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Pretty Little Liars Review: "Reality Bites Me"

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A's stalking took a backseat this week on Pretty Little Liars, as the "Reality Bites Me" made it clear she was still a presence in the girls' lives - but it also took time to focus on various relationships involving the core four.

The most believable of them all centered around Aria. I actually felt terrible for her and her brother as their parents fought. There are few more awkward, confusing developments in a teenager's life than when you're parents don't get along. It can feel like your entire world doesn't make sense.

Making matters worse for Aria, of course, was the fact that she couldn't go to Ezra about her problems. Let's hope these two are over for good now because the dramatic possibilities are a lot stronger when they're apart. There are only so many times they can clash over their age difference and our glimpse at Ezra's angry, unstable side last week was intriguing.

Watching Ezra

Other developments on the episode weren't as promising.

The show often suffers from an abundance of one-dimensional characters, as Toby seems like a perfectly nice, sensitive guy when he's around Emily. But we just see him skulking quietly any time another girl looks in his direction. That's a laazy way for the writers to make Toby mysterious.

Instead of showing us two extremes and failing to even try and renconcile them, it would be nice to simply get to know Jenna's brother a bit more. That said, thank goodness Maya is out of the picture, right?

On the Jenna front: the series wants us to believe she's A, especially following this week's lipstick discovery. Are you buying it?

Then, there's Spencer and her parents. Again, Pretty Little Liars doesn't exactly specialize in subtlety here. Spencer's mom absolutely sucks, taking her sister's side at all times - while her dad is over-the-top in his praise and then in his business-based plan for having her throw the tennis match.

The game was witnessed by Alex, of course, played by Diego Boneta. What do you think of his introduction and inclusion on the show? See a future between him and Spencer?

As for Hanna, that therapist revelation was just confusing. Are we meant to believe he's Jenna's shrink? I'm also not sure I buy her desire to attend a meeting for a club of virgins. Wasn't she recently concerned over her image, feelings pressured by Mona to go all the way? Now, she's unafraid to publicize to the school that she's a virgin? There's a lack of consistency here.

Overall, not my favorite episode of the season. What did you think of it?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (39 Votes)

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

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I'm finding the love interest plots on this show generally confusing and weirdly unsatisfying. SPENCER: Liked Diego, he seemed interesting, but wtf happened to Wren. For the first few episodes it was all "Look how nice Wren is and how much he digs Spencer, coming into her house all drunk and sweet" but now they've totally dropped him for this new guy. EMILY: Same sort of thing. First few eps I thought it was going to be a bit of a triangle between Maya, Emily and her boyfriend whose name I cannot remember. But then Toby jumps in and it gets all weird and confusing. Is Toby supposed to be a love interest? And, at least in this episode, they've totally dropped the whole Lesbian storyline apart from Hanna seeing the photo, which is kinda disappointing. HANNA: Yeah, Sean has sort of passed me by, maybe it's just his acting, but this character means nothing to me, he feels like an extra and I'd rather know more about Hanna's relationship with Alison, her transformation and her Dad getting remarried than her not really interesting boyfriend. ARIA: Ezra was totally justified in doing what he did. Yeah, so to sum this up, the writers need to figure out their love interests, because unless they're doing obvious love triangles, having more than one love interest and switching between the two depending how they want to spin the plot that episode DOES NOT WORK!

Matt-richenthal

@Claire, and others: The show is based on the books, that's all. If you think it will be a direct recitation of those novels, prepare to be let down -- many, many shows (True Blood, The Vampire Diaries) take general ideas from a book and then veer off in their own creative directions.
Enjoy the series for what it is and don't make yourself crazy by comparing it to the books.

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I personally don't like how the show differs so greatly from the books. So many important details have changed or just been written out altogether. In the books Hanna is forced to work at a Burn/Plastic Surgery Clinic which leads to other revelations. This whole think with the shrink guy isn't in the books at all! And who is Alex? He isn't mentioned in the books at all! Also, I hate Toby. He's a creep. From reading the books, I know stuff and I just hope the show covers it too and doesn't cut it out to avoid touchy subjects.

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I did like spencer's storyline, but wren being out of the picture so soon, that I don't like.
it made sense ezra would ask aria to leave, she put his carreer in jeopardy, or at least that's what is logical he'd think
everytime Emily is on the screen, I roll my eye-balls, she's so one-dimensional, cliché and the worst actress of them all.
am I the only one who found that dentist office scene confusing?

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i agree with this reveiw,
SPENCER: i enjoyed spencers story more than aria's because it gave the viewers a true and realistic glance into spencers family life.I hate to admit it but i like that diego guy alot, he gets spencer alot and thats a good thing, but i know i am not the only still rooting for WRENCER, am i? HANNA: Hanna's story didnt make sense to me and didnt fit in the episode at all. Am i the only one thinking that guy was toby's shrink? Kinda happy that Sean and Hanna are together, the two seem to be the only normal couple on the show, and are relatable to the audience. Aria: Ugh where do i start. Loved this episode because of them two. It was so heartbreaking to see them try to make sense of what they feel for each other,but when they come to some common ground effing A just comes out of nowhere and rips them apart. D**n near cried seeing the look on ezra's face after he told her about the text. Gosh i hate it when my fav couples break up, and this one is definately gonna make a permanant hold. Her parents arguing tore a hole in my heart, becauese i know excatly what they are going through,oth the kids and the parent. When aria realized that her parents may not work this out, all her worst fears came true and its really sad because she tried to make it work between them, she really did. EMILY: Liked the interaction between toby and Emily, realistic that she would completely ignore him at the Grill. These two seem worthy in my book of COUples-to-possibly-root-for. I like these two, so different yet so alike. Hate the way the writers portray him as wierd by having him stare at people with that..i-want-to look-sad-and-angry-or-whatever-im-supposed-to-look-like-face.

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