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+.


I really love your summaries on this show so far. I completely agree with u on Emily's and Spencer's storylines being kinda rushed. I really like the way Hanna developed this week, since we pretty much only saw her shoplifting side last episode. I also adored Ezria, but that's nothing new, is it?!^^
anyways, I hope they'll have more hot car rain wet make out scenes, cause that was awesome - and did anyone else find it extremely annoying that we didn't see some more action at that cinema?? lol, the way you labeled the police guy and Ezra as stalkers totally made me laugh :D such an amazing idea for them to share their stalker secrets ;) I really don't think it's Jenny who's sending the texts cause that'be much too soon for us to know, and I also totally think the 'messager' will start DOING things really soon. c/w for next week, the CW SUCKS for not doing this show :D


emma I want to know who is A lol email it to me


Aria:She is the most layered character of the show, who also may have a dark side(hehe its the gossip girl in me). She is also the most mature out of all of them and was smart to try to get a transfer out of Ezra's class, but was denied(do any of you know how hard it is to transfer out of a academic class?Its easier with electives and PE. I cant help but root for this relationship with Ezra, its so much sizziling chemistry between the two. I like how the two are thrown together in awakward situations(was i the only one who cried "Oh no" when her momsat him next to her).Even though Ezra has a bit of a stalker side, who doesnt?LOL. I would love for something in the future to develope into real love between the two.
Oh and more family reactions. She's the Mature one. Spencer: One of my favorite characters. Well developed character, good jobs writers! though i do feel like this wren thing is rushed. They have apparent chemistry and the vodka scene was cute and realistic. I was glad when they finally kissed, but the human in me also felt bad that Melissa had to watch. Am i the only one who thinks spencer just may have a dark side and is conniving. I dont even thinks she cares abouther consequences of hurting melissa since she doesnt like her that much. love her interaction with her family which makes her a realistic.
SHe is the realistic one Emily: SHe is one of the innocent ones whos is also very confused since she is in love with Alison and her boyfriend. WHo by the way i expected to be a jerk,but he is actually a sweet guy. I would like to see more of Ben and Emily, they could work. This lesbian story needs to go away until half of the season because its to rushed(and i dont like to be rushed, it pisses me off LOL). I do like the idea of lesbians on this show since its so mainstream but not now. There should be more sexual tension between the two before they are forced to face their feelings. Feel bad for Em who is so in love with Alison, whom im pretty sure didnt love her back. she is who doesnt know what she wants. Hanna: Damn i feel bad for her.Her mom is practically a sex slave and the dude still want let up. i hope hanna gets rid of him soon ith blackmail or something. SHe is also well developed though i would like to learn more about her family and he body issues, maybe her dad leaving made her decide to change her appeareance. SHe's the passive aggreassive one


I liked this episode better than last week's, though Emily's relationship still feels rushed. And I thought all the Jenna scenes were great, I like Jenna in the books. As for who A is, I would really want to say who but I don't want to spoil it for anyone. :)

Miss meg

i loved the episode - but i agree that i would like to see emily's storyline developed slower, and to see her as a character away from maya as well as with her. i loved the vodka and soda scene with spencer and wren. very cute.


loved it so much ! Such a great episode and im so happy that the show hasn't botched the series so far. Since the series was a book first they have a reputation to maintain as the books were apparently amazing, though i haven't read them because that would ruin the show for me. Aria: I absolutely love this character. Her connection with Ezra is real and it's easy to see that. first we thought she was just a badass teen trying to do bad. but you can tell that she has a lot of maturity and even tried to transfer out of his english class..but was denied?! who denies a transfer, there wasn't even a reason. Hannah: I heard in the books that hannah is pretty much the more focused on of the 4 (or 5) girls. that probably means they'll go more in depth with her character soon. you can't help but feel her pain and awkwardness whenever the cop is in her house, i know i'd be feeling it. Emily: i do feel emily is forced upon maya and it's sort of awkward. we have no idea who emily used to be and therefor we immediately crown her a lesbian who hates her boyfriend. i do like emily but i wish they would have focused on her story longer so that every scene wasn't so intense. Spencer: i really liked the relationship with spence and wren. although it's true i wasn't expecting the kiss so early on in the show, im happy that the show went through with the relationship. im definitely not a fan of Melissa but i really felt bad for her when she saw wren and spence macking through the mirror. As for the whole Jenna is A. I doubt it, but would really like to know what she's doing .. -RileyFord


Oh I so agree with you, her mysteriousness make me want to know more about her! I am not complaining about the lesbian storyline though..keep it coming and more Emily please!

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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