Pretty Little Intro.
If you had told me six months ago that I would be hopelessly addicted to a show on ABC Family, I would have laughed in your face and told you to suck it. I am a grown man, and consider myself to have a more refined palate for scripted television than the crop of tweeny-bopper shows ABC Family has become known for: Greek, Make It Or Break It, and 10 Things I Hate About You. Recently, however, a friend was regaling me with some of the laugh-out-loud plot twists on The Secret Life of an American Teenager (some religious girl has sex for the first time and thinks that god is punishing her when her father dies in a plane crash!) and I wondered how I could have possibly overlooked such a gem of a network. When did ABC Family start getting so racy? And when did they decide to give The CW a run for it’s money? Enter Pretty Little Liars, a saucy little summer side dish poised perfectly to tide me over until Gossip Girl returns this fall. From afar, it may look like a weak, serialized version of Sorority Row or I Know What You Did Last Summer. But trust me, it is SO much more than meets the eye! If you like a sudsy mix of murder, arson, blackmail, adultery, hot chicks, MILFs, girl-on-girl action, and cheeky one-liners, then this is the teen soap for you!
Meet the girls.
Here’s what we know so far: There are four gorgeous friends named Buggy (Aria), Lezzy (Emily), Schnoz (Spencer), and Blondie (Hanna). A year ago they were having a slumber party when their bitchy Queen Bee (Alison) suddenly disappeared in the dead of night. A year later, her body turns up dead (we’re not quite sure how?) but clearly, she was murdered. Complicating things is the fact that our gorgeous quartet is suddenly being plagued by nasty, devious texts from ‘A’ … threatening to reveal secrets that only Alison could have known! What exactly are the girls hiding? Well, Blondie is a klepto and an ex-fatty (gasp!), Schnoz is lusting after her sister’s fiance, Buggy is having an illicit affair with her hottie English teacher, and Lezzy is cheating on her boyfriend with Maya, the sexy, new black girl in town, who just happens to have moved into A’s old house. Creepy! And as if that isn’t bad enough, all of them are responsible for a prank-turned-arson incident that left their classmate Jenna blind and her step-brother Toby falsely arrested for the crime. Could one of them be behind the menacing texts?
The costume designer is working overtime, desperately trying to make double belts happen.
Nevermind that they are all being stalked by some whack job … the girls all decide to tromp through the woods in their Forever 21 couture towards the shed where they had their slumber party for some sort of “farewell” to Alison. Sure enough, they hear footsteps behind them, and when they try to run, they all receive another text from A! Dun dun dun!
You know you loathe me! Xoxo – Gossip Bitch
Blondie comes downstairs and cops attitude when she finds the detective investigating Alison’s murder standing in front of her fridge wearing nothing but a towel. Backstory: Blondie’s mom is played by the luscious Laura Leighton (Sydney from Melrose Place) and she is sleeping with said detective to keep him from arresting her daughter for stealing a pair of sunglasses at the mall. Um, best mom ever!
Is he for breakfast?!
This hot bitch hasn’t aged a day since Melrose! What’s her secret?!
Buggy is having breakfast (before school?! with her parents?! at a cafe?! ok…) discussing Harper Lee’s classic novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. PS, I love that Chad Lowe (Life Goes On) and Holly Marie Combs (Charmed) are supposedly old enough to play parents of a 16-year old daughter, but whatevs. They’re a hot family, so I’ll let it slide. Mom runs inside, and Buggy flips out when Meredith, the blonde slut she caught her dad having an affair with a year ago, casually drops by to say hi. Byron tries to assure Buggy that Meredith is no longer his college student floosie … she’s now a colleague in his department!
Buggy smells a rat.
Schnoz’s sister Melissa is having a code red meltdown in the wake of canceling her wedding. Backstory: she caught Schnoz smooching her fiance Ren last week! Melissa bemoans having to cancel the cake, the band, AND having to change her status on Facebook! HA!
Oh, it’s complicated alright!
At school, Blondie spies her boyfriend Sean yukking it up with his buddy Noel. (I already suspect her boyfriend is ‘mo on the down-low, and the way he playfully hits Noel or stares dreamily at him is not helping his case.) Noel’s parents are leaving town for the weekend, which means only one thing: PARTAY! Blondie’s awful “friend” Mona gives her the “you’re not cool unless you sleep with your boyfriend” chat, which sends Blondie down an utter shame spiral.
Sean’s wondering what yummy hair products Noel’s using.
Lezzy is getting her flirt on with Maya when her douche boyfriend Ben comes up and starts slobbering all over her. He’s not happy that his girlfriend is being so frigid (who can blame him?!) and he’s less thrilled when she invites Maya with them to Noel’s cabin party.
Ben’s like a dog in heat, trying to hump Lezzy’s leg.
Buggy finds Schnoz having a mini crisis at her locker – too many AP classes and she hasn’t even started writing her Russian history paper yet! The convo is cut short when they literally bump into blind girl Jenna being escorted to class by her brooding older step-brother, Toby.
If these looks could kill … oh, wait. Jenna’s blind! Nevermind then.
Detective Douche pulls Blondie from class because he can’t get over her fat yearbook photo. He wonders if hefty Hanna wanted Alison dead to take her place. Blondie has a flashback to her fat days, and of Alison coaxing her to ask out Sean, then snaps out of it and threatens the detective to back off or she’ll expose his unorthodox methods of interrogating her mother. LOL
That sweater’s more of a crime than being fat!
