While I have never seen Pretty Little Liars before, I thought that the pilot was mildly entertaining because of its mysterious cliffhangers. The themes of PLL are not quite up my alley, but I do kind of want to find out who “A” is. PLL does strike me as a millennial show, especially because of the faceless technology that stands to haunt each of the main characters. In this way, it shares many similarities with Gossip Girl. Not only are the main characters posh teenage girls who have skeletons in their closet, but the driving element of both shows revolves around the use of media to anonymously stir up emotions and memories. I must say, this theme does strike a chord with our generation. We are learning more and more about the internet, and how secrets are impossible to keep once they have been digitalized.
PLL also shares a striking resemblance to Veronica Mars, in that both shows use a dead character from the past to develop a mystery. As Stein states, “In Veronica Mars there was a sense that Lily had power beyond the grave to draw everyone into her mystery…Lily even in death was still a deeply powerful character, and revealed to be even more so with each twist to the mystery. In Pretty Little Liars we have Alison, similarly a sexually direct teenage girl, and a social power player when she was alive. Now dead, her digital extension “A” seemingly rules the characters from beyond the grave, through the millennial tools of social networking and mobile technology.” So, what is it about giving dead girls from the past the power to control characters of a show? Most obviously, it is an intriguing way to introduce twists to the mystery. But, perhaps there is more to it. Could it be that this reoccurring theme is a millennial metaphor for the inescapable past. Especially in PLL, the past materializes through a digital message, one with no face or concrete identity. Especially in this day and age, it seems as though nothing can’t be dug up and exposed. I mean, Obama doesn’t have a birth certificate…right?