Since we’re witnessing the ‘The Golden Era of Television’ (well, the third one), it’s pretty easy to sing the praises of such shows like ‘Mad Men,’ ‘Homeland,’ ‘Modern Family,’ and basically everything on HBO. But, let’s face it: we like the bad stuff too. Whether it’s teary-eyed confessionals, stupid pranks or staged catfights, we all have a TV guilty pleasure (or two) that we simply cannot quit.
So that’s why I’m rounding up my favorite television vices each week, so that we can all find solace in knowing that someone else is watching – and enjoying – the same vast wasteland.
Because the first step in healing is admitting that you have a problem.
This week’s Guilty Pleasure: ‘Pretty Little Liars.’
I discovered the ABC Family teen soap/mystery this summer on Netflix, when I was unemployed and broke and looking to live life vicariously through a bunch of ridiculously good-looking girls whose only main problem in life are boys and, oh, murder.
At first, I thought I would mindlessly watch these silly shenanigans (another mysterious lair? More scary dolls?) and eventually bore of this “A” character (how quickly can this person possibly text?). But, before I knew it, I was hooked. I watch 'PLL' during the day instead of doing laundry. I watch it at night after the bar ('PLL,' not surprisingly, is even better when you’re drunk). Yes, 'PLL,' is basically my GTL.
But, here’s the thing: I only watch it alone. Even now, in preparation for tonight’s Halloween event, I told friends I’m incommunicado this evening between 8 and 9 p.m.
“Busy with what?” They asked.
“Stuff. Just important, secret stuff.” I said, doing my best Spencer Hastings impression.
I don’t know why I can’t bring myself to tell people about my obsession with the Rosewood gang. Probably because the show is obviously targeted for teens, and I’ve left those years behind me long ago, including all of the melodrama that goes along with it. And because, well, I can’t wrap my brain around why these girls couldn’t just go to the police in the first place.
But that’s besides this point. I can’t pry myself away from this TV show, and if you’ve never watched it, here are the reasons why.
The Spice Girls Factor
What made the Spice Girls brand so successful (however so briefly) was that they were all good looking and they each had a prevailing “trait” that resonated with every girl. The 'PLL' gals are no different. Not only are they all extremely attractive with perfectly shaped brows and full glossy manes, but they also each have a “type.” There’s the Smart One (Spencer), the Sporty One (Emily), the Artsy One (Aria) and the Fun/Dumb One (Hanna). We can all relate to these arch types, however cliché they are. Mostly, I’m a bit of Spencer and Aria, but sometimes I’m totally Hanna. (Oh god. I can’t believe I actually said/wrote that out loud! But it’s true. So sadly true…)
The Guys Are Smoking Hot
There is not a single bad looking guy on the show. Even the girls’ fathers are hot. If you don’t appreciate some good old fashioned eye candy (especially Caleb’s abs) then you don’t have a pulse, and therefore you aren’t even watching this show in the first place.
The Clothes Are, Well, To Die For
Maybe it’s because I went to a Catholic high school and was forced to wear the same thing every day for four years, but dang. I would have killed (no pun intended) to wear any of the girls’ clothes on the show. Whether they’re sneaking around abandoned buildings or walking the corridors of their high school, the PLLs are always impeccably coiffed and dressed to the nines. And don’t even get me started on their Halloween costumes.
They Have The Best Extra-Curricular Activities
OK, besides Emily’s swimming and Aria’s artsy stuff (which is basically boring), these girls are solving mysteries in their spare time when they aren’t hitting the books. How fun is that? Sure, their lives are almost always in danger and they really can’t trust anyone (not even their own boyfriends or the police), but dodging death at every turn sure beats doling out ice cream at the local Dairy Queen like most teens. Trust me.
Let’s Talk About S-E-X
Again, maybe it’s because I went to a Catholic high school (or was just a big nerd), but I’m pretty fascinated with the steamy personal lives of the PLLs. Admittedly, I’m on the fence as to whether I think this is such a good thing to promote to a teen audience, but when I see Caleb’s abs or Wren’s or Toby’s…yeah, my raging teenage hormones kick in again and I become a puddle of pubescent dreams.
'Pretty Little Liars' Halloween speical airs tonight on ABC Family 8/7c.