Pretty Little Liars, the ABC Family television show based on the YA book series with the same name, is INCREDIBLY popular among teens and young adult women. It passes the Bechdel Test, has some positive portrayals of lesbians and teen sexuality, a (relatively) multi-racial main cast, and several pretty attractive guys. That was enough to hook me, and at first it was a fun summer show.

But then I started paying attention.

For all the positives of PLL, there are also a metric ton of problematic themes and events (not the least of which is the stalking and cyberbullying of several teenage girls by persons unknown). I kept watching out of curiosity and started vocalizing my issues. Mostly my husband gets an earful and sometimes my Facebook friends, but then I decided that I should stop bothering them and start bothering everyone else. So here we are.

I don’t think PLL is a “bad” show. There are quite a few positives that, while they don’t outweigh the negatives, are still worth celebrating and watching for. But there are some things that I just can’t get over and that I don’t think PLL fans should gloss over either. This blog is going to attempt to call out the problems, episode by episode, mostly with the benefit of knowing where the series is going (through the end of season 5, anyway).

Music will also be highlighted, because I’ve found some good stuff from this show.