Sunday, July 22, 2012

S01E02, The Jenna Thing

(The title makes me think about Jenna as a monster, like "Jenna, the Thing." Just saying.)

Previously, Alison went missing, Aria hooked up with a dude in a bar who turned out to be her new high school English teacher, everyone got strange messages from "A", Hanna got busted shoplifting sunglasses, Emily is crushing on the new neighbor Maya, Spencer flirts with her sister's new fiancé Wren, and they find Alison's body buried by her old house and this blind chick Jenna shows up at Alison's funeral. "A" knows everything.

Random restaurant, our four main girls are eating french fries and discussing how they aren't supposed to discuss "the Jenna thing." Aria has this gem of wisdom, "Ali knew all of our secrets but...we never knew any of hers." This is one of the major points of the whole show. Alison got everyone to tell her their secrets but she was oh so good at not giving up any of hers. Except Spencer. She was the closest to Alison's equal and therefore had something on Alison. Which she is still keeping a secret. Even though Alison is dead. Point for Hanna. 

Spencer dishes that Ali was seeing an older boy, with a girlfriend, the summer she went missing but Spencer never found out who said mystery boy was. Emily is still wearing a bracelet that Alison gave each of them which is insignificant in and of itself except it's not because it comes back up later in the show. A bit of in your face foreshadowing, thanks show.

They blah blah blah on about how much they loved Alison even though in reality they all kinda hated her. Then Jenna comes tap, tap, tapping in with her walking stick, looking all of her 35 years and sits with her back to the girls. They get up and bolt because heaven forbid they sit in the same room as a blind chick who can't see them. Jenna scares them. And sits at the bar all lonely. She must have no friends. Aw, poor Jenna.

Hanna's house. Her and her mom get ready with little speaking. The cop that mom slept with is on the TV talking about Alison's murder. Hanna and mom have a little mother daughter talk and I am already tired of Alison this episode. Mom doesn't want to talk whoring herself out to the cop for Hanna's sake so they talk about makeup. 

Cut to Aria's house, Aria and her mother, the complete opposite type of family dynamic than the scene before. Everyone was surprised that Hanna wasn't fat anymore. Dad is working a late night, Aria all but accusing him of banging his students again and putting family second then leaves in a huff. Poor Piper is clueless and is just always the best mom ever.

Emily's house. Maya comes over to talk to Emily about the funeral. They share tea or coffee or whatever is in the mug Emily's drinking. Maya's creeped out that Alison's stuff is still in the house and Emily wants the lost posters taken down. There is a hug and Emily's mom comes home and it's kind of awkward. More Alison talk. Em's mom offers Maya to stay over in Emily's room, which is strange and random and out of place but ok. Emily and Maya look way to happy as she accepts.

Back yard. Spencer is whacking the crap outta some field hockey balls or pucks or whatever they use in field hockey. Emily and Maya happen by and offer to bring Spencer with they to the coffee shop but oddly Spencer would rather practice whacking the crap outta balls.

School. Mr. Fitz is walking down the hallway. Aria cuts him off and wants to transfer from his class. He invites her inside his classroom where they talk without pulling down the window shade which I wish they would do. He tries to talk her out of it but she insists she can't sit and watch him teach and call him "Mr. Fitz" because she's a kid and shouldn't be dating her teacher and can't handle a secret relationship. He signs her request for withdrawl. She walks out the door and the hallway that was completely empty is now FULL of kids. What? I didn't hear a bell ring! And they so should have shut the shade on the door but since they didn't make out or hold hands I guess it was safe. This time.

Hanna and Mona make fun of girls. Hanna greets Sean and whoa, that guy is like nearing forty, isn't he? Definitely not in high school unless he flunked the last decade or so. Dude is not all that attractive either. But Hanna is smitten. Go figure. Hope he treats her nice.

Emily's boyfriend is at her locker, kisses her when she closes it. No date tonight guy with teeth too big for his mouth and the only one that looks like he's actually in high school maybe. Maya is staying over which is really not a reason she can't go out on a date with her boyfriend beforehand had but he accepts it in favor of fantasies of two girls in their 'jammies.' The irony here is that his fantasy is more close to reality than actual fantasy. 

Emily, Aria, Spencer, and Hanna are called to the office. Aria gets a text from A. "Dead girls walking." Eh, what?

