Damn. That was one hell of a ride. In the too short hour-long Halloween Special, fans of Pretty Little Liars were bombarded with so much information that we’re now left feeling a bit nauseous, slightly dizzy, and a whole lot of confused. Now that [spoiler!] is dead and the PLL’s have been through yet another traumatic experience, the questions is: What is going to happen when the show returns in January? To help answer all of your burning questions, I caught up with the pretty little cast at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery last week to help clear up some of the crazy haze that just creeped across our TV screens.
SPOILER ALERT: Do not cross this line unless you’ve already seen the Pretty Little Liars Halloween Special. We’re about to discuss everything that happened!
The Rosewood Halloween Ghost Train was seriously disturbing. I’m sure many of you — myself included — found it difficult to pay attention while you were peeping out from behind your pillow. So let’s go over everything we learned, shall we?
— After spilling (what seems to be) everything he knows to Spencer (Troian Bellisario), Garrett (Yani Gellman) was killed. Actually if we want to be more accurate, Garret was murdered — by "A." Cause of death? No freaking clue, but he did look extremely creepy lying in that wooden crate next to Aria.
— Toby (Keegan Allen) and Noel’s (Brant Daugherty) “who’s a bigger badass?” fight knocked over a large cooler. It seems that the drinks for the party were sitting in the same container that a body bag from “Charon & Sons Funeral Directory” was chilling in. Whether or not it’s Ali’s (Sasha Pieterse) body is still to be determined but we do know one thing for sure: That’s so freaking gross!
— Mona (Janel Parrish) has perfected an escape route from Radley Sanitarium and it seems she is now free to come and go whenever she pleases. She’s also a really creepy singer and a really, really talented paper-mache mask maker.
— In a flashback we learned Garrett was thisclose to bludgeoning Ali in the head with a field hockey stick on the night of her murder. He didn’t actually go through with it… but Jenna (Tammin Sursok) thinks he did. — Ali takes the word super-skank to a whole other level. On the night of her death, Ali was looking mighty cozy with Aria’s dad. “I’m not the one that makes people do these things. If you don’t pay for your mistakes, how can you become a better person?” she cooed. Basically their conversation was laced with some major statutory rape vibes.
— Toby is still an “A” and it seems for now his job is to keep calm and continue his charade as the brooding boyfriend. Spencer is eventually going to find out about her man’s hypocritical hobbies, but for now she remains blissfully unaware.
Sheesh! That was a lot of crazy to jam-pack into one episode and, unfortunately, we have to wait until January before we have more answers. Luckily for all you little liars out there, I’m overly eager and I’ve gathered up a healthy heaping of spoilers for what’s to come when Season 3 continues. Consider it an early Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years present…
She’s a Hoe fo Sho: We caught up with Sasha Pieterse to gush about her inappropriate relationship with a much older man — a man who just so happens to be the father of one of her best fiends. (Totally against girl code.) "It’s really exciting and kind of bizarre and it’s very on the creepy side and it’s so funny how Ali dominates everyone she comes in contact with,” she says. (I’m not sure if I’d describe it as “funny,” but, yes, Ali’s domination skills are a force to be reckoned with.)
Pierterse continues, “You will see this kind of new dimension and you look at Ali in a totally different way. It's so exciting and I can’t wait for the viewers to see it and see what they think. They might hate me a little bit but, they might hate the other person more.” Agreed. As effed up as Ali may be, Aria’s dad seems to be one sick and twisted man.
Cruel Intentions: We know that Toby is an “A,” but there are still so many questions left just begging for answers. For instance, was his entire relationship with Spencer an elaborate lie or does he truly care about her deep down? Keegan Allen — always the romantic — says he believes his character really does love his little liar. “Oh yeah, I feel like he does but it’s tough to say at this point,” Allen says, “But he is 'A' and 'A' is evil and 'A' is destructive and dangerous, so whatever we see I can’t really even tell if it’s all an act or if it’s all real.” When the show returns, be prepared to learn a whole lot more about Toby’s past. For example, did you know that he and Ali had a secret past? Get excited for some drama-filled flashbacks!
