Posts Tagged ‘aria’

Got a Secret? About PLL’s “It’s Alive” and “The Goodbye Look”

We’re baack. I don’t know how often we’re baack, but who cares about petty details when there’s dead murderers running around Rosewood impregnating characters’ mean-spirited older sisters? And when Danby is recruiting Emily for its nationally renowned swim team???

I tried not to think of my last three months as life without Pretty Little Liars so much as life with The Killing and Parks and Recreation and any number of cheap knockoffs of the greatest show on television. It failed, though, and now that PLL is back, it’s officially prime television season.

Here’s why:

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Got a Secret? About Pretty Little Liars’ “Know Your Frenemies”

Before we dive into another terrific episode of Pretty Little Liars—the best, I think, of Season One, Part Two—we have to address something upfront.

Hanna Marin is apparently the teenage girl equivalent of Logan Howlett, a.k.a. Wolverine, with her truly miraculous recovery from her broken leg. Last we saw Hanna, she was struggling to navigate her way around her own house in a wheelchair while doped up on pain medication. This week, she’s out and about as if everything—spleen, leg, bruised ribs—are just fine and dandy.

Now, clearly some time has passed: Ian and Melissa are back from their honeymoon, Emily’s dad has left for Fort Hood again. But broken legs aren’t dislocated fingers; they don’t heal within a few days. We’re talking—and I did tons of research on this by asking one other person—a minimum of two to three weeks of casting on the broken leg and doubtless some lingering effects even after the cast comes off. WebMD says 6-8 weeks recovery time overall.* Six to eight weeks can’t possibly have passed since Camp Mona; two weeks seems too long a period of time to have passed (unless that was a fairly long honeymoon AND Noel’s blackmail of Mr. Fitz was really drawn-out and commenced toward the beginning of a traditional high school marking period).

*It also says that symptoms of a broken leg include “severe pain.” Thanks, WebMD!

All this is to say, Ashley Benson should have sucked it up and kept the cast on longer.

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Got a Secret? About Monday Night’s “Pretty Little Liars”

“I couldn’t forgive him or like him but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made….”

Pretty Little Liars had been a bit light on the intertextuality over the last few episodes, but it came back big-time in “Salt Meets Wounds,” or as I will forever know it as, The Gatsby Episode.

PLL, of course, executed its Gatsby theme with subtlety and class. Its thesis statement—Nick Carraway’s concluding analysis of the Buchanans reproduced on Mr. Fitz’s chalkboard and in the epigraph—wasn’t revealed until a quarter of the episode was through, and it was largely obscured by Ezra’s head:

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Got a Secret? About Monday Night’s “Pretty Little Liars”

I tell you: Five months has never felt so long. You’re telling me I experienced every undulation of that Giants’ season since the last episode of Pretty Little Liars? That the Republican wave hadn’t happened yet? That Vanessa Hudgens, Taylor Swift, Scarlett Johanson and Mila Kunis were all still together (with boyfriends/husbands, not each other) then?*

*I’ve got plenty of shoulders if you need ’em, ladies.

The distance between August 10 and January 4 (I saw it a day late…deal) melted away in those as-promised-by-Ashley-Benson thrilling first two minutes, which recapped the first ten episodes of the show—the finest non-divinely inspired Decalogue ever produced. Instantly, I remembered all about Camp Mona, glamping, and the Blowout Bar. The Twin Peaks connections made in the finale. That fantastic studying-for-the-SATs scene. Every scene that took place in the dark. And, of course, that another television character got hit by a car.

Most of all, those two minutes reminded me of summer, of laidback days watching Pretty Little Liars and tense nights debating its cultural merits and significance to the American zeitgeist. I know, it seems so long ago and so difficult to capture in these brutal winter months, but it is my job, nay, duty to try.

Let’s cite the deliciousness of “Moments Later”:

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Got A Secret? About Last Night’s “Pretty Little Liars” Finale

This whole time that I’ve been watching Pretty Little Liars–roughly four transcendent weeks by now*–I’ve been thinking, of course, a lot about Twin Peaks. The series, after all, are very similar. Both center on murdered girls from a small town with secrets. Both feature, for their time, attractive casts. Both involve the woods frequently. Both often hone in on marital problems. Both contain a character who rides a motorcycle and who was at least rumored to be romantically linked to the deceased while later becoming romantically linked to one of her friends. Both dead girls are very similar in personality, particularly their fondness for secrets.**

*In case you were wondering, I did find the time to finally go back and see the first three episodes.

**This is the time to overlook their very large differences, the main one I think being that Twin Peaks was a show essentially about small-town life with the mystery serving as an entrypoint whereas Pretty Little Liars doesn’t really care about developing Rosewood. And oh yeah, there are no owls in PLL.

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Got a Secret? About Tuesday’s “Pretty Little Liars”

Tuesday night’s episode of Pretty Little Liars was called “The Perfect Storm.” This was an apt title for three main reasons:

  1. The episode contained a storm.
  2. The title makes a timely reference to the work of author Sebastian Junger, who recently released a new hardcover, War.
  3. The episode itself was perfect.

How brilliant was Tuesday’s PLL. Let us count the ways.

1. !!!

I thought my notes for those 44 action-packed minutes were already a little exclamation point heavy, and that was before the crazy surprise at the end. For once, PLL’s end pointed toward an answer, instead of opening more questions, by implicating Lucas in the destruction of the memorial (because his shoes were muddy)!

2. But…

As mentioned earlier, there was a storm outside. Anybody’s shoes can get muddy in a storm. And I really like Lucas. It would suck if he were “A.”

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Got a Secret? About Last Night’s “Pretty Little Liars”

You weren’t kidding when you approvingly linked to a review of Pretty Little Liars a few Monday Medleys ago, were you? Trust me. We never use Monday Medley to kid.

Seriously, though, why Pretty Little Liars? Because it’s summer, because Degrassi just isn’t fun anymore, because it’s accurately billed as Gossip Girl meets I Know What You Did Last Summer

Sans Jennifer Love Hewitt: Sigh…

If it’s so great, what took so long? Well, we didn’t want another FlashForward on our hands, am I right? Also, I didn’t see the first three episodes.

Then how are you qualified to do this? I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s pretty gratuitous use of flashback in PLL.

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