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I’m Addicted To Pretty Little Liars & I Don’t Feel Guilty About It

Author: Miranda Eason

On January 1st, in a piece of genius scheduling, Netflix made every episode of American teen drama Pretty Little Liars available to subscribers. I say genius because PLL weighs in at five series. That’s 111 episodes of glossy, trashy, highly addictive viewing to help Netflixers through the gloomy, skint days of January.

For the uninitiated PLL is set in the fictional town of Rosewood, Pennsylvania, and focuses on four friends who are trying to figure out who killed Alison, the former queen been of the group, and at the same time avoid being killed themselves by the mysterious, omnipresent ‘A’. It unashamedly mixes the dark and the ridiculous in a similar kind of way to how Desperate Housewives did so well in the early days.

If I didn’t have to actually leave the house to go to work at the moment there’s a good chance I would have finished all five series by now. As it is I’m already most the way through season two. Chores have gone undone, emails unanswered, sleep pushed back, as I’ve told myself, “Just one more episode…”

PLL isn’t the first teen drama I’ve been addicted to. My love affair with the genre started with Beverly Hills 90210 back in the 1990s. The sunny setting and glamorous lifestyle provided glossy escapism, fashion and hair inspiration came via the character of Kelly played by Jennie Garth (I basically wanted to be her) and I crushed hard on Dylan, played by Luke Perry who, along with the rest of the cast, was way too old to actually be in high school (this is one of the rules of the genre).

The roll call of teen dramas I’ve watched since then includes, but is not limited to, Dawson’s Creek, The OC, Greek, Privileged, One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl. If there’s a high school or college setting, a good looking cast and far-fetched story lines, I’m in. Some people would call my love for teen dramas a guilty pleasure. But why should I feel guilty about something that makes me happy? It’s not as if I just watch brain-off television, I watch quality shows too. Over the years my television-viewing heart has been won over by the Baltimore-based bad guys, good guys and guys-who-are-somewhere-in-the-middle of The Wire, power plays in Washington (The West Wing, House of Cards), Nordic Noir (The Killing and The Bridge are particular favourites) and the New Jersey mob family at the centre of The Sopranos.

But every once in a while I can’t resist a glossy, trashy show with ridiculous storylines and excellent outfits, and right now I can’t get enough of PLL.

What are your televisual not-so-guilty pleasures? Which teen dramas have you loved over the years? Anyone else watching PLL? What TV series are you loving right now? Do share below!

If you’re looking for a new television addiction but PLL isn’t your thing (or you’ve watched it already) check out the comments below this post for lots of recommendations from RMS readers.

Born in Yorkshire. Lives in East London. California girl at heart.

34 thoughts on “I’m Addicted To Pretty Little Liars & I Don’t Feel Guilty About It

  1. I am so with you on this, I watch a very eclectic mixture of TV and love the Nordic Noir and political dramas in particular. My husband thinks my love of a crime drama is bordering on the macabre.. But that doesn’t stop me from also loving a ridiculous American drama. The ultimate for me is One Tree Hill and I frequently check Netflix to see if they have added this to their collection yet. But alas, they haven’t. I’ve not had anything match that yet for me so will look in to a Pretty Little Liars immediately!

    The only thing that’s come close to OTH for me is Nashville. If you’ve not seen it I suggest you give it a whirl. Immedi!

  2. Haha…I too am half way through season 2 and am loving PLL! It’s not The OC (ultimate teen drama series) but it’s certainly brightening up my dreary January!

    1. Oh yay, another fan and we’re almost exactly at the same point Lou! Annoyingly I read a spoiler for something MAJOR that happens at the end of the season, I don’t know what to think…

  3. 100% with you on this. I binged on Gossip Girl over the Christmas period and LOVED it. It’s so utterly ridiculous but SO good at the same time. I like to think I balance it out with my love of crime/sometimes even more ridiculous storyline dramas such as The Wire, Damages, The Good Wife.

    Here’s to the ridiculous American High School dramas. I will definitely get PLL on my watch list! Thanks for the tip.

    I’m also going to flag Nashville… it has singing after all so it must be amazing!

    1. Gossip Girl is one of my faves, it was so ridiculous by the end, but I still loved it! OK, Nashville, sounds like that’s going on my up next list, thanks Becky!

  4. I’m loving Broadchurch. It seems to be getting a lot of stick second time round, but i manage to totally lose myself in the drama. Its also made me want to visit Dorset! I’m hoping Nashville will return to our UK screens soon!

    1. I haven’t seen even one episode of Broadchurch Kirsty, but it seems to be one of the biggest topics of conversation on my Twitter feed. Trying to avoid spoilers so I can watch it fresh at some point in the future!

