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4.8 out of 5 stars
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 comments| 66 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 comments| 26 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 23 September 2012
I'm so happy this is FINALLY being released in the UK!
I'm currently watching season 3 online and I can't get enough.
Hopefully they release season 2 & 3 soon also, NEED it in my life!!
A must see for anyone.
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on 10 May 2012
I nearly didnt watch pretty little liars as I missed the first episode, but decided to watch it anyway, and I am so glad I did. It's the first programme in ages that has had me well and truly glued to the TV on every single episode!

To sum up the plot, a girl, Alison disappears and her 4 friends start getting mysterious text messages and notes from someone calling themself 'A' who appears to know all of their secrets and everything they do and starts using this to mess with the girls.

I have just finished watching the second season last night and am itching to find out when season 3 will be airing in the UK. I seriously could not recommend any series more at the moment, I love pretty little liars and want Europe to hurry up and release it on region 2 dvd so I can start watching them all again!
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on 8 August 2013
I watched this show on MTV a few years ago, and the second season. I loved it and have always been glued to the tv in every episode. You can imagine my disappointment after waiting for season 3 only to find MTV decided not to show it any more! Their loss, and another channels gain, I say! This show is very popular over here even after only being shown on a pay channel. imagine if it were available on a free view channel it would be as big as the vampire diaries if not bigger! But it's not being given the chance. It is on season 4 in America so it's clearly a good show. This show is just one big thrill, just when you think you've guessed A you haven t! this show is very clever, and the casting is great i love all of them. You will love it, I do! Hopefully a uk broadcaster will come to their senses and broadcast it.
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The declared aim here is a "Desperate Housewives" for teens - gloss, glamour, outrageous (but enjoyable) storylines. The additional ingredient is plenty of scares.

In Rosewood, Pennsylvania, four friends are increasingly rattled by messages sent by "A". Surely this cannot be their manipulative mate Alison who suddenly disappeared a year ago, and whose murdered body has just been found? Can a malevolent ghost, who seems to know their every move, be threatening to reveal secrets if not obeyed? Or is their tormentor somebody very much alive, gloating to see them suffer? Whom can Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily trust...?

This is one of those shows that simply invites viewers to sit back and enjoy. Away with nitpicking critics who like to whinge! Ammunition is there: variable acting; some characters very shallow and confusingly alike in appearance; storylines not standing up to close examination (as with that stolen money); a tacky subplot involving Aria and teacher Ezra Fitz, they forever with furtive encounters which would in real life instantly arouse suspicions of staff and pupils alike.

So what! Such fault-finders are missing the point. This is intended as escapism. They should treat it as such.

Assets include the seriously scary blind Jenna, she either ominously tapping down corridors or turning up unexpectedly. Also impressive are charismatic Toby and Caleb, but have they secret agendas...?

Fans of the genre will at once wonder if Alison is dead after all, if Jenna is really blind, if there are more than one "A". For twenty two episodes we are kept guessing, but should not expect "A" to be identified this soon. A bonus reveals that Sara Shepard, creator of the novels upon which the series is loosely based, has yet to decide on the final outcome. (She says the show's creators may change it anyway.) The other bonuses are modest and mainly for fun.

Hopefully the show will not suffer the fate of certain others that began so promisingly. Some simply drifted on and on, even keenest fans beginning to lose interest. Far better for makers to have a firm grasp of the overall plot, rather than making it up as they go along.

In short, much here entertains, provided one does not delve too deeply.
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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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