When our good friend and Snark Squad founder Sara suggested covering Pretty Little Liars, we jumped at the idea. It’d long been on our Spreadsheet-O-Dreams, mostly because it’s not fantasy, and there is no chance a vampire or dragon will show up. (We think.) We’re happy to have her back and launch this project, so please welcome Sara and let’s all enjoy the ride, shall we?
Sara: We open up in a barn with four obnoxiously gorgeous girls and 3oh!3’s “Don’t Trust the Girl” playing in the background, which is a pretty suitable song choice. When the power goes out, the sleepover party gets a little freaked, especially when they hear a noise outside. They get up to go Nancy Drew the situation when the door creaks open, and OH FUCK! ….Wait, no, it’s just a fifth gorgeous girl, Alison. If only one of the Pretty Little Liars had hit her with a bat or something, right? Then I guess we’d just be watching Pretty Little Girls Who Are Kind of Boring and Don’t Do Much and Nothing Murdery Ever Happens, and that title doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Lorraine: I think EL James wrote that book about just one girl and called it Fifty Shades of Grey. Maybe this show lost out on it’s real chance.
Sweeney: Think about the scriptwriting guides they could be selling now!
Sara: Alison laughs about freaking them all out, and struts in like she owns the place. It’s pretty apparent from the start that she’s the HBIC, as the other girls are following her around and directing all of their attention to her. She takes her first cuntpunch! at Emily, the Athletic Spice of the PLLs:
Emily: I am loving Beyonce’s new video.
Alison: Maybe a little too much, Em. *pointed look* *ahem* *because of how you’re a lesbian and all*
Emily makes an awkward face, and Aria, the Offbeat Hipster Spice, seems to be the only one who notices a drivebycuntpunch! just happened. (S: We know she’s offbeat and EDGY because she has pink streaks in her hair like only EDGY girls do.) Aria decides to ignore that feeling by guzzling some more alcohol. (L: Unidentified alcohol. , girl.) Spencer, the Scholarly Spice, warns her not to drink too much. The more you drink, the more likely your secrets are to come out and play.
Alison: Friends share secrets. That’s what keeps us close.
Secrets, secrets are no fun. Unless your name is Alison, and you use them to ruin everyone.
Sweeney: Snark Squad Poetry. We’re working on a coffee table book.
Sara: A few hours later, Aria wakes up (as if from a shampoo commercial) and notices both Alison and Spencer missing. She wakes the other girls, and as they’re walking outside to investigate the shit out of things, Spencer shows up in the doorway. She went to find Alison because she heard a scream. Let’s also note that Spence looks a little cray right now.
Aria puts her Big Eyes on, and we fade away to black.
ONE YEAR LATER
Aria is checking herself out in a mirror (#WakefieldStyle) when Piper from Charmed her mom walks in.
Sweeney: No strikeout needed because I refuse to call her anything other than Piper. Related:
Sara: Apparently, they’ve moved back to Rosewood after a year of being gone for her father’s “I cheated on my wife and needed to get away from the evidence before she finds out” sabbatical. I’m pretty sure that’s what he wrote on the form and everything. They’ve moved back just in time for the one-year anniversary of Alison’s disappearance, so apparently she was never seen again after that night in the barn, because probably Spencer killed her or something.
Lor: So, in Game of Thrones we guess everyone is going to die. In Fifty Shades we hope everyone is going to die. In Pretty Little Liars we are officially going to guess that everyone killed Alison. Enjoy!
Sweeney: YAY DETECTING! I wonder if PLL [Pretty Little Liars] will have a helpful zoomy camera to aid in our detecting…
Sara: Aria’s mom encourages her to call the other PLLs, because they used to be such good friends. Luckily, Aria escapes the conversation by offering to drop her brother off at lacrosse practice. Lacrosse? Damn, Rosewood is classy.
Before she leaves, her dad pulls her aside and says that coming home brings back memories, except he says it in this weird spooky way like a lunatic. Aria assures him that she’s still keeping his Secret. Ooooh! The secrets are beginning already! Probably he killed Alison! Mystery solved, we can all go home now!
After Aria drops her brother off at lacrosse practice, she decides to grab something to eat. Aaaaaand apparently it’s at a bar? What? This girl has the face of a newborn infant, but somehow she is just sitting right there at a bar, grabbing dinner, and nobody is noticing.
