Pretty Little Liars TV Review – I’m Aria… Seriously

Pretty Little Liars premieres tonight on ABC Family, and it looks to actually be a pretty fun ride. The young-adult book series comes to life as the residents of Rosewood face a complicated mystery, and four friends find themselves looking over their shoulders with no idea what’s going on.

Rosewood is a perfect little town. So quiet and pristine, you’d never guess it holds so many secrets. Some of the ugliest ones belong to the prettiest girls in town — Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily, four estranged friends whose darkest secrets are about to unravel.

One year ago, Alison, the Queen Bee of their group, disappeared and the girls swore they’d never tell what really happened that night. They thought their secrets would bond them together, but just the opposite is true. Then again, who’s to say what the truth is in Rosewood. It seems everyone in town is lying about something.

Now, as the mystery surrounding Alison’s disappearance resurfaces, the girls begin getting messages from “A,” saying – and threatening – things only Alison would know. But it couldn’t be Alison. Could it? Whoever it is, they seem to know all the girls’ secrets, and seem to be watching their every move. The girls are friends again, but will they be there for each other if their dark secrets come to light?

Sound familiar?

Maybe, but things are dark and mysterious in Rosewood, and though the pilot has some difficulty getting through all the requisite establishing scenes, I’m not sure I don’t have some hopes for this show. The main actresses are pretty good, though they have a little trouble trudging through a script that might have served everyone better if it were spread over two episodes.

I hear there’s a decent story going on behind things, and the initial evidence suggests this may be true. Yes, I went and bought the first book.

Too many things are going on in the lives of these girls, and the sudden appearance of a mystery figure dishing out threats to expose them may just push things over the edge. Aria (that’s me… more in a moment) has enough trouble just finding out that she already seems to know her new teacher, but when she gets a text from the “A” and learns that her secret isn’t very secret, that’s a whole different level of stress.

Whether it’s shoplifting, or falling for your older sister’s man, these girls have much to hide, but none of it as important as what happened to Alison.

Like several other shows on ABC Family that actually surprise me, or have (had) my wife tuning in, I can actually recommend checking this one out with a straight face.

Tune in tonight at 8/7c.

So, yes, I’m Aria.

That’s me.

I was tapped to take part in an odd little game (which I will tell you all about soon), in which I was sent Aria’s phone. “A” has been texting me, and I’ve had to jump through her hoops in order to keep her from revealing my secrets.

I’m not sure what you can see as a non-member of the group, but our little flight of fancy largely takes place at a special Facebook page here. The Rosewood knitting club.

Complete with Aria’s contacts, and other info, that damn text tone keeps telling me about more stunts I have to take part in, or all my secrets will be revealed!

I’m going to give you a lot more detail on this later, I want you to have the first episode under your belt first, but for tonight’s episode I need to find something, and you can help.

Somewhere in the episode is a postcard from Iceland (where Aria spent a year) that shows a bunch of ice (oddly), and I need to figure out where it is. If you see it, let me know soonest!

Check out the episode tonight, and then we’ll talk. (I have to watch myself on TV!)

(Ok, it’s a little goofy, but it’s rather a bit of fun.)

Also, let me know if you’re familiar with the books, and let me know what you think of the show. If it turns out that a lot of you out there are interested, I may be inclined to let someone have Aria’s phone… when I’m done with it.


Marc Eastman
Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and has been writing film reviews for over a decade, and several branches of the internet's film review world have seen his name. He is also a member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Broadcast Television Journalists Association.

Must Read

Sonic The Hedgehog Blu-Ray Review – Zippy Family Movie Surprises

Ignoring the controversy over the look of the world's most popular hedgehog, releasing a film now seemed...

State Of Happiness Review – Topic North American Exclusive Is Dramatic Wonder

As many of us are looking for new things to watch, to a degree perhaps never imagined, a lot of streaming services...

Celebrity Escape Room Review – Red Nose Day Special Is Wildly Fun Curiosity For Charity

Red Nose Day is upon us and this year there's a special treat, Celebrity Escape Room. It's pretty much exactly what it...


Snowpiercer Review – TV Revisit Blends Genres For Wild Fun

TNT's Snowpiercer is a very different examination of the original graphic novel's premise than the 2013 film, and it mainly melds a...

‘The Great’ Review – McNamara Follows ‘The Favourite’ With Equally Legendary Effort

Tony McNamara has written a lot of interesting television, but when he recently took on the idea of an almost surreal, modern,...

State Of Happiness Review – Topic North American Exclusive Is Dramatic Wonder

As many of us are looking for new things to watch, to a degree perhaps never imagined, a lot of streaming services...

Dont' Miss The Best Of The Decade