Family TV Review: Pretty Little Liars

pretty-little-liars-1Show:Pretty Little Liars
FCC Rating: TV-14
Airtime: Tues., 8PM ET on ABC Family
Ok for Ages: 13+
Hot Spots: Some talk of virginity and sex, mild language.   

My TV watching tends to slack off a bit during the summer – nothing wrong with that. There aren’t as many shows airing, and I love spending any free time outside with the kids – biking, swimming, kayaking or just hanging out.

But one of my guilty pleasures this summer is ‘Pretty Little Liars,’ airing on ABC Family. It’s a hit with my 13-year-old daughter and her buddies, who are also into reading the ‘Pretty Little Liars’ books by Sara Shepard. So, of course, it’s fun for me to watch it with my daughter.

It’s an intriguing show about four teenaged girls who lost their best friend under mysterious circumstances. Kind of a cross between ‘Desperate Housewives’ (the first season anyway) and ‘Gossip Girl’ — only with that ABC Family feel to it (think ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager’ and ‘Make It or Break It’).

The girls are played by Trojan Avery Bellisario (Spencer; her dad is Donald Bellisario, who’s helmed tons of TV shows, including ‘Quantum Leap,’ ‘NCIS,’ and ‘Magnum, P.I.’), Ashley Benson (Hanna), Lucy Hale (Aria), and Shay Mitchell (Emily). The friend they lost, Alison DiLaurentis, is played in flashbacks by Sasha Pieterse.


It’s a fun series that involves a mystery, romance, cool fashions, lots of texting (including regular texts to the girls from a mysterious ‘A’), family issues, and some teen angst, too.

Hot spots include an ongoing relationship between Aria and one of her high school teachers (played by Ian Harding). But he realizes that it’s wrong and is trying to put a stop to it (unsuccessfully, so far). There’s also a story involving one of the girls trying to get more intimate with her boyfriend (who’s in the school’s virginity club). Language is fairly mild for a TV-14 rating, including “bitch” and “damn.”

And of course, the central plotline is the disappearance and death of Alison – who did it? Are they still around? What will happen next? Yes, there are plenty of secrets on this show. All in all, though, I think it’s ok for kids 13 and older.

Are you watching ‘Pretty Little Liars’? What do you think of the show so far?

Images: ABC Family


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