Rosewood’s Power Couple: Noel and Jenna are without a doubt two twisted individuals, but together they’re downright terrifying. We asked Tammin Sursok if fans can expect more from this demented duo. “I think we’re both really evil so I think it’s exciting to not just be doing it by myself but to get to do it together,” she says. Brant Daugherty echoed his on-screen girlfriend's thoughts: “There is definitely something there. I think we’re kind of bonded in fire. Kind of joined forces and there is a mutual respect. [We] kind of fell in love from there.”
Love, huh? Well, it seems like Sursok has a slightly different view on their relationship: “I would assume that Jenna is worse than Noel so I would say that Jenna is probably using Noel for something and he probably cares about her. That’s my take.” Hell hath no fury like a (formerly blind) woman scorned!
Crazy Little Liar: It’s only a matter of time before Mona is out of Radley for good, but will we learn the secrets of her insane asylum escape route? Yep! “You will find out, yes you will,” Janel Parrish nods with a devilish smile. “You’ll find out exactly how smart Mona is and how manipulative she is to get her way at any time. She’s a genius. She’s been playing dumb for a very long time but she gives Spencer a run for her money.” When we return to Rosewood, fans may be surprised to see Mona strutting down the high school hall as if nothing has happened. “I’m excited for fans to see Mona’s return … [in] the first episode, she comes back to school and she has no idea how people are going to react to her."
Mona’s first order of back-to-school business will be to mend things with her former best friend. Parrish says, “Mona may come to her and say, ‘I’m all better and I want to be friends. I want to fix this.’ And the question is: What will Hannah do?”
What did you think of the Pretty Little Liars Halloween Special? We’re you surprised when Garrett died? Are you excited to see what’s coming up when season three continues next year? Scream it out in the comments below!
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[Photo Credit: ABC Family]
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S6E3/4: Last night, we got a double dose of 30 Rock, so excuse me while I do my best two deliver two recaps combined to make one giant one. And it seems that my observations during the Season Six premiere continue to be true: the veteran NBC series has lost its insane pace and incredible penchant for timely commentary, and instead has settled into the comfort of middle age. It’s where 30 Rock belongs these days and the sooner we accept that, the better off we’ll all be.
First up on the roster is the conclusion of last week’s story with an episode appropriately titled “People are Idiots Three!” We find out just how far Jack will go to convince Liz her boyfriend is a loser, how obsessed Devon Banks (Will Arnett) is with besting Jack, and that Kelsey Grammer is a very convincing Abraham Lincoln. There were parts of the episode that were clearly reaching, but watching the fatherly realm enter into the Jack/Devon rivalry was disturbingly touching, and thinking we were about to see Liz Lemon lose everything once more just before it turns out alright was a refreshing change.
“He inserts himself into my business and now he’s inserting himself into this.” –Liz
That’s what she said.” –Criss
James Marsden is still around as Liz Lemon’s adorable, but potentially ambitionless boyfriend. She tells him he has to give Jack’s money back (and he tries to!) but not before it causes a rift between the pair. But hell, if Liz Lemon screwing things up with her boyfriend always resulted in her drinking scotch, staring out a window and saying “Good God, Lemon” then I’d be a lot more inclined to see the woman break up time and again. Jack won’t let Criss return the money an instead tells Criss that he is officially disapproving, basically breaking up with him for Liz. Criss – the only adult in the room is apparently the guy who’s trying to open a hot-dog truck – asks Liz what she wants. Liz is once again visited by her ghost Jack and a princess-jedi version of herself to help her make the decision, but she says she wants to stay with Criss as long as he fixes all the things Jack disapproves of. Wrong move, Lemon.
“We’re new, we’re called PEEN.” –Devon
“What is that an acronym for?” –Jack
Devon has a clip of Tracy saying everything that could possibly be offensive to anyone and he threatens to expose the clip, re-opening the can of worms that is Tracy’s issues with the media, unless Jack calls in favors to get his “gaybies” into the most exclusive preschools in New York. He admits that Jack won, so now he’s trying for at least a few consolation prizes. It’s great to see them at each other’s throats as usual, but the real treat came when they had to pretend to be pals. Jack and Devon act like buddies to get a member of the preschool’s board to get Devon’s triplets into the school, but the big wig wants a donation from the Giess Foundation – which is still run by Kathy Giess. Her request in order to relinquish the money: NBC’s new mascot is a unicorn. Why not? Maybe people would pay attention to the network for once. “NBC: We have a magical horse?” isn’t testing that badly, after all.
