Pretty Little Liars-Series One. An American Horror Mystery Drama. On Netflix. Episode One-Some short notes and My First Review. Minor Spoilers Only.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Netflix Description of Pretty Little Liars:
“Rudderless without their missing leader, four formerly tight school friends band together when a blackmailer threatens to spill their dirt”.
2016. Nearly Five Stars. Seven Series/ Seasons.

“New Episode coming on Wednesday.”

Netflix Further Description of Pretty Little Liars:
“Beautiful girls. Ugly truths. They can’t hide their misdeeds because, somehow, someone knows everything.”


Pretty Little Liars.
Series One.
Episode One.
Some notes on first watching.

So there’s an unfortunate amount of ballad singing.

Within about ten minutes the heroine is being chatted up in a bar that serves cheeseburgers by an English teacher. Who you just know is going to turn out to be her actual teacher.

He is wholly unconvincing as an English teacher since he has already put his glass on top of a paper back book. Quelle horreure.

What did I tell you. Mr. Fitz. Writes on the board. The drama writes itself.

My First Review.

So this, I have decided, after extensive research and trawling through Netflix: is going to be my go-to series. Till something better comes along.

Now that the random episodes of Beck on BBC4 have ended. And the Olympics have begun..
But I digress.

I have only watched one episode so far and that in chopped up bits at different times. Not that I have chopped anything up.

The four ( I think) girls are all fairly vacuous in expression. They could be anywhere between sixteen to thirty years old. Or late twenties. I really couldn’t decide. which was distracting.

I could have sworn one of the main characters was around thirty. Later she mentions an internship. Yet the girls are all still clearly at school. Well I think they all are. The drama was really that confusing.

I think this confusion also arose from the fact that we start the episode with a flashback. So I had presumed that the girls were all older in the later scenes. I just misjudged how much older.

It seems that it is around a year later. Actually the length of time was shown at one point. Along with the name of the town: Rosewood in Pennsylvania we are told.

So there is a flashback which is the crux of the mystery that we are here to solve: which is what happens to one of the girls of their group who goes missing one night.

Her name is Allison and it transpires that she is a bit of a bwatch. Or mean girl. However she is horrible to her friends. Which is unusual. I think.

However I’m not an expert on mean girls or girly girls generally. Except that they always try and do your make-up (you will look like a clown) and dress you up in hideous outfits . Change your style. Give you pretty handbags and shiny plastic belts. But I digress.

Yes, inexplicably all five friends are spending the night in some old room that looks like a basement with millions of candles and uncomfortable looking chairs and no blanket or sleeping bags.

Not a very well planned camping experience one might say. Camping but not camping. Probably they were just hanging out drinking.

So anyway they all fall asleep except for one of them. Leaving the several hundred giant candles burning. Which seemed very foolhardy to me.

In the morning, one of the friends returns. One of the girls, having woken, asks her:
“Where is Allison?”

That, as they say, is the million dollar question. This is the mystery upon which the first episode rests.

It’s hard to care really. Although of course this is only the first episode. The girls are all vacuous and vague. One of them inexplicably moons over her sister’s boyfriend.

I say inexplicably perhaps unfairly as the boyfriend is officially English with floppy hair and a grin. Quite lively compared to the girls.

Yes, only inexplicably because he is her sister’s boyfriend. Like-D’uh! Am I getting the mean girl vibe. I think so.

In a rather cringeworthy scene this girl goes all gooey eyed when said sister’s boyfriend moves equally inexplicably in for the kill. Commencing to massage her shoulders. Oo la la.

Now previous to this scene an equally cringeworthy encounter occurs between the heroine (from the opening scene) and a mysteriously handsome teacher. That the heroine, Aria, meets in a Burger Bar/ Bar. I was not quite sure.

Well thence they meet and hence commence to snogging. In the loo! Sacre Bleau.

Yes, as mentioned in the notes: this romantically styled English teacher has already blown it in the believability or call it credulity stakes: by committing the cardinal sin of putting his wet bottomed glass on top of his paperback! Quelle horreure.

Now does any English teacher the world over treat a book in such an incorrigible way? I think not. To any book lover this is incorrigible indeed unforgivable sacrilege. Mon Dieu.

Yes even a humble paperback. Because of course paperbacks are not humble at all. In fact are the essence of mysterious cool. In the hands of that mysterious intellectually (now) appearing officially artistic and even sensitive man: in dramas.

I mean nobody ever sits reading a hardback in a coffee shop. Now do they. It’s just not cool. Dunno why. The hardback just kills the vibe. Doesn’t it. But I digress.

So yet another cringe worthy calamity comes a calling with another inexplicable lapse in continuity. When two characters return back to the house they were just in. In the previous scene. Beats me.

One minute the two girls had just met, awkwardly kissed, were hanging out smoking: the next scene they were walking back to the same house from school. Or College. Who knows. Not me.

I could swear it wasn’t a school day. One of the girls was unpacking boxes in her new house (Allison’s old house). In the previous scene.

And so the drama continues.

Yes the drama is all a bit underwhelming so far. The four girls are as expressive as zombies really or maybe less so. Just in nicer, perfect outfits. (Yeowch!) I think I could be a mean girl.

I am noticing that the male characters are all irredeemably awful. As in portrayed as awful.

The romantically styled English teacher is rejected by the heroine: in an officially empowering but ultimately embarrassing scene.

When in another fit of insanity to add to his previous lapse in the bar: decides he just cannot let her go. And grabs her at the top of a staircase, declaring his (already) undying love. She pushes him aside and walks on.

Truth be told-there is a lot of walking from the girl characters. Up and down a road a lot. Oh, but they do go shopping.

Then the boyfriend of the sister of one of the girls is awful too. Then there’s the father of one of the girls. See-he is awful too.

The number of suspects in mind behind Allison’s disappearance is mounting..

Because it couldn’t possibly be one of the girl, now could it..

However a breath of fresh air appeared character wise in the form of a Police Detective (another officially and or awful man-from the girls’ point of view) who is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. Hurray.

Plus there is another mysterious story in the form of the dramatically interesting character Jenna. I should say no more.

But it appears that the girls may well have form. In being involved in calamitous happenings…

Now what happened to Jenna is casually referred to as : “The Jenna Thing”.

Indeed Episode Two is entitled: “The Jenna Thing”.

So I may well return to Pretty Little Liars. Just to find out. About Jenna. Then I could well be hooked.

Because Pretty Little Liars is set in that classic and glowily lit and beautifully filmed and styled: small town. Rosewood Pennsylvania.

The sort of drama where soothing titles tell us the place and time in the story. Everybody lives in picture perfect homes, there is a background of a school. Or High School.

People lead perfect, perfect lives. Wives assemble amazing gift baskets for newcomers. Of sumptuous wondrous jars.

Me I always wonder-where do they keep the baskets? Do they have a collection? Is there a basket shop somewhere? But I digress.

Yet already one character has said to her daughter:
“We have our reputation..”
“You know how they talk in a small town”..

Yep. We do.

All the classic ingredients for the small town horror story are in place..

They could even be in the bottom of that basket.

Posted by Clarissima at 16:32
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