Skeezy cop questions the four minors without parents or lawyers present. Spencer smartly asks if they are being interrogated and he says it's routine follow up. He's being awfully accusatory for just follow up questioning but the girls, since they are children and don't know better, answer his questions. He says that today they said the same thing as a year ago, which makes it sound rehearsed but really, if they are telling the truth and the night was so tragic that it stuck in their minds, wouldn't it be the same story? You tell it like you remember it. He's not buying it.

At lunch they talk about obstruction of justice and they should have told the truth the night of Alison's disappearance. It's making them all sound like they did something to Alison that night and that they are still hiding something from us, the audience. 

Tap, tap, tap. Jenna's here! Aria helps the thirty-five year old with her tray and sets her between Emily and Hanna. Jenna tells them that Ali came to visit her in the hospital and their old friend was just misunderstood. Spencer hates her and asks why she isn't at the blind kids' school. Jenna is very nice and pleasant and asks why they are so quiet and not any fun anymore.

Cut to flashback of the girls around a bed trying on clothes and telling Alison how hot she looks in some flowery top. It's not that great of a top. Then Alison looks in the mirror and gets an ugly look on her face and goes to the window yelling "I can see you!" She claims Toby Cavanaugh was in the tree and that he's been spying on them. They wonder if they should tell an adult because, you know, they are all still kids but Alison has a better idea. I wonder, at this point, if she really saw Toby or she just wants to do something to be mean. I think Alison did a lot of things just because she wanted to be mean. She was a true bitch. 

Fireworks. Randomly.

Still in the flashback the girls sneak toward a shed. The other girls want to call the cops and not do whatever it is Alison has planned but none of them have a backbone so they let Alison goad them into thinking Toby is a skeevy peeping tom and needs to be taught a lesson. They are going to throw a stink bomb into the shed or garage or whatever the building is which just sounds like a bad idea. Bomb and enclosed spaces never equals something good.

Ali lights it, throws it in, then shuts the door. It looks like a firecracker. They take off and, yep, bet that was a firecracker. There's a loud bang with a giant flash that knocks out all the windows in the garage. Spencer: "Ali what did you do?" Then they bolt for their lives.

Cut back to the cafeteria, Jenna's sunglasses. All their phones ring, except Jenna's, and they all look like someone kicked their puppies. "If only she could see how guilty you look... --A" Haha! Cause it's true! 

Mr. Fitz's classroom. Everyone sits, Mona walks in late. He makes them do a crappy in class English assignment, you know, the ones that all English teachers make high school kids do because, really, what did you ever learn in a high school English class? Aria walks in, sets a paper on his desk- her request to transfer was DECLINED it shouts in loud red letters so we can't miss it. Fitz and Aria look at each other weirdly.

Hanna's house. She and Sean are studying at the table. The dude has to be like 38, amiright? She gets him more soda then starts kissing his neck and he stops her because...he must be gay? I mean, it's Hanna and she's totally trying to get him to make out with her. I would totally make out with her and I'm not a lesbian but dang, the girl is smoking hot. He stops her, claiming it's too hard to stop once you start. Hanna insists but he just pushes her off. Hanna gets insecure, as girls do, but he's a preacher's son so he doesn't want to "do it." He kisses her and says super sweet things but he wants to wait, his choice, not his dad's. Hanna's mom comes in to stop it all before it gets awkward. 

Yet Hanna's mom decides to make it super awkward by making excuses about not going to church which I am sure all preachers have heard eighty thousand times and Sean's like "we don't care, it's your soul that's going to hell, not mine." Then sketchy cop comes in with take out and mommy doesn't want Sean to witness her slutting herself out so she tells Hanna he has to go. Hanna is grossed out. Me too.

Spencer and her dad are at a restaurant. She wants to take a class at Hollis not for credit but for fun. I agree with daddy- what's the point in that? A lot of money for wasted time. Take your basket weaving at the YMCA, don't spend money on college classes unless they are going to count. Voice of experience here. Aria walks in, her dad doesn't even see Spencer leave.

