Pretty Little Liars Review: Dead, Cute Girls Walking

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After an opening episode that set the stage of secrets being kept among the four main characters in Pretty Little Liars, this new ABC Family delved deeper into each girl's past and presence last night.

On "The Jenna Thing," we witnessed just how controlling Alison was of this group and how that sometimes led to dangerous actions whose ramifications are being felt to this day.

What else did we learn about Aria, Hanna, Emily, Spencer and company? Let's analyze what makes each a pretty little liar below:

ARIA: Probably my favorite character so far. She seemed like your basic, conniving, self-centered 16-year old on the pilot, telling off her cheating father and misleading Mr. Fitz in the bar. But this week made it clear that she wants to mean well. She related to her dad and essentially forgave him in her final scene.

She also came across as far more mature than Mr. Fitz, who appears to have a stalker side. He also has a cute side, as Aria couldn't resist his advances. Are we to assume they did more than just make out in his car?

What Does It Say?!?

HANNA: I wanna see more of her life before Alison's disappearance. She has the potential to be the most interesting, layered character, due to the transformation of her body and her personality.

It's difficult to buy the realism of the detective grilling the girls (He asked them what made them fall asleep at a sleepover? What kind of question is that?!?), especially at school. But his creepy presence in the lives of Hanna and her mom is well done. This guy and Ezra should totally exchange stalking secrets!

EMILY: My least favorite character so far, only because her storyline feels so forced and rushed. Could we maybe have gotten to know her better, seen more of her relationship with Ben, before having a lesbian bond shoved so quickly down our throats?

All the conversations she has with Maya seem contrived and unnatural. When Maya told Emily she can see why her and Spencer get along (because they both want to win, Maya reasoned), it just seemed like a discussion scripted to shed more light on both Spencer and Emily. It didn't feel remotely organic to the scene or like an observation Maya could possibly make based on what she knows about Emily.

Of course, as Emily told Hanna: "I'm not the person everyone thinks I am." So perhaps no one really knows much about her.

SPENCER: Her fling with Wren also seems forced. These two have had about three scenes together and are already making out. But at least we can understand why Spencer would want to rebel against her sister and her life at home.

It looks like Melissa has thrown Wren out, but I doubt his relationship with Spencer will end. Allow us to offer this Brit a word of warning, though: did you see how hard Spencer whacked those field hockey balls? Don't cross her, dude.

The Quartet

Let's conclude with the closing scene of the episode. Did we discover that Jenna has been sending the texts (which included such A-signed gems as "Dead girls walking" and "Did you get a goodnight kiss? Here's one from me. xo.")?

This would be an early resolution to the biggest mystery so far on the series - but I do hope they clear it up soon. While I'm incredibly curious about what's going on, it could get old if the girls simply get texts after every major incident. Once it's established someone is aware of their actions, we do need to see movement on what this person might do about that other than use his/her cell phone.

Perhaps it's The Vampire Diaries or Lost fan in me, but I also want to see more flashbacks. These have delivered solid insight into each character and, just as importantly, their interactions with one another.

What did you think of the episode? Has Pretty Little Liars earned a spot on your must-watch list every Tuesday night? Check out a promo for next wee HERE and sound off now!


Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (79 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


it is a good series just front of you is more vantastiske like yourselves are the best I like you as a friend how old are you really?


I actually like Emily the most. Aria is my least favorite. This show is like a teenage version of desperate housewives with a pinch of Gossip Girl.


couldn't make it through the pilot, didn't get me at all. loved he trailer but the pilot didn't live up to my expectations. total failure


okay i am truly addicted to this show :D i cant stand the wait for each new episode! i have really enjoyed all of these comments, they have had some insight on the show. but the thing that has bothered me is that no one has said any thing about who they think is sending the messages! does any1 have theories? well here are some of mine! after that last scene in "the jenna thing" it seems to make us believe that jenna is the one sending the messages...but that would be too obious. they are probably throwing that in to confuse us :) plus it doesnt seem plausible for jenna to be sending these messages because i dont think she would have a reason for knowing all of their secrets. i believe that allison got all the girls drunk at their sleepover and therefore they told their secrets with out their knowledge. here is what led me to think this: (aria drinks alchol) spencer: whoa aria slow down, you drink like that and you'll tell us all your secrts! allison:friends share secrets, its whatkeeps us close...drink up then you see aria drinking and bamb you see that they had fallen alseep but i think they were drunk. i also think during the duration of their time being drunk they might have witnessed what (or clues as to what)happened with allison. during the show i think they might show flashbacks to when they were drunk (sort of like the hangover type thing). i dont know who else has noticed this but maya just seems....weird..she seems kinda odd, she asks alot of questions and talks about allison and the other girls alot for someone who doesnt know them. most of her lines have either had to do with allison, the other two girls, or emily. i think she could possibly be "A" i am not sure about this yet though... going back to jenna did any1 wonder what went down when allison visited her in the hosipital after the accident? and the way how jenna said "everyone misunderstood allison, but i knew exsactly who she was" made me very suspitious that the whole thing about these messages was just a cruel trick concocted by jenna and allison. i also thought it was weird the way spencer talked about how jenna was suppost to be in philly and then quickly (and indecretly) jenna changed the subject so we dont hear any more about it. in the last scene of "the jenna thing" when after jenna sent the text she turned almost as if to look at spencer, that almost made me think that she is faking it and she can really see. something else that bothered me was that they didnt exsactly show how jenna went blind, i think that if she was caught in the explosion then she would have been injured alot more than just losing her vision. all of these things have bothered me. i love this hsow and it sort of fills the void that lost left when it ended. i like shows that make you think.i really like all of the characters, though some of their stories and relationships have been rushed i still think they are all very likable characters. i had first started watching this thinging it would suck...i was wrong... :)


