I don’t watch TV often, so I’m sure I am sheltered, but last night I had my eyes opened. I was home alone with nothing interesting to do, and since I had heard Pretty Little Liars mentioned by several friends, I decided to see what it was about. Judging by the title, I didn’t expect it to be uplifting, (so perhaps I deserved what I got) but I certainly didn’t expect it to be nearly so appalling as it actually was. I watched the pilot episode online (I have an aversion to jumping into the middle of a series–I’m one of those people who must know the background!) and I have to say that it was one of the most ungodly shows I’ve ever had the misfortune to view. I’ve always disliked the values taught by TV, but this one show managed to incorporate practically every objectionable thing I could think of!
A teenaged girl caught her father cheating on her mom, then later she hooked up in a public restroom with a stranger who, when school started, turned out to be her new teacher. Two girls shoplifted just for thrills. A girl kissed another girl and was thrilled with the experience. Another girl flirts with her sister’s boyfriend, who has just moved in. The girls apparently have done something truly awful to another girl which no one knows about. In just this one show, there was adultery, stealing, homosexuality, promiscuity, and bullying, along with a decided emphasis on materialism and snobbery. And those were just the side issues.
The main story is really a disturbing one. It seems that a friend of the four main characters disappeared mysteriously a year before, and has now started sending them messages. At least, they are receiving texts, emails, and other notes with information that no one would know besides her. Even after the girl’s body is found, the messages continue, and it’s obvious that these girls are keeping lots of secrets. It’s not clear whether the girl is actually reaching out to them from the grave or if the whole thing is an elaborate hoax, but it’s decidedly creepy.
I watched the whole thing through, wondering as I did so, why I didn’t simply shut it off. I think it was partly because I simply couldn’t believe it. The show was obviously targeting teenage girls, and how could ANY parent approve such trash being dumped into their child’s mind? I keep remembering it today and wondering how in the world my Christian friends could be devoting their time to such utter garbage.
Yes, I watch and read a lot of things that are not beneficial to me, but this was way beyond that. I’ve read a lot of murder mysteries and watched violent movies, but this was worse. In a crime show, at least the vile behavior is recognized as bad. In Pretty Little Liars, the emphasis is more on the pretty than the lying. You get the idea that these girls can get away with anything and it’s not a big deal. None of those abominable behaviors I mentioned was portrayed as particularly bad. The girl was angry with her father for cheating, but then hooked up with a stranger, which is apparently just fine? The shoplifter was caught, but her mother seems to be more concerned about her reputation than her character. I just noticed in a magazine article this morning that the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has given the show an award, so obviously the homosexuality theme has been developed since the episode I watched.
The whole thing makes me feel sick. I guess I hadn’t realized how depraved mainstream TV had become. Things that my parents wouldn’t have even whispered about in front of us are now common themes for children.
Why do people watch it? …Okay, scratch that question…
Why do CHRISTIANS watch it?