Spencer and Aria are weirded out about lunch. Aria gets to see Melissa's fiancé, Wren who smiles coyly at Spencer. They bash on Melissa and bond for a moment. Spencer jokingly orders a vodka and soda back at the table but no one is amused. Daddy orders wine, likewise for Melissa and Wren is like "I'll actually have a vodka soda," in his cute accent and I love him despite his penchant for underage girls. You can't hold that against someone on this show or you'll never get anywhere.

Emily's bedroom. Maya is dissecting Emily's friends. Emily is too perfect for words, she always does her best and doesn't care about winning. Spencer, my favoritest gal ever, has a need to win. Maya points out how Alison always seemed to need to be the center of attention and "those girls" usually scare her. Queen bees. Emily has put Maya on this pedestal she doesn't deserve and says she didn't think Maya would be scared of anything. Maya changes the subject and asks if Em has "a side," then they talk about sleeping in the middle and there is innuendo there but I don't get it.

Restaurant, Spencer's family gathering. They play a game called high/low. Wren cutely lets Spencer drink from his glass while daddy and Melissa are caught up talking about how wonderful they themselves are. Wren probably knows she's going to need that drink as much as he does to get through this dinner. Wren jumps in when Spencer can't think of anything to say to play the game. I still, after watching the scene again, don't get the game. I think that they all say something good that happened to them recently and whoever had "the best" thing happen wins. It doesn't sound like fun at all but it does sound like the kind of game the Hastings would love to play. Wren is adorable. After he rescues Spencer, Melissa looks like she might eat his head after they copulate.

Emily can't sleep in bed next to Maya. I wouldn't be able to either; they've known each other for like a week. But then they cuddle and it's supposed to be cute until Em's phone beeps. "Did you get a goodnight kiss? Here's one from me. xo... --A." Technically, A, that's a kiss AND a hug but I think we get the idea. The music is scary and Emily looks worried.

Hanna, next morning. Mom is cooking, skeevy cop is sitting at the table and directing her what kind of eggs he wants. His ass would so be reported to his superior at that point. One night stand banging to clear her kids name is one thing but to be ordered about like an abused wife from that jackass? Should not be tolerated. Not for shoplifting for goodness sake. 

Big toothed Ben is driving Emily and Maya to school. I just don't like that dude, he is not good enough for Emily. But she insists on making out with him so she won't feel bad because she cuddled with Maya. The scene ends with the point of the scene to begin with, Emily saying "Maybe I'm not the person who everyone thinks I am." Hanna: "Who is?"

Weird old movie theater, Aria standing outside. Fitz walks up and says her name and before they can blow their cover Piper mom comes up and Aria introduces herto the new English teacher. They are all going to see this old crappy movie in a theater. Mom points out that Aria forgot to mention that he's young and hot and Aria gets defensive but it doesn't get totally awkward until Piper insists that he sit with to Aria.  Poor Aria, she won't even be able to concentrate on her favorite movie.

Em's house. Mom asks if Emily's ok. Emily can't say anything because she wants to tell her mom she's a lesbian but she can't. Mom tries to tell her that she'll get past these feelings because she thinks it's about Alison. Emily says that they were friends because of Alison, which I don't agree with because Alison was the worst and brought out the worst in them. Her mom says that they should use Alison to bring them together again, figure out how to say goodbye or whatever.

Spencer's room. Wren walks by and flirts medically. He wants to put his hands on her again. Spencer flirts right back intellectually. Wren is totally cute. Melissa doesn't deserve him. I wish he wasn't hitting on a high school girl but I love Spencer too so I can forgive him. Melissa walks down the stairs and sees her fiancé totally sucking face with Spencer. She doesn't see Spencer push him away and tell him it's not right. In the morning Spencer wakes up to see Wren getting kicked out of the barn. 

Hanna and Mona shop. Creepy cop guy stalks them in the parking structure. Hanna starts talking about the sunglasses, he starts talking about the night Ali went missing. He's a terrible cop. Then, the douche says this to Hanna, "Your mom may be hot Hanna, but she's not hot enough to make that go away." Ugh, what an ass. Who gave this guy a badge?

Rain, street, Aria walking out of a coffee house. Stalker Fitz in a car pulls over so she can get in. Though at first I thought he was just going to drive past her which would have been hilarious. The car stops in the middle of the street, it's raining hard so you can't see inside. So they make out. In a car. In the middle of the street.