Lor: Her face seriously looks like the love child of a Gerber baby and the Crimson Chin. Like in a good way.
Sweeney: A+ also, it’s already clear that this show has the perfect level of “BECAUSE OF REASONS” for us.
Sara: Well, nobody but the hot guy sitting to her right notices her. He strikes up a conversation and it’s pretty douchey from the start with Aria telling him, “I’m a bit jet lagged. I just got back from Europe.” That’s just so Aria. The hot guy tells her that he’s just started a new teaching job, and Aria Big Eyes her way through the conversation and somehow skirts around the whole “You are sexual predatorying me right now because I’m 16 years old” issue.
I’d like to note that Hot Guy is doing absolutely nothing wrong in this scene, because Aria implied that she was of a doable age. But still. Guys and girls, if a potential sex partner has the face of a puppy, probably you should ask for ID.
Sweeney: TV teaches us so many useful things! Also, I laughed a lot when he commented on how smart she is, after their 15 second conversation. Grey tells Ana how smart she is all the time too.
Sara: They both want to get to know each other better, and next thing you know, they are in the bar bathroom (ew!) getting to know each other dry hump style. She’s sitting on the bathroom counter! Ew ew ew! I mean, I understand that Aria is like the size of a very tiny doll and probably having sex with a tall guy would be difficult to do standing up, but still. Ew!
Lor: I wanted to excuse Aria by saying she isn’t old enough to know about bar bathrooms yet, BUT THAT MAKES THIS CREEPIER.
Sara: Roll Credits! It looks like Alison’s body being prepared for the funeral. It sounds a lot grosser than it is really. At the end, we see our four gorgeous little liars, and Aria does her famous Big Eyed Shh!
Sweeney: Based on my newly established belief that opening credits tell lies, I interpret this to mean that Alison is not dead and also that Aria will be really bad at being quiet.
Sara: Hanna, the formerly Chunky Spice who is now Fabulous Spice, is shopping at a very expensive mall when she sees Spencer. They talk, and it seems like they haven’t spoken in a while. Spencer is shopping for something to wear to her “meeting her sister’s new doctorfiancee” dinner, and Hanna encourages her to let the girls out for some attention stealing.
Speaking of stealing, when Hanna leaves, she walks out with the sunglasses she was trying on. Oh no! She forgot to pay for them! LOL. Nope, kidding, she’s just one of those rich girls who steals things for the rush. She almost gets busted by the security officer, but makes it away unscathed. She meets up outside with her friend, who stole herself a very lovely scarf. Pretty Little Thieves Who Are Making Prices Go Up For the Rest of Us In Order to Cover Your Damn Thievery.
Lor: And those $350 may have just come out of that sales guy’s paycheck. MEAN.
Aria’s dad drops her off at school and before she gets out, he assures her that he loves both Aria and her mother and that his mistake will haunt him for the rest of his life. He only hopes that one day, Aria can forgive him. She hopes the same because of how she totally hasn’t forgiven him yet, and travels into a flashback:
Alison and Aria are running down the street, away from Mona, Hanna’s scarf stealing friend from the mall. She’s nerdy in this flashback, but not THAT bad, right? Or maybe I was just such a nerd in middle school that what I wore was far more tragic than this. #nerdconfessions
Lor: But she has PIGTAILS! And PINS IN HER HAIR!
Sweeney: And glasses. She’s All That Rule. Totally undoable and nerdy until she wears her hair down and gets contacts. Duh.
Sara: Alison and Aria turn the corner and see Aria’s dad’s car parked in some bushes. Like seriously, it is parked right up in some bushes. Also, it can’t be all that discrete a spot if Aria is walking around her neighborhood and finds it, right? They see him kissing some blonde woman who is most definitely not Piper from Charmed. End flashback.
Aria runs into Emily on the way into school, and she’s shocked to see how not chubby Hanna is looking now because this show really, really wants to make sure we understand. HANNA IS NOT WEARING A FAT SUIT ANYMORE YOU GUYS. SHE IS POPULAR NOW. Emily tells Aria that Hanna and Mona are the new It Girls, and Hanna gives them an awesome fuck you wave. Excuse me while I go practice this wave to give to everyone I hate (read: all people).
