• Publication date: December 8, 2011

Behind the Smiles a Dark Secret Lurks Pretty Little Liars: A Lesson in Retribution

Four friends band together against an anonymous foe who threatens to reveal their darkest secrets, whilst unraveling the mystery of the murder of their best friend.

  • Publication date: December 8, 2011

Behind the Smiles a Dark Secret Lurks Pretty Little Liars: A Lesson in Retribution

Five high school girls were the best of friends, at least until one of them disappeared.  For a year no one in the small town of Rosewood had seen the clique's leader, Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse).  During that time the remaining four girls began receiving text messages from an anonymous individual.  The messages were used to blackmail the girls, threatening to expose their dark secrets to the public unless they complied with the person's instructions. 

Since the sender signed each of his or her messages with the initial 'A,' the teens were sure it was Alison.  That was until Alison was found dead however, and the texts continued to arrive.  In numerous instances police suspected that the girls were responsible for the homicide, though conclusive evidence was hard to come by.  The girls believe they know who Alison's killer may be, but as they get closer to unveiling their blackmailer the individual's threats increase in severity

Besides Alison, the four main characters in the program are Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale), Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson), Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell), and Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario).  Aria has recently returned from a year long hiatus in Iceland, and is concealing her father's secret affair from her mother.  After meeting him at a local bar one night, Aria had a romantic encounter with Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding), her English teacher.  Their affair continues throughout the school year. 

During her early years Hanna was an overweight student, but has since transformed into a slim beauty.  Now she's the clique's leader and most popular girl, though she resists eating binges on a daily basis.  To gain attention from her divorced parents, Hanna frequently engages in shoplifting, a habit that oddly enough introduced her mother to her current boyfriend.

Alison's old home has been occupied by Emily, a competitive swimmer who's fighting her attraction to other girls.  Lastly Spencer is a preppy student, who struggles to live up to her parent's exceedingly high academic expectations. 

Pretty Little Liars is based upon the popular series of novels by writer Sara Shepard, whose popularity has increased significantly since the program's debut.  Ratings for the show have been exceptional, and a second season is currently in the works.  It earned two Teen Choice Awards, once in 2010 and another in 2011.


  • Troian Bellisario
  • Lucy Hale
  • Shay Mitchell 
  • Ashley Benson
  • Sasha Pieterse

Created By: Marlene King, Sara Shepard

Rating: TV-14