Emily is alone in a restaurant picture window. She flashes back to when Alison gave them all bracelets with their names on them. It was one of her rare nice moments though when she says "We'll be friends forever" it's in a way that says, now you are part of my cult bitches, not like she actually likes them and wants to be friends with them. The girls don't notice and just put the bracelets on. Ali is a total skank and tries to flirt with Emily who is too sweet and innocent to realize she is being played.

Aria walks into her house dripping wet and all smiles until her father says they need to talk. Aria is not good at hiding her feelings and boy is he ever right about that. Mommy Piper knows something is up. He says he doesn't like to lie but sometimes the truth does more harm than good. Has he ever watched a soap opera ever? I mean, I always think when I watch those, "Why do those people lie? It backfired in their face thirty times before, why would they keep doing it? Like maybe this one time it won't? Just tell the people the truth!"

I understand that we all lie. It makes society go around. "Honey, do these jeans make me look fat?" Regardless of the truth the answer is always no. But for a majority of things, lying has never worked out well for anyone ever. It might bite you in the butt within minutes, or maybe years down the road, but it will always have its pound of flesh. Yet, I don't think we would have good TV if everyone told the truth all the time. I know we wouldn't have this show, look at the name. So, ok Byron Montgomery, we'll go with your truth=harmful scenario for the time being. Make that daughter of yours lie for you. Good teaching for you teaching her morals.

They talk about the girl he had an affair with which is uncomfortable and oddly reflective of what she is dealing with in her relationship with Fitz. Mom Piper and brother come in with two HUGE bags of take out and they decided to eat as a family, awww. Aria goes to change because she didn't bring an umbrella to the coffee shop. On her way upstairs she gets a text. "When students kiss teachers someone gets HURT. That's a promise I'll keep...--A"  Aria gets all bug eyed as we go into the last cut.

Spencer is jogging down the road. She stops when she sees Jenna on a bench. Jenna's phone beeps, she picks it up and says "Send text now." And it could be anyone or anything she's texting but OMG SHE'S A! Then she turns toward where Spencer is standing and there is no possible way she knows Spencer is there unless SHE CAN SEE!!! The sunglasses of doom are a lie! Spencer gawks at her in suspenseful silence before the cut to credits. 

Aria and Mr. Fitz...I just don't get it. In the bar she may have talked like a college kid but I haven't seen her act that way since. It's like he's trying to justify the relationship and make it work so he can convince himself that it's not wrong, that it is ok for him to have a relationship with his student. Or maybe he just likes to make out with her, I don't know.

Skeevy cop grosses me out. You're supposed to hate him and I do. I can't find a redeeming quality in him. I wish Hanna's mom would just tell him to go jump off a bridge, for realz. The sooner he gets fired for being incompetent and breaking the law himself, the better. 

And Jenna. She seems nice in this episode. At the lunch table she was sweet and smiley and didn't say anything too weird. I wonder if that was so later, at the end of the episode, you can be like, "Oh! She was nice to throw them off the trail that she is A and she knows all their secrets because Alison told her in the hospital the one time she visited Jenna ever in her life." Yea, doesn't make total sense to me either, but it's what you're supposed to think.

I liked this episode less than the first episode but it was still good. Wren being totally adorkable upped the letter grade by a plus factor.

Final Grade: B+

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

S01E01, Pilot

Rosewood, Penn, stormy night, barn. Four teenage girls having a good time when the lights go out a la any scary movie ever. They creep toward the door arm in arm and freak out when someone jumps's just Alison, the fifth member of the pack. Drinks with implied enhancements (drugs? alcohol?)  are passed around and Alison gets to impart the statement that this show is based on: "Friends share secrets. That's what keeps us close." And that's the moment I know I hate the manipulative bitch. 

Cut to later that night, thunder crashes and the girls wake up from passing out minus Ali and Spencer. Aria goes to the door to look, finds Spencer coming back from looking for Ali and ends rather cryptically with "I think I heard a scream." The look on Aria's face is totally dun dun dun...

Aria's house: Newspaper thrown to the ground with a giant picture of Ali under the headline Still Missing. It's one year later and Aria's family is back after a year away. You get to see Aria's mom (Piper, yey!) and they have a talk that is supposed to be very "caring mom, insecure daughter" and it's boring except I love Piper. The point is that Aria hasn't been in contact with her friends from the barn since Ali disappeared a year ago and she's scared they will hate her or won't want to see her or something. Just call your friends dude, it'll be ok.