Emily has heard that they have a hot new teacher for English this year, and UM YEP. I SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING. Next thing you know, in walks Ezra Fitz, aka their new English teacher, aka Aria’s bathroom dry hump buddy. He looks up, sees Aria, and says, “Holy crap.” I’m not even sure what my suspicions would be if I were a student in that class who knew nothing. “Is he blown away by the size of Aria’s eyeballs? Is he beyond impressed by that bitchy wave Hanna just threw out? Did he dry hump Aria in some bar last weekend?”
Aria Big Eyes as her phone goes off. When she pulls it out of her backpack, there’s a message from an unknown number.
Emily goes across the street to Alison’s old house, because new people are moving in. She’s a little upset about Ali’s parents selling the house, but her mom asked her to bring a basket of rich, fancy people foods over. While there, she meets Maya St. Germain, who makes nice and asks for help bringing boxes in.
Emily and Maya start talking to each other, and none of the words are really important because the I REALLY WANT TO JUMP YOUR BONES RIGHT NOW vibes are through the roof in this scene. Maya lights up a joint and asks Emily if she wants to join. She likes the idea of corrupting Emily by smoking weed with her for the first time. Sweet angelic Emily smoking weed! That’s a gateway drug, girl. TO LESBIANISM. Or something.
Lor: I don’t know. I think her gate has been way open to lesbianism before this.
Sara: Spencer’s sister, Melissa, is back home and admiring the barn that Spencer has been transforming into an awesome little studio apartment for herself. Her parents said that if her grades were good, she could move into it junior year. I cannot stop thinking about all the horrible, horrible things I would have done with my own space like that at 16, but I’m not Spencer Hastings who will probably just host study parties and book club meetings, maybe even have a classy wine tasting if she’s feeling crazy.
We learn that Melissa is an uberbitch right from the start because she tells Spencer that the barn is hers until her apartment is finished being remodeled. She’ll be staying there with Wren, her doctorfiancee. Spencer argues that she worked her ass off for that space, but Melissa shuts that shit down pretty quickly in that way that only rich people can pull off.
Sweeney: Fictional character injustice is one of my greatest epic first world problems. I mean, it’s not quite as epic as Spencer’s problem of being a 16 year old who is prevented from moving into a space that is separate from her wealthy her parents who will otherwise provide for her, but, you know, it’s up there.
Sara: Later that night, Wren is outside taking a smoke when Spencer sees him. They get their flirt on a little, and I can tell on account of all the eyebrow waggling going on between these two. Seriously, they look like cartoon characters. He apologizes for them jacking the loft, but Spencer says it isn’t his fault; her sister is just a raging asshole bitch. They waggle their eyebrows a few more times and head inside for dinner.
Lor: If there were a bar bathroom nearby, they’d be dry humping inside of it.
Sara: Ezra is working at his desk when Aria walks in and tries to ‘soooooo can we still…’ but Ezra is like SKKRT. LOL. No. Bye, small child.
Sweeney: And also hopefully feeling mega skeevy. LOLJK, he’s probably not.
Sara: Although Aria is really embarrassing herself and basically getting broken up with after a one night dry hump, she does earn the first Oh Snap Girl! Award for her very cute ensemble. Two snaps for you, girl! Rest assured, though: She will earn many, many WTF Girl Awards in the future.
Sweeney: He does the OMG YOU’RE TOTES THE BEST EVER thing again, though, which is now not only funny but also gross. Given that all they did was hook up in a bar bathroom, the only thing he knows now is that he’s indulging this pedobear situation.
Sara: Emily and Maya are walking home together and practically holding hands. When they get to Maya’s house, they go to kiss each other’s cheeks but kind of end up kissing the sides of each other mouths which is weird and not really sexual, but the Piano of Sex is playing up a storm, so that comment earlier from Alison makes a lot more sense now.
Lor: Uh, plus you keep telling us she’s a lesbian, Sara. You’re the real A around here.
Sara: The next day at school, Emily finds a note in her locker:
Emily freaks and shoves the note back in her locker. Ruh roh!
Spencer is getting a drink out of the fridge, looking fly in a bikini, when Wren walks in from outside, looking equally fly in swim trunks. He asks Spencer if she has a towel, and the only one she has is on her shoulder, so she throws him that one and HELLO half naked Spencer. They look each other up and down, and DANGER. DANGER WILL ROBINSON.