  5. I love the vampire diaries! Haha. So much so I’ve managed to get my husband into it! Though he denies this & says he just watched the 4 previous series while I was away for work (!) so he “understands the plot”. I laughed a lot when he told me this.
    I’m also revisiting the teenage angst of Buffy the Vampire Slayer at the moment, since all my favourite shows appear to be on a winter break. Clearly I’ve got a thing for blood suckers and unlikely romances 😉

    1. Haha, that’s so funny Lynsey! I’ve had a thing for vampires ever since I watched The Lost Boys – which I have since watched multiples times – as a teenager. I watched True Blood until it got really ridiculous, if a show about vampires and werewolves can ever be not really ridiculous and watched Buffy (and Angel!) but yet to watch Vampire Diaries.

  6. I loved Dawson’s and have the boxset which I put on from time to time and the OC! At the minute I am watching cougar town which I’m sure isnt that popular but it makes me laugh so much!and I manage to identify with most of the characters in diff ways haha! And their love of red wine makes me feel less guilty about drinking it myself! Xx

  7. Thanks for the tip off. I saw one episode of this a year or so ago and thought I could get into it. I know what I will be watching this weekend! I love the Vampire Diaries too – nothing to do with the chiselled features of Ian Somerholder at all… 😉 My husband likes to take the mickey out of me for watching ‘teenagers tv’ but I love it. Nothing like a bit of escapism

    1. Ooh, hope you enjoy Claire (also that you don’t have too much on for the next few weeks, or months you’ve got 111 episodes at around 45minutes each to go!

  8. I am currently binging my way through Suits. Have watched nothing but this for the last two weeks in the evenings. Being a lawyer myself I find it part highly amusing which I think is what I love (just some of that stuff would never happen!) about it!

  9. I completely agree! Since getting netflix I have been addicted to gossip girl, house, sherlock, vampire diaries and now pretty little liars! My dad frequently mocks me for it… Before sitting down and asking” so had x hooked up with y yet??”

    I am ashamed to say the other day I watched the entire first series of pretty little liars in two days! In my defense I am 21 and I was ill but even I felt it was a bit of a binge.
    The other series I am currently addicted to is revenge. I love the suspense with the amazing fashion, and who can’t beat watching a show set somewhere so sunny when it is so cold outside!!

    1. I know I would love Revenge Amelia, that could be my void filling show between watching the end of season 5 of PLL and season 6 hitting Netflix. Hope you’re feeling better!

  10. I’ve mostly been watching “19 Kids and Counting”, about the American family with all the children in the world. It’s a new series and one of them got married last night (so they were finally allowed to kiss!) – I’ve been hooked. Poor Mr H!

  11. Vampire Diaries – Ian Somerhalder, enough said!

    I loved The OC, Gossip Girl (Chuck & Blair!!), and PLL is on my to watch list. Nothing wrong with a teen drama – I also wonder if they add in other storylines to make it interesting to parents who end up having to watch it as well? My dad got into The OC as he liked the parents storylines.

    I do also like shows like The Good Wife, Damages, House of Cards and The Newsroom (last few episodes killed me – so many emotions!)

  12. Now this is my territory… Great escapism!! My top recommendations (alongside the winning OC, Gossip Girl et al) would be Friday Night Lights, Revenge and Grey’s Anatomy. Also just getting into How To Get Away With Murder. Oh those long January nights in front of the TV…

    1. Thanks for the recommendations Nicky, it doesn’t look like I’m going to be going out until, ooh, around May…!

  13. I’ve also watched pretty much every American teen drama going since California Dreaming in the 90’s. I think The OC was my ultimate show but I also loved a bit of Dawson’s Creek.

    Nashville is definitely my current guilty pleasure though. I’m ploughing through Breaking Bad because I feel like I should but would drop in a minute for the next series of Nashville!

  14. I can’t get into PLL on TV as they’ve totally mangled the books, which were a massive guilty pleasure read for me.

  15. The OC is my favourite ever! I’m also now loving Gotham as Ben Mackenzie (aka Ryan Atwood) is brilliant in that. Also cannot wait for Arrow to start back up after it’s mid season break after a major cliffhanger. I think my biggest guilty pleasure is Neighbours…I know it’s not a teen drama and it is the only soap I watch. I get in from work, get myself a drink and sit down for 25 minutes of sunny Australian unwinding before getting on with the evening!

  16. Yep – totally same boat. Love it all, and I watched Gossip Girl all last year! I never saw PLL before and netflix brought it in I’ve been none stop… i’m also currently waiting for Vampire Diaries to come back on TV. there was me thinking i was the only one watching it but I can see commenters above do too! Phewph!

    xoxo 😉

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