RAVE and WRECK of the week: Feb 16, 2010

By on February 16, 2011

RAVE of the week: ‘Pretty Little Liars’

Never trust a pretty girl with an ugly secret.

That is the tagline for ABC Family’s frothy teen drama “Pretty Little Liars.” The series is based on Sara Shepard’s popular book series, and features four teenage girls Spencer (Troian Bellisario), Hanna (Ashley Benson), Aria (Lucy Hale) and Emily (Shay Mitchell) as they try to uncover what exactly happened to their friend Ali (Sasha Pieterse) the night she was murdered. Interestingly, only Pierese is a teenager in real life (she’s 14), while the other actresses are in their 20s.

In dealing with Ali’s death, the girls encounter their own personal drama. Spencer has a knack for getting into trouble with her older sister’s boyfriends, Hanna is dealing with her family’s financial woes, Aria is dating her English teacher Mr. Fitz (Ian Harding) and Emily recently announced she is a lesbian.

The juiciest part of the series is trying to guess how the cast of characters fit into the drama, and their possible role in Ali’s death. The girls are constantly bombarded by “A,” who texts and leaves messages for the girls pertaining to the murder and their personal lives. “A” is still unknown to the viewer, and it’s unlikely the audience will know the identity until the end of the series.

With sharp writing and intoxicating drama that leaves you breathless, “Pretty Little Liars” is one of the best teenage dramas in years.

WRECK of the week: ‘Spider-Man’ on stage?

It looks like Spider-Man can add Broadway to his long list of enemies. After three premiere delays due to cast changes and stuntman accidents, “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” is finally set to debut March 15. Although the play hasn’t officially premiered, critics have already slammed Peter Parker and his gang.

“The sheer ineptitude of this show…loses its shock value early,” said Ben Brantley of The New York Times. “After 15 or 20 minutes, the central question you keep asking yourself is likely to change from ‘How can $65 million look so cheap?’ to ‘How long before I’m out of here?’”

Directed by Julie Taymor (“The Lion King”), with music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge, the production managed to earn $12.5 million through previews, according to an E! News report.

The plot is familiar to those who saw the 2002 “Spider-Man” blockbuster. The first two acts depict Peter Parker’s superhero transformation, as well as his confrontations with the villainous Green Goblin.

But “Spider-Man” isn’t the first film to be adapted into a main- stage production. “Legally Blonde,” “Elf” and “Shrek” also recently made their way to Broadway.

With cartoonish stunts, a complex stage, and no shooting webs, the production is one comic book adaptation gone wrong. Sorry Spidey, hopefully you have more luck with the next movie installment to premiere in 2012.

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  1. Emil Penza

    February 23, 2011 at 2:09 am

    I like pretty little liars, I can’t wait for the next episode =)