Pretty Little Liars – Season Two
ABC Family’s teen soap Pretty Little Liars has returned for its second season, and as expected very few questions were answered. For those not familiar with the impossibly convoluted plot of the series, it follows four best friends, Aria (Lucy Hale), Spencer (Troian Bellisario), Emily (Shay Mitchell), and Hanna (Ashley Benson), as they attempt to solve the murder of their queen bee, Alison. It doesn’t help that their pesky blackmailer, simply known as “A,” knows all their secrets and lies, of which “A” reminds the girls through pretty much every available means possible: text messages, emails, videos, notes written in blood on the wall.
No matter where they turn or whom they talk to, “A” is always one step ahead of the game. Stir in Aria’s forbidden romance with her teacher, Emily’s coming out to her parents, Hanna’s money woes, and Spencer’s role as a person of interest in a murder investigation, and you’ve got a recipe for perhaps the guiltiest and most entertaining of guilty pleasures on all of TV.
The second season premiere of Liars opens moments after the first season finale, in which Spencer’s creepy brother-in-law Ian (Ryan Merriman) tries to kill her inside an empty church. This comes after an entire season of the girls accusing Ian of murdering Alison, much to the disbelief of their parents, and even the police. However, in a shocking twist, a shadowed figure believed to be the still unidentified “A” saves Spencer from Ian’s clutches and pushes Ian off a ledge, leaving his presumably dead body hanging from a rope.
The rest of the girls run into the church to their friend’s rescue, where they see Ian’s lifeless body. However, when the police arrive on the scene, Ian’s body has disappeared, and in true Liars fashion, the audience is left asking questions: Is Ian really dead? Was it all a setup? And, of course, the question that’s been on our minds since the first episode: Who is “A”?
Unfortunately, the season 2 premiere does not get around to answering any of these questions. For the most part, the girls’ personal lives are pretty much the same as where we left them; Aria is threatened by her teacher/boyfriend’s ex-fiancée’s presence in town, Hanna is still reeling from her tumultuous breakup with bad seed Caleb, Emily is preparing to potentially move to Texas for a year, and Spencer is still going strong with fellow outcast and accused murderer Toby, no matter how hard her parents try to keep them apart.
However, decisions made by both the girls and their families are sure to bring about a swift change for their lives and for the story. The scary church incident leaves the girls’ parents worried about their daughters’ sanity, and they decide to send the girls to a therapist to help them deal with the grief of Alison’s death. By the conclusion of the episode, the girls have never been more alone, as the therapist suggests the girls separate, forbidding them from spending time together.
As expected, the girls’ separation lasts only into roughly the first 20 minutes of episode two, which has the girls tracking a mysterious burglar/computer hacker’s steps. The girls get closer to solving what really happened to Ian thanks to the return of Ian’s former best friend, and Alison’s older brother, Jason. As per usual, the episode concludes with a cliffhanger that leaves viewers scratching their heads in disbelief. Even though every episode of Liars typically ends with a surprising twist, the writers have a remarkable ability to shock audiences every single time with their well-executed, if not cheesy, cliffhangers.
As avid watchers of the series, we say that Liars is strictly a guilty pleasure. As a legitimate TV show, it has countless flaws: the acting is lifeless, there is little to no character development, the dialogue is very poorly written, and the story is completely far-fetched. However, it is the show’s ridiculous plot twists like the disappearance of Ian’s body, clichéd romances like that of outsiders Spencer and Toby, and endless drama and mystery that keep audiences coming back for more.
Plus, the young cast, not to mention their outfits, are easy on the eyes. Liars pulls you in and doesn’t let you go. And what’s more fun is that you’re left guessing with each moment. So, good luck with solving the mysteries Liars puts forth week after week; our guess is that you won’t know the answer unless you keep watching.