TV Show Information:
Interest Level: Young Adult
Main Performers: Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Holly Marie Combs
Studio/Network: Warner Horizon Television
Air Date: June 8, 2010
TV Rating: TV-14
One year ago, Alison DiLaurentis went missing after spending the night with her four best friends—Spencer, Aria, Hanna, and Emily. After Alison’s disappearance, the other four girls lost touch. But now they are all back in town once more and each is receiving strange messages about extremely personal information from an unknown number that signs each message with “A.” The messages not only contain personal information and secrets but also come off as threatening and sinister; “A” is determined to torture each of the four friends by threatening to expose them for the mistakes they’ve made and the secrets they’ve kept. On top of all this being dug up from the past, the present is rife with problems as well. Spencer is falling for her sister’s fiancé, Aria found a cute guy when she got back in town only to discover it’s her new English teacher, Emily is struggling with her homosexual feelings and seems to suffer the most from losing Alison, and Hanna is crying out for attention from her absent father by shoplifting. Tension and drama run high in this first episode and questions abound: is Alison really dead? Who is “A”? What did the girls do in the past?
This first episode of Pretty Little Liars definitely delivered a promising beginning. It seemed that each moment was filled with new, present-day drama and problems as well as the secrets and questions from the past. The plot is really intriguing, sure to keep viewers asking for more to figure out just what exactly happened in the past and what the characters are going to do about their present problems. The problems themselves, both past and present, are rife with moral dilemmas and are definitely geared towards an older audience. From adultery and stealing to murder and bribery, these problems are very mature, perhaps even too mature for the suggested age of 14. The acting was decent, if a little amateur. The girls are believable in their roles and each character comes off as her own separate character instead of some collective of cliché popular girls. An intriguing show, if a bit mature.
*Contains mature topics (sex, adultery, stealing, murder), scenes of drug use and alcohol consumption, mild language, and corrupt parental figures.