Impatient younger brother interrupts and mom sends Aria off to drive him to practice so she doesn't have to. That's why you have more than one kid, so one can drive the others around.  We find out that Aria is keeping dad's secret, which we don't know exactly what it is yet but logically there are only a few things it could be. Money issues, an affair, or a second family hidden somewhere in another state. I don't think Aria would be cool with the latter and due to the size of their house I don't think it's the first so I think there is only one correct assumption here. We'll see.

Front of school: With an hour and forty-five minutes to kill Aria decides not to call her friends but go to a local bar and order a cheeseburger. I roll my eyes because I doubt she's ever eaten a whole cheeseburger. It would have made more sense to have her order a Caesar salad or something. Just saying. Cute boy down the bar starts talking to her and I'm sorry, who has ever actually been to Iceland? Really, two random people in a bar in frickin' Rosewood, Penn meet and they have BOTH been to Iceland. I think not.

This set up is so obvious it's sad. This story line is very prominent throughout the show and as I am a teacher IRL, it irritates me. This dude should know better than to just start talking with a random chick in a bar and then just start making out with her. Sure, she looks twenty-five because, well, the actress is wearing a TON of makeup and just can't pull off 16 but she IS supposed to be 16 and that's bad. It says a lot about society when shows try to make this ok. It's not ok. I am not ok with it. He should ask her how old she is at any point. She should TELL him how old she is. True to being a teenager she doesn't, but that doesn't let him off the hook. As the grown up, he should have asked. Anyway, making out with strangers in bars is bad and will always give you an STD in the end, regardless of age.

Though I don't blame her. He's all sorts of cute and charming. 

Cut to credits. I get that song stuck in my head every night I watch this show.

Mall: Hanna, looking cute in pink sunglasses, is at the mall with a friend. With a sweet smile she goes up to the second floor with $350 sunglasses on, which would never happen IRL but she gets away with it here, to talk to Spencer. This is mostly an exposition to tell us that Spencer is an over achiever (interning, college courses, fixing up a barn) and that they can't believe it's been a year since Ali disappeared. Oh yes, and Spencer's sister, Melissa, will be bringing her fiancé to meet everyone at dinner. Spence grabs the most hideous white jacket that no self respecting teenager would ever wear and plunks it down on the counter WITHOUT EVEN TRYING IT ON!! This show is just using this scene to give us story chunks but really, she would try it on. Well, not that shirt because it's ugly but the one that Hanna pulls out, plus about fifty other ones. I know teenage girls. Trust me.
Hanna then walks out the front of the store with the sunglasses on. You think she gets busted but the security guard unrealistically catches her to give her the purse she left behind. So...Hanna's thing is shoplifting...ugh, I hate teenagers. 

Front of school: Before school Aria's dad asks for forgiveness for...wait for it...cheating on her mom. We get a flashback with Ali and Aria running away from Mona and around a corner to a parked car and Aria's dad is totally making out with some blond chick that is NOT Piper. Really, grown adults? A parked car in a non private street/ally. That was the best you could do?

Emily meets up with Aria at school. They talk about stuff that is mostly about how they missed each other and Alison being gone. Emily says Ali is dead and that freaks Aria out because she hasn't heard the words aloud. Inside Aria is told that the new teacher is really hot. At this point, if it wasn't obvious before, it should be obvious now...the new teacher will be "make out guy" from the bar. Hanna gets her moment as the "it" girl and is kind of rude to Emily and Aria with an eye roll. Friendly but not friends I guess.

Then Mr. Fitz walks in and too loudly announces "Holy crap," to the class when he sees Aria. Everyone turns to look at her because though he's an English major subtlety is actually not his vocabulary. He couldn't cover that? And the entire class couldn't figure out why he'd go white as a ghost when he saw a girl in his brand new class and then stared at her dumbly for like thirty seconds too long? Let's not make it obvious that you broke a law there buddy boy, at least not on your first day. He introduces himself and Aria gets a text: Maybe he fools around with students all of the time. A lot of teachers do. Just ask your dad. -A   Whaaaat the? Ouch, double burn. I like this A person. Aria thinks it might be Alison because the girl played sick games like that when she was around. What a great friend she was!