This gets Devon off of Jack’s back, but the schemer points out that he just tricked Jack out of all the favors he should have used for Liddy, but Jack finds the upper hand. Devon came from wealth and Jack came from nothing, yet Jack still came out on top in his life. So Liddy may not attend the best preschool, but she’s a Donaghy, so she’ll best Devon’s kids – besides she’s got more brains already and Devon’s education sounds like 15 years of smoke-blowing. It was refreshing to see Jack abolishing his elitist ideals to be realistic for once; perhaps Papa Jack is a new Jack? (Though not completely new, we hope.)
“Pete’s our friend, Kelsey.” -Jenna
“Damnit, no names!” –Kelsey Grammer
In order to get Pete out of his drug haze – which they still think they caused by breaking fluorescent bulbs though it was really caused by Pete’s self medication – without allowing the blame to fall on them, Kenneth and Jenna team up with Kelsey Grammer. His brilliant plan? Distract the TGS staff with a rousing one-man show about Abraham Lincoln. At intermission, Kelsey helps them put Pete in his office with a dirty magazine and the fixings for autoerotic asphyxiation. Pete wakes up and says it was Kelsey Grammer, but his Lincoln performance serves as the perfect alibi. The Best Friends gang strikes again – even if Subas turns on the lights and proves the whole thing was completely unnecessary! The only reason this plot didn’t make me angry is that Grammer – as much as reports of his personal life make me want to dislike him – is just so damn good at what he does. Offscreen he may be a daunting presence, but onscreen, he can turn a lackluster plot into something hilarious, merely by showing up and doing his job.
“Tracy, I have been calling your cell all day.” –Liz
“My ring tone is the chicken dance, if I answer it, I can’t hear the whole song.” –Tracy
Meanwhile, Tracy and his idiots organization are still protesting against Liz for her “harsh” comments about, well, idiots. And they have some demands, my favorite of which is broadcasting Denise Richards’ music video “J’adore La Piscine” – a direct and well-played dig at the Real Housewives of New York’s Countess LuAnne and her terrible video, “Chic, C’est la Vie.” The biggest request is that Liz reads the apology they wrote for her. She can’t bring herself to read the Idiots’ speech, instead blaming them for things like The Golden Globes and the fact that there may be an Entourage movie (take it back, take it back!). And in the course of her speech, she spies Criss and realizes that she’s the idiot (aww).Criss lets her win at Monopoly and actually likes all her quirks – plus, he’s played by James Marsden, so there’s that. After Liz makes up with her man, Jack finally gives Criss a better approval rating, with three months to become a man worthy of Liz. We think this is pretty reasonable, so long as Jack doesn’t expect Criss to legally change his name, get a degree from a college other than Weslean and stop being so boyishly good-looking. We’re going to assume he’s talking about the getting his business off the ground part so we can “aww” over how much Jack cares about ol’ Lemon.
And while I said the series is hitting the notes it needs to hit, I can’t help but be scandalized by some of these changes. Jack not promoting elitist ideals over everything else? Liz Lemon choosing happiness over Jack’s opinion? Where are we? Who are these people? They’re still funny, but they’re just so…different.
Next up is “The Ballad of Kenneth Parcell” which is an episode I didn’t hate, but I feel like I should have liked it more. The concepts were hilarious, but I found myself appreciating them and smiling occasionally instead of laughing out loud like I normally do.
“Jenna has become a huge star on this network. She’s bigger than Malik Pancholy on Whitney.” –Jack
Jenna shows everyone the trailer for her new movie: Marin Luther King Day. This is also where we find guest stars Andy Samberg and Emma Stone as the platonic friends who could be more at the center of the cut-and-paste film in the style of New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. I would be annoyed that the show has managed to work in two big jokes about the Gary Marshall movies in a matter of weeks, but after sitting through New Year’s Eve I will gladly listen to any ridicule these writers want to throw its way. That movie is so bad it may single-handedly bring about the demise of our nation. But I’m getting sidetracked. The movie has blown Jenna’s ego out of proportion; she’s cutting off Liz’ ponytail and going to Jack to go over Liz’ head. Jack’s solution: use the friendship to read Jenna and best her.
