Pretty Little Liars
TV Series Review
After six grueling years, the pretty little liars from Pretty Little Liars finally graduated in 2015—surviving what must surely be the longest and most dangerous senior year in history. But while the ladies might not be attending their Rosewood, Pa., high school anymore, they still wallow in the town's perpetually high melodrama, where every citizen seems to hide bloody gloves, every newcomer is a potential killer, and rubber masks are issued at the city limits. Such is Pretty Little Liars, Freeform's (formerly ABC Family) high-gloss, low-IQ drama—a show that, just like its main characters, simply refuses to die.
Curiosity Killed the Clique … or Maybe Not
It's not for lack of trying—at least in the case of the show's characters. Indeed, one of the pivotal protagonists, Alison DiLaurentis, started out dead but sprang back to life in Season 5. Her former mean-girl clique—Hanna, Spencer, Aria and Emily—has survived all manner of murder attempts and frame jobs themselves. (Even as I write this, it seems Hanna's prepped to meet her maker, if she hasn't already done so. But we're pretty sure she'll manage to pull through.)
But while the storyline has now conveniently jumped ahead five years (allowing the oldish-looking characters to get married, drink beer and stop sneaking around their parents so much), life in Rosewood still feels like the same old story. Needlessly complicated schemes? Creepy killer-torturers lurking in the forest? Evil twins? Amazingly lifelike masks? Checkity-check check.
If only the local diner served up the occasional Scooby Snack.
If this show has anything going for it, it's the fact that it doesn't take itself too seriously. Everyone involved seems to be aware that Pretty Little Liars will never be mistaken for Mad Men. The stakes are serious, but the tone is light.
Too bad we can't say the same about the content. Drug use, sexual liaisons (both gay and straight), provocative clothing and, of course, that titular wall-to-wall lying make this show about as healthy and palatable as a deep-fried Twinkie battered with hot sauce. Millennials behave badly here. Their parents can be worse. And all those pretty faces don't make all that content any less ugly.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Troian Bellisario as Spencer Hastings; Ashley Benson as Hanna Marin; Lucy Hale as Aria Montgomery; Shay Mitchell as Emily Fields; Ian Harding as Ezra Fitz; Bianca Lawson as Maya St. Germain; Laura Leighton as Ashley Marin; Chad Lowe as Byron Montgomery; Sasha Pieterse as Alison DiLaurentis; Nia Peeples as Pam Fields; Holly Marie Combs as Ella Montgomery; Janel Parrish as Mona Vanderwall
Paul Asay Meredith Whitmore