Emily's house: Emily talks with her mom, the point being that Emily's mom is straight laced and conservative and can't imagine letting her daughter have any freedom to express herself through the use of cutting down Aria's previously pink stripped hair. Seriously, if that's the worst thing your teenage daughter does then consider yourself lucky. Em's mom is putting together an extravagant basket for the new neighbors that moved into Ali's old house. She makes Em deliver it because, again, parents have kids in order to make them do the errands they don't want to do themselves.
New neighbor girl is, of course, Emily's age. Maya is effervescent and nosey. She gets Emily to help carry in boxes while grilling Em about Ali. The point of all this is to show that Maya is a little on the wild and crazy side, not defined by parental norms. She randomly smokes weed with Emily and that whole scene is awkward and unneeded honestly. It all boils down to Maya saying "So I'm corrupting you." Yes, yes that's your character's theme Maya. Thanks for being up front about it. Poor little innocent Emily.

Spencer's house: Melissa, Spencer's older sis, comes out of the barn we saw at the beginning of the episode. Spencer has turned it into a loft so she can live there during junior year. This is weird to me because I understand wanting the independence but she's not eighteen so it's not very smart of her parents to let her have "her own place" even if it is twenty feet away from their house. When she goes to college that would make sense, to have some space and freedom but while she's in high school? And a junior? Can we stop treating the teenagers like they are adults please?
Melissa says that she and Wren, her fiancé, will be staying in the converted barn. Spence throws a fit, for which I don't blame her as her parents did make her a promise and her sister is being a bitch about it. Wren comes out, he's kinda cute and that accent makes him a lot cuter. At this point I wonder why the boys all look way younger than all the girls on this show.

Wren ends up flirting with Spencer which is weird because WHY do college guys always hit on the high school girls in this show? AND he knows better because he KNOWS how old she is. Spencer says he's not like Melissa's other boyfriends because she likes him...which is baffling because she's had no more than a thirty second conversation with him, but whatever. Maybe she likes that he flirted with her.

School: Aria comes in before? after? school to talk with Mr. Fitz. They talk about how they never really lied but they never really told the truth. And after that one make out session in the bathroom they have fallen into true, desperately passionate love. And I keep waiting for him to say "No, you're not eighteen, I'm a teacher at your school, we can't do this, I'll go to jail." But he never says that. Ever. He walks out and leaves her.

Outside Mayas's house: Em and Maya walk home from school and the two girls keep talking about being each other's "firsts" for different things. Emily tells her a little bit more about Ali and then they almost make out. Awk-ward.

School: Locker room after swim and field hockey practice. Emily gets a note in her locker: Hey Em! I've been replaced, you've found another friend to kiss! -A   Oh that A is such a wench! Putting two and two together, Em must have kissed Alison at one point. I just wonder who this person is that knows all Ali's secrets. I mean, whoever she told them to must have been a friend because that's what keeps people close, like she said in the beginning. 

Spencer's house: Wren comes inside and sees Spencer in a bikini covered with a towel. He asks for...wait for it...a towel! She throws it at him and then very not subtlety at all rubs her shoulder. Playing the med student card he starts massaging her shoulders which is never weird, right? I mean, my sister's husbands always massage my shoulders while I'm in a bikini and it's totally not sexual in any way. Dude, keep it in your pants. She's friggin SIXTEEN! Melissa comes home, Spencer scadattles in embarrassment.  Then Wren cuddles with Melissa. He's cute, but now he's an ass.

Aria's house: Aria's parents have a moment, talking, drinking wine. This is to show us that they are a cute, sweet couple and Piper feels the need to keep asking what could get in the way of their family. Daddy dodges deftly. Then stupid ALISON comes up in the conversation and I am tired of her already.

Spencer's house: Spencer is lying on her bed in a cute outfit: white shirt, small black vest, and red tie. I can't help but think that she was in a swimsuit earlier and now settling in for homework. Were that me, I'd be in pajamas. She put on a whole new outfit after swimming just to do her homework? She does look cute though. She watches Melissa and Wren out her window and looks like she wants to tear her sister's head off.

