Home > #3, Media grammar > Pretty Little Liars –Media Grammar

Pretty Little Liars –Media Grammar

Pretty Little Liars is the new hit television series on ABC Family. It is classified as a mystery teen drama, and it is based on the novel series by Sara Shepard. The show aired on June 8, 2010, and ABC Family has continued to order more shows as the season continues.

The television series revolves around a group of four best friends and the ongoing mystery surrounding the murder their fifth and favorite friend, Allison. The four friends, Spencer, Hanna, Aria, and Emily all have their own secrets that could turn their lives upside down, yet somehow a mysterious “A” keeps finding them out and blackmailing the group. The teenage girls must juggle their social and family lives, school, and making sure their secrets don’t get out.

Pretty Little Liars is composed of many different sub-textual messages. The primary and most obvious policy is that the truth is always the best thing to tell. This is demonstrated in some secrets being told, and the backlash that could have been minimized if the truth was told from the beginning. Also Pretty Little Liars is set in a stereotypical high school, and the main characters are all beautiful, skinny, smart, and admired. This is commenting on what it takes to be the popular girls, but it also demonstrates all the girls sacrifice for their status. Also, the show comments on how inappropriate student-teacher relationships can become, and the potential fallout if the secret comes out. Finally, the media grammar also supports gay/lesbian relationships, responsible teenage drinking, and sometimes unguided teenage lifestyles. It has been said that young teens should not watch the show if they are “too impressionable”.

Although Pretty Little Liars is a relatively new show, it is already leaping into other forms of media. The music that is included in the show’s soundtrack is by popular and up and coming artists that are award winning and have appeared in magazines and multitudes of blogs. Also, as mentioned before the series is based upon a novel series.  The series is being promoted through ABC Family by advertising in print, online, on facebook and twitter, as well as creating game applications for the iPod.

I believe that as the show continues to gain popularity more and more commentary on society and ongoing issues will arise. Also, I foresee more convergence to reach an even larger audience.


Categories: #3, Media grammar Tags: ,
  1. tessdoez
    January 17, 2011 at 4:26 am

    Nice job pointing out the various subtexts of the show. The way in which the girls’ looks and intelligence (as well as race and wealth?) contribute to their social standing is a great example of how the show reinforces the dominant social structure. Even the title of the show implies that it is a result of their prettiness that they can also get away with being little liars. Good work.

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