Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Real Lies of "Pretty Little Liars"

Those who are sucked into PLL hearing that it is a mixture of creepy mystery, “Mean Girls” and stalker murder story, only need a handful of episodes to see that it is a cheat. The show simply creates new tense situations and “mysteries” to keep the viewers trapped. Yeah, it is a silly little soap. But, what had this viewer stick around was the shock of the messed-up world view and the desire to see if it would ever endorse real-world consequences.

The world of PLL is a teen world. The “adults” in this show have the maturity level of the 15 and 16 year old central characters. Everyone makes terrible decisions in order to protect themselves from the bad things they have brought upon themselves. And, in the PLL world if it is a character we are rooting for, they get away with anything. Rob a bank—never get caught. In fact, the character that is about to expose your crime turns out to be a criminal. The “Lies” in the title have a way of compounding, the way lies do, but in PLL those lies will also save you.

The worst is the way PLL embraces the “go with your feelings” ethic of a Disney movie. It is interesting the way that this show tacitly equates homosexuality with statutory rape. Or perhaps the way that should be worded is that this shows mantra is, no one should ever oppose emotion. If you want to have a sexual relationship with someone of the same gender, it would be wrong for anyone to oppose that desire. If you want to have a sexual relationship with an adult as a minor, it is just as wrong for anyone to object. And all along, the most damning aspect of the show is that these choices are being made by immature, inexperienced, minors.

No, it’s worse. In the PLL world the adults are possibly less mature than the teen-age girls. No danger of real-world consequences in this poison-apple fairy-tale.

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