She gets an IM: Poor Spencer. Always wants Melissa's boyfriends. But remember, if you kiss I tell. -A  Ooooh, so this is not the first time Spencer has had a thing for one of Mel's boyfriends. Flashback to Spencer, Hanna and Alison in the kitchen. Alison gives Hanna flack for trying to eat a cookie (hey, Spencer's cook obviously made them for the girls, might as well eat one!) when Melissa and old boyfriend Ian come in. Ali tries to get Spencer to tell Mel about the kiss Spencer and Ian shared and then threatens that if Spencer doesn't tell Melissa, Ali will. Spence counters with telling everyone about the "Jenna thing." Ooooh, what Jenna thing? Ali actually looks a little worried so HA. Love Spencer. Back to present, Spencer thinks she sees Alison across the street in a window. Spooky.

Aria's front porch: Emily tells Aria that she got a note from Alison. Aria thinks Ali is playing with them. Why were these girls friends again? They don't want to give up their secrets so they decide not to tell anyone that Alison, the missing girl, might actually be alive and messaging them. So much for finding their missing friend being the top priority to these girls. 

Hanna's house: Hanna and her mom have dinner in order for the audience to catch up on their lives. Hanna's father left them. Front bell rings, it's the cops, Hanna is busted for shoplifting. Because she didn't think there would be cameras in the mall? This is why shoplifting is dumb. At the police station Hanna almost binges on random M & Ms in the lobby- glad she doesn't, who knows what STDs are wiped all over those things? Food sitting in a police station lobby? Don't think so. She gets a text: Be careful, Hanna. I hear prison food makes you fat. -A.  HA! A is hilarious! Cause Hanna used to be fat and now she's not and she almost ate M & M's. Lul.

Hanna's mom takes her home, cops are rushing about the station. Her mom says she's taking care of the situation but to stop trying to ruin their family's reputation in order to get her father's attention. I wonder if mommy is using money or sex to "take care of it." 

Street near Maya's house: Emily is walking home, follows a cop car to Maya's house. They found Alison but she's dead. They wheel a body bag past- she was buried beneath the gazebo that was being built when Alison disappeared. I say this bluntly because there is no real surprise factor here. We know A isn't Alison, that would be too obvious. But also, that body might not be Alison. Are they going to check dental records? Do DNA analysis? Or just assume that it's her? C'mon! CSI would be disappointed in the lack of forensics being done here.

Hanna, Spencer, and Aria watch from a distance and mention the "Jenna thing" again. They all made a promise, apparently not to talk about it. 

Hanna's house: Hanna watches the news about Ali's body being found when the door gets slammed open. She watches as the cop who arrested her throws her mom up against the wall and they make out angrily. He takes her upstairs. Her mom, in a totally bitchy move, looks over her shoulder to make sure Hanna sees that her mother is slutting herself out to make Hanna's problem go away. Your daughter didn't tell you to whore yourself out, bitch. Don't even look at her- that was your choice. You should have let Hanna spend the night in jail and let her sort out her own problems. Sleeping with the cop just makes you and him just as much criminals as Hanna. Poor Hanna, her mom is a real psycho, I can tell already.

Church: A funeral which is...newsworthy? The girls come together and the initial snobbery that Hanna felt at school is apparently gone. We're all happy friends now! Mr. Fitz finds Aria in a conveniently empty stairwell, though with that many people in attendance I find that highly implausible. And, isn't this his first year teaching? He has no idea who Hanna is...why is he at this funeral? Seems weird.

And he can't help but talk to Aria and apologize for who knows what and Aria says she would never want to do anything to get him in trouble. Then WALK AWAY PLZ. Seriously, if that were true she'd say,' when I graduate, when I'm eighteen, if we're meant to be we can wait two years. I am still a kid, lots of changes to go through, growing up to do.' Buts she doesn't. She kisses his cheek uncomfortably. He grabs her and pulls her back to make out with her in a church stairwell. It's supposed to be romantic. It makes me squeamish. She awkwardly brushes some curls from his forehead then goes downstairs to sit with her friends, up front by the family.

Aria stares at the casket and this part is very well done. How weird and uncomfortable it would be to be sixteen and have someone close to you, so young, so full of life left to live, to suddenly be dead. It would be a lot to face and the girls play it wonderfully and it's just a very well done moment for this show. 

