Pretty Little Liars

ImageThe ABC Family television series Pretty Little Liars is based on the main characters tragic and unexpected death. In the show, the police find evidence of foul play, but are unable to pin point the actual killer. As the series progresses, the young woman, Allison, four best friends try to find the killer by themselves. All the while, horrible things are happening to them and they are being threatened. We watch the characters go through many phases in which they try to cope with Allison’s death. All four of the women go through the process of grieving in a different way than the other. 


I think that this show portrays multiple ways in which people deal with death. One of the girls is quite open about her death, another avoids the topic at all cost, another drowns herself in the sorrows and tries to find the killer, and another character is almost angry towards the situation. It even shows the almost awkwardness, like we talked about in class, when someone grieves in a public setting. This show also tries to put a positive light on the death and show that the main characters four best friends became closer through this process of grieving. 


The idea that America is a death denying culture is prevalent in this show. I say this because, most of the characters, when asked about Allison’s death, choose not to talk about it or become visibly uncomfortable. The characters also hide how they actually feel about her untimely death in most of the show. 


With the many plot twists and turns in this show, the idea of death becomes overshadowed at some points and the writers focus more on the drama of other situations. I think that this is another thing that we tend to do as a society. Almost an, “I’m too busy to think about this right now” type of attitude. 


Below is the link to the theme song of this TV series. One of the lines being, “Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead”.



4 thoughts on “Pretty Little Liars

  1. Personally, I have never watched Pretty Little Liars no matter how much my girlfriend has begged me to. The way you have described the series makes it sound much more interesting than I have originally made the show out to be. I like that you have broken the four girls up into the different ways they each cope with the death and the way their emotions make them act. This shows the differences between our culture and how each individual deals with death. I think the reason why so many people have such a negative view towards death is because the media never embraces death but shows the mass casualties and our society is so wrapped up in believing everything we see of t.v.

  2. Pretty Little Liars is one of my favorite shows! I enjoyed your analysis and I agree. I like how in the show they express how Aria, Hanna, Spencer and Emily each deal with the death of Ali differently. For example Emily is very saddened by the death of Ali because she had feelings for Ali whereas Hanna is very blunt and to the point about the ordeal. The show does embrace the awkwardness around death and dying we have when talking about death. You can tell that the characters don’t necessarily like talking about it and more importantly the way in which she died. I think that the characters in the show want to move on from the death of Allison, but “A” is following them around and constantly reminding them of her and how violently she died.

  3. As often as I watch Pretty Little Liars I do not think I really picked up how differently they coped. After reading your post is when it really became obvious to me, so thanks for that! I obviously saw how they reacted towards some of the situations, but I always assumed it had to do with their personalities more so than their coping mechanisms (which makes sense now). I also really like how they show flashbacks in the show. This allows us to see memories Emily, Aria, Hanna, and Spencer had with Ali. It lets society know that it is all right to think about the ones we have lost. I believe thinking about those who are passed on continues our healing process.

  4. I absolutely love Pretty Little Liars! Its one of my favorite shows and I’ve been watching it since it started. I really enjoyed your analysis and I have to agree with everything you said on your blog. All four girls are not really open as much about Allison’s death. From the way that Allison died, none of them like to talk about it much. After reading this blog, I finally noticed that all four of the girls do deal with death differently amongst each other. For instance when one of the girls names Hanna deals with death, she becomes a stronger and confident person however scared at the same time dealing the situation where as another girl names Emily becomes sadden by the situation. I also agree with you that the idea of death is “overshadowed”. The show does have a lot of that where the idea of death especially Allison’s is under denial. Overall, I think you did a really great job with you blog!

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