What Ravenswood Can Learn From Pretty Little Liars
Credit: Pretty Little Liars' Official Facebook    

Pretty Little Liars

What Ravenswood Can Learn From Pretty Little Liars

It will be hard not to compare Ravenswood to Pretty Little Liars. The television shows share a fictional universe, are tied together by the enigmatic Caleb Rivers (Tyler Blackburn), and are crafted by the same creative team. If we’re going to compare these two ABC Family shows, here are the five things we hope Ravenswood learns from Pretty Little Liars.

Focus on the friendships

What Ravenswood Can Learn From Pretty Little Liars
Credit: Andrew Eccles/ ABC Family    

Like PLL, Ravenswood has a core group of characters at the head of its cast. These five teens (including Caleb) start out as strangers brought together by some sort of curse. This is a bit of a different setup from PLL the Liars had already been friends when we met them, though admittedly estranged for the year since Ali’s death but we think Ravenswood still has the opportunity to forge meaningful, important friendships between these five. The friendship between the Liars is a hugely grounding presence in PLL. We hope Ravenswood adopts the same strategy.

Love, love, love

PLL has a way of crafting compelling love stories that feel honest, but rarely get boring. They also rock at pacing. While Aria and Ezra had an instant chemistry that drew them together from the get-go, PLL balanced out their love story with the more slow-burning epic romances of Spoby and Haleb (Paily didn’t happen until even later, as Emily was with Maya R.I.P. early on). PLL isn’t a show that has characters jumping from one love interest to another from week-to-week, or even from season-to-season. It takes it characters and their emotions seriously, and we love that! We hope Ravenswood adopts a similar practice when it comes to its own romances because we are hoping for an epic love or two!

Family is important, too

The Liars aren’t just shaped by the love for one another and their significant others; they also have families that are very important to them. Even Spencer, who shares a tumultuous relationship with her overbearing parents and bitchy sister, would do anything for her fam. The way these characters are shaped and continue to be influence by their familial connections is integral to their portrayals as three-dimensional heroines, and it’s something we can all relate to! So often on these high school shows, teenagers live in a parent-less vacuum, or one in which they have little familial interaction. PLL isn’t like that, and we hope Ravenswood continues the theme even for those characters who have been shaped by their lack of family growing up.

Distinct personalities

Spencer, Aria, Hanna, and Emily have very distinct personalities that affect how they see and interact with the world. This allows for varied drama, as each Liar reacts to “A”’s latest shenanigans in different ways (i.e. while Hanna seemingly spur of the moment decides it’s a good idea to bury the Wilden murder weapon at a sorority party, Spencer enacts an elaborate admissions ruse to visit the aforementioned college to dig up “A” clues of her own). We hope the five protagonists of Ravenswood have equally distinct ways of reacting to the curse that befalls them. Drama!

Pithy one-liners!

We watch PLL for the drama, but we also watch it for the pithy one-liners. We’re not saying the Liars are quite as quotable as Tyrion Lannister or Liz Lemon, but they have their moments (especially when it comes to Spencer, whose Game of Thrones reference this season pretty much made our lives). We’re still not sure what Ravenswood will look like past its dark, feathery cemeteries and ominous hair salons, but we hope it lets up on the moody every once in awhile for a well-timed joke or two.

What do you hope Ravenswood will learn from PLL? Sound off in the comments below!

Catch the Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Halloween special on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and the series premiere of Ravenswood at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family.

09.9.2013 / 12:00 AM EDT by Kayti Burt
Related: Pretty Little Liars, Caleb Rivers, Features, Ravenswood

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