(spoilers, if you care about such things in a super-soapy teen soap) Upon starting the series.....1. They really expect me to root for a relationship between a 23-year-old teacher and his 16-year-old student?!?!! Eeeew. Gross. No frigging way.

2. I bet if the actress were actually 16, they'd be writing this storyline differently.

3. Seriously, why is no one freaking out about this???? This isn't college. Why isn't Ezra completely skeeved out that he's attracted to a child? I'd be Silkwood-showering for weeks! And seeing a therapist. That. Day.

4. Wouldn't a chaste romance about how "it's wrong, and we fight it, but we keep finding ourselves catching glances," be more interesting? Really, if you're going to do this, drag the shit out of the foreplay (for two whole years, until he can't go to jail for it) and let them really like each other, rather than spend multiple seasons fighting to hide what little relationship they have. Let us learn why these people are right for each other....ugh, despite the fact that she is in his care like he's a babysitter who tells really good stories.

5. These costumes suck. They remind me of those fashion plate things from the 90s, but at least with those, you had to repeat pieces. These girls' closets are interchangeable. The differences in style is so minimal, it barely registers. Emily is the jock, so she wears stretchy things. Spencer is the awkward nerd, so she wears...tailored studious things? Aria & Hanna could have the same closet. It's like the stylist got everyone she knows in the fashion business, and everyone THEY know in the fashion business, to give them clothes for these dolls to wear, regardless of situation or motivation. At least with Gossip Girl, there was reasonable motivation for most looks. (There really was never any motivation for Serena's sternum to be on display in its entirety in every episode, but I digress.) This is why I am less a fan of shows with stylists/fashion people running the costume department. It's fashion for fashion's sake, with minimal consideration of story. And clothes can tell loads of story.

6. Caleb's character is fun, but man, that guy has zero charisma. I take that back. He has negative charisma. Like, he sucks the charisma right out of each scene he's in. I am in no way surprised that the spinoff built around him did not do well. I had no idea what it was about until it was cancelled. That might have been the promo dept's fault, but still.

7. I love love love all the big hair. Like, freakishly large.

Where do the girls find the time to do their hair every day? That styling takes at least an hour. Maybe it's their hair products that are making them paranoid. The show claims to be set in Pennsylvania, but I swear, it moved there direct from Texas. It really makes me question my own game. Like, maybe I, too, should be styling my long hair perfectly every day, rather than throwing it into the ponytail it lives in, 90% of the time.

By mid-season 2....

8. Damn you, casting dept! for making me root for this ridiculous student-teacher-dating plot! No, I'm not rooting for the plot. That's inaccurate. I'm rooting for more Ezra because I just want to look at him more. Screw you people and your warping of my moral compass for your story reasons because bone structure!!

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9.Will they ever finish painting that fingernail in the opening credits???????

10. I think I'm seeing the character in their costumes more. The best costumes were in the Halloween flashbacks, where everyone was in clearly different styles. It was fantastic. But that fashion show episode? Was that supposed to be some super-meta moment? I mean, isn't wearing crazy fashion just because it looks good on them, what these characters do every day, anyway? Why have a fashion show to highlight it??!? Spencer is tailored nerdy (especially now that they let her hair go curly), Aria is Fashion Victim Numero Uno (loving that they put her hair up more), Emily is stylish comfy athletic (needs more ponytails, though), and Hanna...I still don't quite see it.

11. Spencer is great when she gets to be uptight-hilarious. So good at the one-liners that don't feel like one-liners. I'm liking this Bellisario chickie.

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12. Yay! Wren is back! Those two have such great chemistry, even if he is scum who cheats on his fiancee with her sister, and has appalling romantic timing. Seriously, this guy might be the most inappropriate person on the whole show, and that's saying something. But I'm glad he's back. Damn you, writers! Making me love Dr. Inappropriate!

13. Mona's psychotic? Called it!

by season 3....

14. "Have you ever noticed how many skinny brunettes go to this school?" BWHAA!!! DYING!!

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15. I've decided that the cop who always comes to the door to deliver search warrants and such—his name is Bad News Barry. Hanna's mom called him Barry, so now I'm pretty sure I know his full name. He always has bad news to share. He's gotta be a square on my PLL Bingo card. Right under Awful Paige.

