'Pretty Little Liars' Fan Columnist: Never Trust a Pretty Girl with an Ugly Secret
'Pretty Little Liars' Fan Columnist: Never Trust a Pretty Girl with an Ugly Secret
Jen Abidor
Jen Abidor
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
You had me at hello, Pretty Little Liars

Within the first few moments of ABC Family's newest teen drama came a mystery, a hot make-out scene and a killer opening sequence. The show's theme song is "Secrets" by The Pierces (which you may recognize from an early episode of Gossip Girl), and it could not be any more appropriate in setting the show's tone and theme ... pretty girls with dark secrets. I applaud ABC Family for such a deliciously creepy sequence that was refreshing in comparison to the usual bubblegum pop fare I've become so accustomed to.

Part Gossip Girl and part Desperate Housewives, Liars might just be the newest teen sensation. The premise is simple: in an abandoned barn in Rosewood, Pennsylvania, five best friends have a sleepover. By the end of the night, clique leader Alison has gone missing and the other four girls, Aria, Hannah, Emily and Spencer, may know more than they let on. The show picks up a year later with Alison still missing and the other four girls receiving telling messages from "A" (presumably Alison.)

A's messages are juicy and contain dark secrets that only Alison (or a seriously intense stalker) could know. For instance:

  • Aria's new beau happens to be her new high school English teacher
  • Emily's begun a less than platonic relationship with new girl Maya
  • Hannah has a body image problem...and was arrested for shoplifting
  • Spencer has a habit of falling for her older sister's men, including current boyfriend Wren 

But the girls aren't the only ones with secrets--Alison has a big one involving a girl named Jenna, who we later find out is blind. I'm itching to know what that's all about! Also, Aria's dad had a secret affair with an unnamed student. 

But the biggest secret of all is the mystery shrouding Alison's disappearance, which is only heightened by the revelation that her body was found. The case has shifted from a missing girl to a murder, and these gals' pretty little lives are about to spiral out of control.

The show features a talented cast including Charmed's Holly Marie Combs and Privileged's Lucy Hale. The teen actresses generally look their ages, with the exception of Troian Bellisaro as Spencer whom I continually confused with the adult characters. 

I can't wait to see where the show will lead, and even though I was thoroughly confused at times, I'm hoping that's just part of the writers' master plan. For now I'm reveling in how juicy this show is, from open drug use to affairs with teachers to a secret lesbian tryst (which is something so rarely touched upon in teen television these days) ... and that was only in 42 minutes. At times it feels a touch too much like Gossip Girl, with its anonymous all-knowing source of gossip and a clique of beautiful girls with dark pasts. But still, I recommend this one to anyone seriously craving some drama this summer. 3 stars out of 4.

(Image courtesy of ABC Family)