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4.8 out of 5 stars190
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 22 August 2011
Wow. This is a brilliant - and underrated - show!
I decided to give Pretty Little Liars a chance and watched some episodes online, not knowing anything about it and I am so glad I did! Don't let the fact that it centers around 4 teenage girls put you off, it's in the same classy, intelligent genre as desperate housewives (in its hey day).
The show focuses on four friends - Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily - who start receiving text messages (and other kinds of messages) from a mysterious figure known only as "A". "A" seems to know all of the girls' secrets, including the fact that their best friend - and self-proclaimed leader of their posse - Alison was murdered the year before. Alison of course is not who she seemed to be, and the girls discover more and more about who she really was as they try to uncover her murderer (and "A"'s identity).
This show is brilliantly written (far better than the books it is based on), enjoyable and mature at the same time. All of the main girls have their own demons - Spencer is constantly trying to live up to her parent's expectations; Aria is having an affair with an older man; Hanna suffers from an eating disorder; Emily is struggling with her sexuality - but the characters are much more than just that. The casting overall is brilliant, even the supporting actors (the parents, schoolmates, teachers) do a wonderful job.
It's a real shame the show was only shown on smaller television networks, and didn't generate much of a following here in the UK.
This show is well worth a try. You won't be disappointed!
33 comments64 of 67 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Four friends band together against an anonymous foe, "A", who threatens to reveal their darkest secrets, whilst unraveling the mystery of the murder of their best friend Alison.

I'm probably too old to fit the intended target group for this series, but that doesn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying it. The acting is good with a couple of exceptions (e.g. Jenna - Robotta would be more suitable) and the characters are believable with the ambitious, mature and smart alpha female Spencer; bratty and insecure ex-overweight girl Hanna (my absolute favourite of the girls as she has the best lines and delivers them with amazing timing); gay sports star Emily and big eyed girl-next-door Aria. I just realised that when I described them, they sounded very clicheed and one dimentional, but as the series progresses, so do the characters and their relationships, and as "A" peels of their surface layers by time after time finding and hitting their weakest spots, their personalities are revealed and we get to see them warts and all.

There are a few semi-scary moments which will appeal to fans of the thriller genre, but it is the friendship and the development of four girls on the cusp of finding out who they really are that is the true star of this series. And of course the quest to finally find out who that horrible and incredibly smart and resourceful "A" is!
22 comments25 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 January 2013
The DVDs for series 2 NEEDS to come out here in the UK, there are a lot of UK fans despite the show only being shown on MTV. Amazon take note!

This series is gripping and not just what it looks like on the tin, it can be appreciated by all ages and is a thrilling mystery drama. It's sort of like a Desperate housewives kind of programme, it has the mystery and also the 'soap' aspect. I'd recommend anyone to give this ago, you'll probably end up hooked like me!
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on 25 July 2013
If you've never seen this show I definitely recommend you watch it. My friend told me about it when it first aired and I honestly can't get enough of it. To this day I've probably watched the full first series 3, maybe 4 times, the 2nd series 2/3 times, and completed the 3rd series now too. I'd say the first seasons the best based on what happens through out, and I've now even started reading the book series by Sara Shepherd. I'm only onto the 4th book at the minute so I don't have a complete opinion, however I do think the books are very different to the programme.