Buggy tries to invite her yummy teacher Mr. Fitz to her mom’s art gallery exhibit. He clearly wants to jump her underage bones right there on the desk, but he knows it wouldn’t be wise to get their flirt on in front of her parents.
Hot for teacher?
Schnoz tracks down Ren who’s squatting at his buddy’s place. She wants him to help get her out of the doghouse, but alas, they are both deep in dog doo. Ren says he’s tried to apologize, but maybe his only mistake was falling for the wrong sister. Schnoz freaks out and bolts.
Lezzy is alone in the girls’ locker room when she hears a noise. “Hello?” she calls out meekly. Cheap scare – it’s her boyfriend Ben, looking for a little pickle tickle. Lezzy kills the mood and tries to leave, which infuriates Ben. He gets a little grabby, and Lezzy clearly says no, but he doesn’t stop. Luckily, creepsicle Toby pops up (two male stalkers in one girls’ bathroom? what are the odds?!) and beats Ben to a pulp.
Toby helps to take out the trash.
Buggy stops by mom Ella’s gallery, and is horrified to see her chumming up with Meredith, who she’s just invited to the art show that night. Buggy warns Meredith not to show up – or else! But Meredith plays dumb and slinks off.
Don’t try to take on Buggy in a stare-down contest. She’ll take YOU down.
Blondie gives her mom and Detective Douche the cold shoulder on her way out to Noel’s party. After she leaves, Douche starts rifling through her purse and finds the friendship bracelet with her name on it that Alison gave her. Mama Bear doesn’t like his insinuations that her stinky-fingers daughter might also be a cold-blooded killer, and tells him he’ll need a search warrant if he wants to continue invading her privacy. Then she hands him the pizza box and tells him to find some other cougar to have dinner with. And breakfast, too, for that matter!
It’s my private dick in a box.
Lezzy and her new gal pal show up at Noel’s party, where Ben is playing foosball with Sean. Ben’s face is seriously mangled from Toby’s smackdown.
Meanwhile, all work and no play is making Schnoz a very stymied girl. She has major writer’s block when it comes to her paper on the Russian Revolution. Luckily, her bitch sister left her laptop on the counter next to hers which just happens to have a saved copy of an essay titled “STEAL ME.” With the click of a button and the help of a zip drive, Schnoz successfully plagiarizes her sister’s paper.
Blondie gets pissed that her boyfriend Sean is more into playing foosball than playing with her boobs, so she goes outside to sulk where the other girls are all talking about Toby. Schnoz thinks he’s a perv, but Lezzy thinks he’s a hero now. She wonders why he took the fall for the fire they all caused, and Schnoz has a flashback of Alison threatening Toby to keep quiet or she’d expose a secret of his…
Lezzy and her lesbian lover decide to pose for some fun, “innocent” pics in the photo booth. Naturally, this leads to a steamy makeout sesh, perfectly documented on camera. Unbeknownst to the two, a gloved assailant snatches up the pics and makes off with them! Oh, SHIZ!
If this doesn’t pull in the coveted male 18-49 demographic, then I don’t know what will!
Blondie then takes her foosball-lovin’ boyfriend Sean to the barn for some different indoor sports. But when she whips out a Trojan, Sean freaks and says he doesn’t want to do this. LOL. (Any guy who doesn’t want to have sex with a girl is OBVI gay!) He calls her desperate, and she rightly tells him that any guy at that party would kill to be with her. Sean leaves in a big, pink huff.
Sean looks like he’s in a horror movie. In reality, he’s just terrified of vajayjay.
Buggy goes to her mom’s art gallery and – gasp! – in walks that blonde skank Meredith. Buggy reminds her they had a “deal” but Meredith laughs in her face, calls her “sweetie” (which is so deliciously condescending) then steals her glass of boxed wine and starts circling Byron like a vulture.
Back at the party, Blondie gets a text from “A” that reads, “Heads up, hon. Hefty Hanna never gets the guy.” LOL. Blondie proceeds to steal Sean’s car keys and goes for a little joyride.
Buggy shows up at Mr. Fitz’s apartment door with the whole “I didn’t know where else to turn” routine. He wisely suspects she is a vampire, and won’t invite her in, but he does hold her in a tender embrace in the hallway.
The show’s Most Ridiculous Scene Award goes to Blondie tearfully walking away from Sean’s wrecked car on the side of the road, completely unscathed.
Maya drops Lezzy off at home (no good night kiss?) and speeds off. Lezzy spies Toby across the street (he’s her neighbor?!) sitting on the porch and working on his motorcycle. Cuz you know, nighttime is the best time for that. She clumsily thanks him for saving her ass from becoming a rape victim, and he just stares back silently. Just as she leaves, the camera whips around to reveal Jenna sitting in the shadows, demanding to know why Lezzy is thanking him. “It’s not what you think,” he mutters.
The next day on the way to the shed for Alison’s “farewell ceremony,” Schnoz comes clean to the girls that Alison blackmailed Toby into taking the fall for the fire. Once again, they hear a noise in the woods. Only instead of timidly calling out this time, they charge headlong into danger. They come to a clearing, and make a shocking discovery – Alison’s friendship bracelet lying on the groud!!!
As far as scares goes, this one’s kinda L-A-M-E.
In the final scene, the gloved assailant prints out a nice 8×10 glossy of Lezzy and Maya smooching in the photo booth, then tacks it up on the wall. The camera pans out to reveal an entire WALL of salacious lesbian smooching! It seems someone’s secret is about to be exposed BIG TIME!
If this were an art project, I’d give it an A plus!
I can’t wait for next week! Can you?! Please leave your comments, questions, and conspiracy theories!