16. Toby is secret twins, right? Like The Prestige? Because he is playing it polar opposite and I trust nothing. I will be so very disappointed if he isn't secret twins.

17. They recast Ezra's son with a kid who looks wayyy more like Caleb. There is no way that kid is his. Looks like somebody in the writer's room changed the plan. How long before we find out?

And beginning Season 4.....

18. FINALLY!!!!! Someone is freaking out about this jailbait relationship!! It was only for 30 seconds, but still. It's weird that it took 3 whole seasons for someone to panic.

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19. Does Aria have one of those Magical Disappearing Siblings? You know, the kind that is around in the beginning, and then disappears for the rest of the series? Like Donna's little sister in That 70s Show. Oh wait! Her mom mentioned him! The brother LIVES! I wonder if he will have "had some work done..." to make him look like someone else.

20. It was so great when the girls got their haircuts, so they'd look different. Hanna still has short hair, but they're making her wear this weave? What did she do to deserve that?? On a good day, it looks like a full-on mullet. Can't wait until the story lets her "cut it."

21. Let's all appreciate this show for what it's really about: Adventures in Patterned Leggings.

22. Boy, they are really ham-fisted with their "suspicious activity," aren't they? Like, suddenly characters who have been nothing but sweetness and light have lingering evil looks accompanied by eerie music. And in the end, it was supposed to be a misdirect and that person is actually really sweetness and light. But in the meantime, it's like they've been body-snatched. Why is everything so short-sighted!!!?!?? There it is! Proof that Ezra's been body-snatched! He wears blazers now (WTH?) and his hair crosses his forehead in the opposite direction. Clearly, he's possessed by someone else.

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23. I have nothing nice to say about the "prom on the Titanic" outfits, other than it is completely true that Spencer's would be the most historically accurate, complete with large-brimmed floral hat.

24. How wrong is it that I am giddy at the first blush of Spencer's "I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm so....scared!!" storyline? Because I'm sitting here like

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25. Sweet, dumb Emily obviously didn't do her 1940s homework, and showed up for the film noir episode looking like Dynasty-in-training, straight out of 1982, complete with large shoulder pads, too much beading, and frizzy, disco-tastic hair. +2

Finally, season 5!

26. Hooray for the return of plaid flannel on the lesbians! I despise that the stylists went so cliche with that, but I'm not at all surprised. But tied around the waist, paired with a loose v-neck tee and motorcycle jacket? Is she trying to be Matt Dillon in Singles?

27. Je Ne Regrette Rien in English? Wrong...yet par for the course.

28. So...Alison is pathological. That girl is downright toxic. I love that this is the new angle of the show. That this girl that our foursome has been protecting is actually not worth any of it. Great choice. Can't stop watching.

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29. Okay, fiiiine, I stand corrected about Caleb. He probably could have carried the spinoff, but no one knew what it was, so bad job, PR dept. Caleb has learned a lot from his years on the show, and he's gotten much better. Maybe I just couldn't stand his stupid hair, that you know the show made him keep long for way longer than the actor wanted to.

{ETA} Also, why is it that Alison's hair and makeup styling make her look so much like Susan Dey?

In Conclusion....

I hate this show for making me root for relationships with people I don't even like. (looking at you, attempted-drowner Paige.) I guess they all grow on me, like fungus. I miss when Lucas was the sweet, sharp-witted kid from his early appearances. They'd better not make him evil, just because he's an established character. They like to do that wayyyyyy too much.

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I think I figured out the costume story on this one. It takes a looong time, but I think it's that the girls are pod people when the show begins, because they've lost their leader-friend, and they're trying to look like everything is normal. Which is why the girls from Rosewood dress just like the one who spent a year in Reykjavik. Then, as they grow up and find their own paths with their own romances, they start to differentiate again. It's about not letting your friends determine who you are, and learning your individuality on your own within that group. Maybe. It could also just be the soapiest mystery in ages, with Mystical Time, which spends 45 episodes on 3 weeks' events, so it's just fashiony clothes that sell what's in the stores to the teens who watch it. Which is not the way to tell a story, I'm just sayin'.

And screw your insanity, PLL. I will so keep watching.