“Never trust a pretty girl with an ugly secret.”
Pretty Little Liars revolves around four 16-year-old friends who have become estranged since the fifth in their group went missing exactly a year ago to the day of the series opener. A year ago, a high school clique of girls lost their shared Queen Bee BFF Alison, who disappeared in mid-late-night gossip session. Now, one girl and her family are returning to town after a year spent in Iceland, and all of the remaining young ladies have pursued interests other than friendship. They also have various skeletons in their closets and are starting to receive messages from “A” threatening to unearth those secrets.
Is “A” — aka Alison — dead and writing from beyond the wireless grave? Or did she just run away on the night all the girls were having a sleepover — and stay disappeared for a full year — just to mess with their heads?
Pretty Little Liars is one of those shows that manages to mildly, and perhaps unintentionally, spoof its genre while fully participating in it, and that’s not a bad thing at all. Although it’s difficult to imagine the show going “Gossip Girl” viral, its idyllic streets and Craftsman homes both signify small acts of hidden darkness and offer decorating tips, creating enough PG tension to make it a beach read of a show, perfect for tweens and young teens and whatever adults are tired enough or relaxed enough to join them.
There also appears to be a decided lack of vampires, and these days that’s got to count for something.
The remaining foursome includes (the not-so-Privileged) Lucy Hale as the girl having the hots for her teacher, Aria Montgomery; Ashley Bensen (the daughter of the hatke witch of Eastwick) as the shoplifting Hanna Marin; and two fresh new faces, Troian Bellisario as Spencer Hastings, the straight-A girl who lusts after her sister’s boyfriend and Shay Mitchell as Emily Fields, the shy girl, who’s secretly exploring her lesbian side! Any more skeletons and soon the closet’s gonna turn into a graveyard!
The girls are all 16-going-on-26, but they’re lovely and lively even if the secrets, or what they appear to be, are not terribly interesting. But with (the always oh-so Charmed) Holly Marie Combs as Aria’s mother and Laura Leighton (the infamous Sydney of Melrose Place) as Hanna’s mom, there’s a fairly good chance the liars of the title are not just referring to teenagers, and that’s something to look forward to.
And with a dark and twisted plot line, that is exactly what Pretty Little Liars is: a glamorous, spooky, adolescent fantasy.
Pretty Little Liars premières April 25, Monday-Friday @ 10 PM, exclusively on ZEE Cafe!