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Pretty Little Liars is a successful American TV show which you may not have heard of because it's a show written about and aimed at teenagers. As such it has a smaller audience and has aired on channels such as Viva and MTV in the UK. The region 2 DVDs have also only been released as 'exclusive' or limited stock on Amazon.co.uk. Despite this the show is well received around the world and has a legion of slightly obsessed fans who are creating impressive records such as the 'most tweeted about show ever' and so forth! The show has also produced it's own horror show spinoff called 'Ravenswood'!
I've always like weird TV shows and after seeing one episode of this show on TV I knew I was hooked. The show features four female teenage friends who live in a town called Rosewood. They have all been out of touch with one another for a whole year and since the disappearance of their queen bee pal Alsion DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse). Ali was the blonde, bubbly beautiful one who all the girls worshipped but similarly feared and her influence on the girls is long lasting. In the pilot episode Ali's body is discovered buried in her garden and the four other girls reunite at her funeral. However, just as they think they are free from the oppressive force that Ali brought to their lives (in life and death!) the girls start to receive threatening messages from someone signing themselves off as 'A'. This A person appears to know the girls' most dangerous secrets that only the four of them and Alison knew. So who is this 'A' and why do they want to hurt the girls so badly? This is the main story in season 1 and throughout the rest of the show too (the show is now currently in its fourth season).
The pilot episode is very impressive and well written. It establishes all of the lead characters very well and makes us love them straight away. The show thrives on controversial storylines and in the pilot a student/teacher romance is one of the major attractions. Despite the relationship not feeling morally right to me as an adult the way the storyline is written means that the drama and romance of it is still very exciting to watch. In fact it's possibly one of the most interesting aspects of the pilot episode.
The series contains 22 episodes which are spread over 5 discs in the DVD set. The fifth disc features several special features:
Pretty Little Lairs: Two Truths And A Lie - a little video helping us to get to know the cast in a fun way
It all Started With A Little Lie - The making of the show
Little Secrets From the Set - Behind the Scenes action
There are some wonderful episodes to enjoy in this season. Although there is a lot of focus on character development there is just as much action driven plot so we can enjoy the best of these aspects. One thing that does frustrate me in this season is the casting changes. I'm not sure why it happened but several members of cast change faces throughout the season. Most notably a main character Toby changes during a SCENE! This is slightly amusing but also a bit confusing! If you go on to watch future seasons you'll notice that Ali's brother Jason was a completely different actor in this season and also the character changes dramatically too! I did wonder in the beginning whether the producers realised that they were suffering from a case of 'every boy character looks the same' syndrome! There are also a few strands of story development focusing on the adult characters which feel like the writers were trying out what would work and what wouldn't. Despite this the main storylines are solid and completely engaging. Frequent flashbacks reveal Alison in a way that makes us obsessed with her character in the same way her friends were psychologically trapped by her influence. The struggle of the four girlfriends Aria, Hanna Spencer and Emily is also a key interest for me as a viewer.
Some of my favourite episodes in this season are the second episode 'Monsters in The End' for it's ability to make me shiver and cry. I also love 'The Badass Seed' which draws parallels with Alison (or perhaps another character - it's up to the audience to decide!) and the protagonist of the William March novel about a child psychopath who murders people to get what she desires. The season finale is exciting and suitably action packed although it does leave things on a stunning cliffhanger.
The DVD is rated suitable for those age 12 and over although there are some adult themes and content in the show which mean that people of all ages will be able to enjoy this. I would highly recommend this show to any teenage girl or boy and to any adult who enjoys shows where there is an on-going mystery to be solved.
The DVD is available to purchase now at Amazon.co.uk.
When Pretty Little Liars first began, I saw an advert on ITV. I had been reading the books at the time and was desperate to watch it. The problem was, it was on Viva and I didn't have access to Sky in the evenings. I asked my mum to record them but she never managed to record the episodes in the right order. Therefore, years later when it eventually came out on DVD I was relieved. I could finally watch it properly (and in the correct order).
Unfortunately this was exclusive to amazon.co.uk and before I had a chance to buy it they were out of stock. I waited for months after and was beginning to think I would never get the DVD. In late January it was finally back in stock and I bought it straight away.
I paid £20 for the season. I wouldn't usually pay that much but I knew if I didn't get it then I may never get it. I'm glad I did though.
The series is based on the Pretty Little Liars books by Sara Shepard. It does follow them closely so I'm happy I read the books first.
The series is about a group of friends. Alison DiLaurentis, the leader of the group, goes missing on the night of a sleepover. No one knows where she is or if she's still alive. The four others in the group of friends miss Alison and are trying to solve the mystery to where she is, what happened to her and most importantly, who is A.
A has been sending anonymous messages to the friends, Aria, Hanna, Spencer and Emily. These are by text, notes, writing on mirrors, anything she can (if it's a she, no one knows). The only ones who know about A are the four friends and she is blackmailing them with all their secrets.
Who is A? How does she know their secrets? What happened to Alison? No one knows, we'll have to wait and see.
I love watching this series and trying to work out who A is. It is brilliantly written and the actors are fantastic at playing their characters.
This DVD is rated a 12 but personally I think it should be a 15 as some scenes may be a little scary for some 12 year olds.
There are 22 episodes in the first series and there are a few bonus features on the DVD.
This is a fantastic series which I will continue to watch, eagerly waiting to discover the identity of A.
Now I just have to wait for series 2 to come out on DVD. I wish they would hurry up, I have been waiting for months.