people of tv fanatc, can there plllleeeease be a caption contest for pretty little liars? it would be awesome, thanks!!!


I too liked this episode and the series has become one of the top ones on my summer tv escapism schedule. In fact, I already like each of the girls equally, and cant wait to get to learn more about them. Lets begin at the begining. I though the piolt was jam-packed with info and intrigue and it capivated me to yearn for more....although yes certain sub-plots are being rushed.
But if you think Spencer and Wren's forbidden kiss was way too fast pace, I urge you to re-visit the promo to a the first Ezra/Aria scene. It took all of one scene with 3 mins of flirtatious banter to get that affair kick-started into high gear. All the rushed sub-plots asdie though, my fave scene of episode 1.2 is definately the Spencer/Wren vodka scene. The way that they stubley connected was soo cute and romantic/chauvanistic. This very scene made me sad to see Wren be thrown out of the picture so soon. I do hope he comes back. I actually think this whole scenario between Spencer and Wren is quite plausible to have peaked so fast b/c Spencer has a history of coveting her sis's bfs and acting on this. Also she could have been unconciusly seeking revenge b/c they moved into the barn that she was supposed to have. In addtion, Wren could have seen pictures/heard stories about Spencer b4 her met her which could have contributed to build up. My point is, when attraction happens -it hits fast and hard and leads to impulsitivity where all sense is thrown out the window.
I do agree though that the whole Maya/Emily bit is wayy too contrived and the show needs to take the pace there down a notch if they want their viewers to be invested in the budding attraction.
The end of the 2nd episode also seemed contrived, abrupted and fake to me... also we need more deets about "the Jenna thing" not enough info was given in this episode.
Also the girls need to start doing some detective work as to who'd be out to get them and why and who hurt Ali and why.
Heres to an equally interesting ep.3!


Wasn't Toby touching her sister in the books? That's why the prank went wrong or something like that... I haven't read the books, but I've read something along the lines on the internet.


OMG, I love this show!!
My favourite characters are Spencer and Hannah.
Spencer: She must be under so much pressure all the time!!
Her sister constantly does everything better than her
and gets all her parents compliments. She does it on purpose too!
And when she told/asked her father if she could do that thing (I don't remember what it was) just for fun, he said:
'What's the point in that?' Hannah: In the books she's very insecure about herself,
because she used to be the 'fat one', that's why she's so
annoyed that her boyfriend doesn't want to have sex with her,
she thinks she's not pretty enough. I find the relationship
between her and her mother very interesting.
It's as if her mom wants Hannah to be perfect and to have a perfect life (without getting arrested and stuff). Emily: I also think this is a bit rushed, she needs to have more scenes so that her storyline can be more spread.
I think it's really hard to be with someone you don't even like,
and maybe it would make you hate that person. Besides, he did make some weird comments. Also, the way Alison asked Emily to put on her bracelet made me think Ally actually LIKES Emily being in love with her, and encouraging it. Aria: Aria is a nice character, I feel like she's the moral compass of the show, you know, the one who always does the right thing and stuff. I would like her relationship with Ezra (whom I adore!) to get a bit jucier. A bit more scandalous.


the book series of pretty little liars seem to be much better then the tv show. the first episode seemed to leave things out and change things. it was suppose to take place 3 years after alison disappeared not one year. the second episode changed their meeting place. after the funeral in the 2nd book they meet at the playground. not sure which playground. but they met at the playground and one by one they left not as a group. the party that the 3rd episode looks like its talking about happened in the first book. Spencers boyfriend... well im not going to say anything cause it might giv away wht might happen in the third episode.
wit hanna, she didnt steal a pair of sunglasses that worthed $350. she stole (according to the book) a necklace and earrings.


I liked last week's episode better then this episode, but this episode was so great too. I just love the show, and the characters. So happy it's not on the crappy CW.

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Pretty Little Liars Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Aria: Have you found a way to forget?!?
Spencer: Aria, it was an accident.

Telling the police now about what happened to Jenna isn't gonna make Jenna see again. It will just ruin our lives.


Pretty Little Liars Season 1 Episode 2 Music

  Song Artist
Crazy 2 Crazy Katie Herzig iTunes
What i like What I Like Jackie James iTunes
Falling for the first time Falling for the First Time Jules Larson iTunes