They figure out that all four girls got messages from A when JENNA shows up and she's...blind. Weird. I figured she was dead, that they had killed her accidently or something. Then Ali's mom sits next to the girls and I have to laugh because of all the dozens of people that are there, her mom asks about Jenna specifically. "I didn't know they were friends." Really? You think every single person in this church was friends with Alison? Heck, I don't even believe these four girls liked her all that much to be honest. It was an odd thing for the mom to ask about, just one person. I know the show did it for a little exposition but we could have done without. 

Jenna is creepy. She is also about thirty-five. 

The funeral is over and the cop that is banging Hanna's mom comes over to say he's going to question the girls about Alison because it's not longer a missing person case, now it's a murder. That's true. But he's very creepster about the whole thing and he's just such a dick. I want to kick him.

All four girls get a simultaneous texts at the end and they read it out loud "I'm still here bitches. And I know everything. -A"  They stare at each other, then at their phones, wigged out. The episode ends on Alison's picture inside by her casket. Is she really dead?

There is a lot of talk about the bad this episode in my recap but overall I liked it. I think A's texts were the biggest hook for me...who is this snarky psycho? At this point Spencer is my favorite character, she's got the most interesting story line as of episode one. I liked the show overall, there is just so much that was contrived to make a point. This show is not about subtlety, it's about slamming you in the face with a baseball bat to make sure  you get it.  Still, there is a mystery surrounding Alison and what's up with the "Jenna thing?" 

The fact that the guys have huge things (literally and figuratively) for these underage girls skeeves me out, but I get it. I don't agree with it, but I know why the show does it. It helps me to see that every actor/actress on the show looks over the age of 20, haven't seen a guy or girl yet that would get carded at a club. All in all, I look forward to watching episode 2, to see whatever diabolical scheme A has planned next.

Final Grade: Solid B

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Pretty Little Liars
First off I want to say that this entire attempt at recapping is done out of love for the show. I like this show. I wouldn’t waste my time watching if I didn’t. But there are things about it that drive me nuts and I feel the need to speak out for those of us with a grain of common sense.
I know I’m late on the PLL band wagon. It’s in the middle of its third season I believe as I write this. I was avoid the show, to be honest. My tastes in shows is eclectic at best; Vampire Diaries to Eureka to House to America’s Next Top Model- I watch what I enjoy. When I heard about PLL I thought the title was lame and foretold of annoying, too beautiful to be real, spoiled, rich teenagers that lied about everything which made life complicated a la Desperate Housewives or Gossip Girl. I have never seen an episode of Desperate Housewives and I will live a long happy life never seeing one. I gave Gossip Girl a chance…a six episode chance…but I couldn’t care less about the characters after that many episodes so I happily forgot to watch it ever again.
Despite my efforts at avoidance, Netflix has insisted for months that I would like this show. They stick on my top 10 every other day. They place it on the TV shows you’d like page. Netflix shoved it in my face for so long, and I had run out of the other shows I like to watch. So, bored one Sunday and needing a show in the background while I played my Sims 3, I decided to give it a two show trial run. If I didn’t like it by the 2nd episode, I’d give it up.  Let me just say: hooked. First episode.
Now, I wasn’t far off the mark with PLL. It is about too beautiful, rich teenagers with a lot of lying but the characters have surprising depth and the mysteries are suspenseful enough to keep me watching. Plus, as a straight female, I have a huge girl crush on Ashley Benson. Made up or not, that girl is beautiful to look at.
I’ve been thinking about trying my hand at recapping. I read a few recaps here and there of shows I like. Some people do it great and some people literally recap the show. I like it when I get the author’s comments; I want to know if other people think the same things I do when I watch the episode. I don’t think people necessarily read recaps to be told what happened in a show- they read to see that they aren’t alone in noticing things about their favorite shows. The people reading have seen the show. They want some community, some connection with another person who also enjoys the show. It’s about a conversation with the reader that points out the good and the bad and the funny about these shows. At least to me, that’s what a good recapper does. Those are the ones I enjoy reading.
So, there’s the introduction as to why I’m doing this recap and why it is so far behind the actual show airings. This is just a practice at recapping, something I will do in my very few moments of spare time. I don’t know if anyone will ever read it but if you do get a chance I hope you find it at least mildly entertaining.