But two can play that game. Jenna is using leeches for her skin and using blood weight – along with the Demi Moore reference that garners more weight now than the writers likely anticipated when they wrote it. Yikes. Liz suggests they do lunch like they used to – provided Jenna hilariously removes the leeches from her face. They dine on bloomin’ onions at Outback, but it’s all just a ploy for Jenna’s endorsements. Plus, she’s being chased by paparazzi and lets Liz take her winter wear in order to distract them while Jenna gets away. While Liz does the Jenna impression that I feel is far to infrequent on this show, she is hit with red paint and Jenna taunts the PETA people for drenching “a nobody.” Liz determines this is nuts and breaks up with Jenna – and we find out yet another sad sack Lemon story about college. Jenna is fine, she’s got celebrity friends like the fourth Kardashian sister (who I wish would have been played by Nasim Pedrad – come on, she’s just down the hall at SNL, you guys!) and Charlie of “Charlie Bit My Finger.”
Liz tries to befriend a group of girls meant to parody Sex and The City - really, 30 Rock writers? But they just serve to help Liz figure out that she’ll more likely meet a new best friend like her in places she would normally go – like the Barnes and Noble bathroom. (Oh hey, a reference to life in New York! Imagine that.) Liz and her new best friend, Amy, spend 10 minutes complaining about everything – but it feels like hours – and Jenna is overwhelmed by the extreme narcissism of her three new “famous” best friends. They both realize that they need their vapid besties, but at least they have the decency to dramatically run down Fifth Avenue to get back to them. Now this was cute and funny in the golf-whisper laugh sort of way, but once again, I was appreciating the idea and the commitment to the characters more than I was laughing, which is a strange way to watch 30 Rock.
“There is a story that turned out to be true about a virgin and her son who had some pretty wacky ideas. That virgin was my sister and her son Lyle has a learning disability.” –Kenneth
This quote is my way of saying Jack is shutting down the Page Program, hoping that a bold cost-cutting move to impress Hank Hooper. Kenneth makes a plea for keeping the pages, Jack says they can automate all the pages’ duties, orders them to leave their uniforms. Jack offers to find Kenneth another job at NBC because he’s such a hard worker, but he isn’t interested, and he’s found the one thing machines can’t do for the pages: give tours. Enter Not Kenneth, the robot voiced by Rachel Dratch who knows everything about NBC. Once again, it’s cute, but I’m not lizzing over it.
But it turns out Jack does need pages. Hank Hooper is upset because Jack didn’t send a Businessversary gift, but he did, he just accidentally sent it to the 6th floor instead of the 60th. Jack made a dumb mistake Hank is not pleased that he made a “woman’s mistake.” Plus, his attempt to post up memos saying that the automated system confuses 6 with 60 is easily thwarted by Lutz. Let me say that again: LUTZ. Obviously, Jack needs the pages back.
“Tray I hate seeing you like this. Sitting in her, listening to your depressed thoughts CD.” –Dotcom
Tracy is upset because the invitations for his birthday party say “donations to charity, no presents” because he already has everything. He really wants the presents but the notion that he already has everything starts to make him ask, “What’s the point of living?”
To bring him back from the edge, Dotcom and Grizz go to Long Island to find the old lady who used to make pies in Tracy’s old neighborhood, and have her bake him a banana crème pie to show he doesn’t have everything because the shop is now closed and he wouldn’t have been able to get one of those pies. But, it turns out that he really just wanted to make his point about them telling guests not to bring presents to his birthday. His schedule “was light this week” – an apparently, so is the well of Tracy jokes. This plot was a bit weak, writers.
“Dump sir, dump all over me.” –Jack
And it all comes full circle when they use the soundtrack from Martin Luther King Jr. Day to play while Jack and Kenneth making up by Kenneth taking all the blame for Jack’s mistakes, Liz and Jenna hugging and becoming friends again, and Tracy getting all the presents he already has. Like I said, that was cute 30 Rock, but where were all the laughs?
Get at me with all your rants or raves on Twitter @KelseaStahler