JFC, there are a lot of child predators in this show already.
Sara: Spencer’s shoulder is hurting her, so Wren offers to massage it, you know, since he’s a doctor and all. They jump apart when Melissa walks in, so obvis they were having boner type feelings.
Later that night, she sees Wren and Melissa having a kissy moment outside when her email goes off.
Lor: New mail from A@IKnowYourSecretsBitch.com.
Sara: Spencer Big Eyes us into a flashback: The PLLs plus Alison are standing in Spencer’s kitchen when Melissa and her flashback boyfriend walk in.
Alison stops them to ask Spencer if she has anything to tell Melissa. hinthint. Spencer pulls Ali outside to tell her to stfu and if she tells anyone about that one time when Spencer kissed Melissa’s boyfriend, she’ll tell everyone about The Jenna Thing and also maybe murder her because Spencer is the one who killed Alison, you guys! Damn, I’m good at this. Alison temper tantrums off with an evil look on her face like the Pretty Little Snitchin’ on All Her Friends Liar she is.
In the present, Hanna and her mother are eating dinner (which is just salad, which doesn’t count at all in Saraworld) when the cops show up to arrest Hanna for being a sunglasses thief. They take her down to the station and she sits outside while her mom flirts with the cop (Detective Wilden) (S: Josh from Popular!) who arrested her. When she reaches for a handful of M&Ms, her phone goes off.
You know, I kind of wish I had A to follow me around and comment on all of my food choices. It would be like The Biggest Loser, except A would be way meaner than Jillian Michaels ever could.
When you’re in your gym clothes, but you aren’t actually going to the gym…
Lor: Sign. me. up.
Sara: Hanna’s mom comes out of the office a moment later and rushes her out of the police station. She tells Hanna to drop it, never do it again, and that she’s taking care of it. She goes on to say that if Hanna is trying to get her dad’s attention by doing these things, it isn’t going to work. Dad left, and he isn’t coming back. Whomp.
PRETTY LITTLE SPICE GIRLS
Emily is walking home when she sees cop cars and ambulances in front of Alison’s old house. She finds Maya, who tells her that the police found Alison’s body. The other PLLs happen to be there also, and they discuss keeping The Jenna Thing quiet because they promised never to share that secret and probably because they all killed Alison! And Jenna, whoever the fuck she is! So easy.
Hanna is at home watching news coverage on Alison, when her mother comes home, making out pretty heavy with the cop who arrested Hanna. She pulls him upstairs and looks at Hanna with I’m Prostituting Myself For You eyes. Whoa. Talk about Ruined For Life, man.
Lor: I never even knew those eyes existed. They do, though.
Sara: A few days later, the girls all gather at Alison’s funeral. Aria meets up with Ezra and gets all bratty about him saying they can’t see each other on account of it being illegal and immoral. She tells him off and goes to walk away, and even though these two kind of gross me out, when he grabs her and pulls her back for a kiss, I swoon a little.
Sweeney: No swooning, just cringing.
Sara: The girls, looking fabulous, all sit together in the church. When Aria’s phone goes off, everyone gets a little twitchy and they figure out that they’ve all received a message from A. Before they have time to Big Eye over that revelation, they turn around and see a blind girl walking in. They all get twitchy again, and apparently the blind girl is Jenna, of The Jenna Thing fame. So they did not actually murder her. Yet.
After the funeral, Detective Wilden approaches the girls and says all of their names, and it’s kind of awkward, like the show just wanted to make sure we were super clear on which Pretty Little Liar was which. Or maybe Wilden is just a creepy fuck who likes to do things like that. He tells them that he’s going to be investigating the shit out of them in relation to Alison’s death, and this is all so weird, right? They’re like 16 years old and this guy is stalking their lives right now and is all YOU WILL GO TO JAIL LITTLE GIRLS MUAHAHA.
Sweeney: Way weird. The pedobear factor in this town makes it that much creepier.
Sara: When he walks away, all four PLL phones go off at once.
Lor: I like how they read it perfectly in unison. I’ve got to get my friends together and practice our unison reading skills.
Sweeney: Agreed. That’s a really important friend skill.
Next time on Pretty Little Liars: We find out what The Jenna Thing is and if it involves murdering Jenna in S01 E02 – The Jenna Thing.