A couple years back, I received the first Pretty Little Liars book as a bonus that came with a book I was reviewing for the Harper Teen "First Look" program. By the time I was finished with Pretty Little Liars book, I was hooked and quickly bought the rest of the books in the series that were in bookstores at the time. I greatly enjoyed the series and continued to read them until the fourth book. After reading the fourth book, I was disappointed and lost interest. I believe that several more books have been written since then, and I may one day check them out.
I know what you're thinking, "Why is she going on a tirade about the book series when this is a review of the show?" The answer is that I thought I should mention that I've read the books because that could influence my view of the series.
The second episode of Pretty Little Liars seemed to be more of a filler episode than anything. To be honest, that's not necessarily surprising. Many events and quite a bit of exposition was revealed in the first episode. This episode spent most of its time developing these ideas rather than adding a lot of new ones.
So, what happened in "The Jenna Thing?" (This whole paragraph is spoilerific. So, beware if you haven't watched yet). Aria attempted to suppress the attraction she feels for her English teacher, Ezra, by avoiding him. Unfortunately for her, the attempt is unsuccessful. Her request to drop his class is denied, and she runs into him at a movie theater, leading to a extremely awkward movie watching experience when her mom invites him to sit with them. Then, she later catches a ride home with him (I didn't really understand where her mom disappeared to), and I think, she makes out with him in the car (I'm not 100% sure that happened, but I feel like it did). Spencer, who honestly looks like she's about 40 (maybe that's her real secret), makes out with her sister's boyfriend (whose name I can't remember). Her attraction to him seems to stem from his normalcy that contrasts to her family's overachieving nature, and most likely, his Britishness. Ok, maybe I'm just projecting on the British-accent-attraction thing. Hannah goes shopping with her friend, Mona, and is given a threatening "I know you know who killed your friend" speech compliments of the cop that hooked up with her mom. Emily continues to be attracted to Maya and has a steamy PDA session with her boyfriend, Ben (I'm pretty sure that's his name). Then, there are several flashbacks, revealing juicy secrets like: the "Jenna Thing" was accidentally blinding Jenna in an attempt to get revenge on her pervy brother and Ali made them all friendship bracelets. Then, at the end of the episode, Spencer sees Jenna with some texting device set up. Because, of course, they'd reveal who A was in the second episode.
Overall, I thought this episode was kind of blah. I understand that a slower-paced episode was needed after the fast pace of the first one, but this episode kind of bored me. It had some nice moments like Spencer's families one-upping each other game and any moment where Spencer's sister's boyfriend talked. I also enjoyed the relationship between Aria and her mom. I thought it was cute how her mom was gossiping with her about people. Also, the acting is still not great on this show overall. I know that this is an abcfamily show, and that I shouldn't expect emmy-winning performances. Maybe it's not Secret Life level of bad, but it's bad just the same. Still, this is only the second episode, and there's a good chance it will get better as times goes on.
While that last sentence was in reference to the acting, it pretty much describes my thoughts on the show. I'll probably keep watching for a while to see if it improves.