scary too. In each episode, we learn new information about all the secrets. And it’s chilling.
5) It’s a good show for girls.
Hannah is an emotional eater, and that’s something that I haven’t seen addressed too much, for teens. I was TOTALLY an emotional eater, and I felt deep shame over it. I wish I’d had a “Pretty Little Liars,” when I was a teen. Flashback!Alison is always giving Hannah shit over Hannah’s eating anything. That’s a theme that extends to some of the other pretty little liars, and I think it’s great. Girls SHOULD know that there is a happy medium between the overeating that makes Flashback!Hannah heavier, and the “I don’t eat breakfast” problem that plagues many young women.
As for the other non-Hannah women, it’s just GOOD. Family issues, life issues, the idea that friendship is way more important than boy drama. Or girl drama. Looking forward to what comes next!