Still my far my favourite TV series.
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on 12 February 2013
I am sooo happy that I finally have at least one season of PLL on dvd!! I would recommend this to anyone searching for a new TV fix to get obsessed with! - but be aware, things in Rosewood are never as they seem. Its been a long time that I have watched something that I haven't been able to predict the storyline within the first few episodes and its made me even more determined to figure everything out. Season one is brilliant, I love the pace of the show - even though I am always left dying to know more - I love the characters, and personally feel they all (including secondary characters and particularly, unlike the books, the parents/families) have a lot of depth and you get invested in them really easily. Most of all I love it because it keeps me on my toes, I am constantly thinking/looking for clues and remembering things from previous episodes so I can try and figure things out before my Uni friends with whom I watch the show! Plus I think it has cornered the market on hot men, great fashion and cute romances!! What more can you want from a show?
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on 27 February 2013
This is the best tv series i have seen for a long time ,and dont let the teen element put you off buying as im way past my teens and still enjoyed this show enormously.Each element of the show works ,the acting is great and the plot twists at every turn,just when you think you have a handle on proceedings something else happens!!!!.
And the plot ? proceedings? well this review will develop into War and Peace if i go there ,just to say that four young women have a secret and that secret involving a missing girl leads to major developments,and i mean major!!over the course of the show.It gets a little creepy at times,murder,blackmail,attempted murder,lesbianism,they are all here and more ,and theres some compassion to the narrative which at times is pure evil!.
Buy and enjoy you will not be disappointed.Lucy Hale was a stand out for me in the acting stakes,although they (the four leads)were all good
Mark Stevens
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on 13 August 2013
I love pretty little liars, its really intrguing and has you guessing who A is when I found out it was being released in the uk I went straight out and got it I just really hope they release season 2 and 3 in the uk and region 2 soon.
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on 27 April 2012
Don't get me wrong, the books were awesome, but, unusually for most book-to -film/tv programmes, this series is, I feel ,better than the books! The characters are much more three dimensional and the plot is more exciting and spooky. It also keeps characters that died/left in the books that I think make it even more awesome! A spooky, twisting plot based around four best friends,stalked by the mysterious A after the murder of their friend Alison, as they try to unravel the secrets that riddle the picture perfect town of Rosewood, Philadelphia. Awesome series, definately worth it!!
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on 27 March 2013
I thought I'd give this a try as I was looking for a new box set to watch, and had noticed that alot of people seemed to watch it. I was not disappointed. This programme is so addictive I found myself watching the whole of Season 1 in no time at all. I'm currently half way through season 3 and have not got bored yet! Every episode is highly entertaining, and the acting is actually really good. There are also some really funny moments too. The characters are really likeable, and I'd highly recommend that you watch this.

Its my new favourite show by a long shot!!
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on 13 June 2013
As the theme song says, "Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead"

Unfortunately `Pretty Little Liars' has been kept almost a secret in this country, which is our loss as it is far better than it has any right to be, with an appeal way beyond the particular demographic at which it was originally targeted.

According to the disc `extras', it was devised, initially as a series of books, subsequently as this television series, following the success of the television series Desperate Housewives (before that became too convoluted and preposterous). `Pretty Little Liars' was intended to be similar but adapted to be marketed mostly to teenaged school girls.

The result could easily have been something cynically made, unoriginal and patronising to its audience. Fortunately, it turned out to be one of the best programmes on television.

Although centred on a group of teenaged school girls, the characters, and the situations and mysteries in which they are caught up, are interesting enough that this should appeal to viewers of most ages and both sexes.

As is common in American television, the supposedly High School aged characters are mostly played by actors well into their twenties. (Or older - Bianca Lawson who plays Miah is actually in her early 30s. A few people will remember her as the short-lived vampire slayer Kendra in `Buffy the Vampire Slayer' Season 2 in about 1998).

The cast as a whole are good enough that it is almost unfair to single out any of them, but I can hardly list them all, so I shall say that especially good are:

Troian Bellisario as the intensely driven member of the group Spencer

little Lucy Hale as Aria, who pretending to be older than she is, begins a romance with a guy she meets in a bar, only to find he is her new English teacher

and Keegan Allen as the misfit Toby, who lives with his blind sister and is widely suspected of a crime he did not commit. Almost no one suspects him of another seriously illegal thing that, under pressure, he really did do.

At time of writing, Season 2 is already available on Amazon at an exorbitant price that I hope will reduce over the next few months. Season 3 has been made and a Season 4 and a spin off series are to follow.

I do not know whether eventually Pretty Little Liars will suffer from the soap opera problem that after a while all available characters have already had romances and/or feuds with all other available characters, so to provide continuing material the plots have to become increasingly unbelievable.

However, this first season is excellent and may Pretty Little Liars continue to be as good for some time. Thanks to all involved in making it.
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