Ravenswood, the new spin off series from the successful tween thriller Pretty Little Liars (PLL), jumps smack bang right into the middle of its own story line.
In the latest series for young adults who like to find themselves questioning every single plot line in a television show, Ravenswood immediately slaps the audience with dark and awkward family secrets, creepy graveyards and a small town complex for most of the ten new characters introduced within the first fifteen minutes.
In an early scene, Caleb (who is played by Tyler Blackburn, fresh from PLL) says, “there’s so much death here”, to which his friend shrugs, saying “its part of who we are.”
At this point I’m almost forcing myself not to roll my eyes. The acting is only a step above mediocre, and this series already has more gaps and twists than I can keep track of. It seems that everyone has something to hide, including the town itself: Ravenswood appears to harbor not only death, but the ghosts of the dead, too. It’s supernatural theme would be interesting, if it weren’t overshadowed by the ever present secrets of every town member.
The whole of the pilot episode has been dedicated to quickly, and not very insightfully, running through every new character’s problems and lives. This, I find, does not make a great forty minutes of television. It’s hard enough learning the mere names of these people, without having to distinguish who has died (yep, there’s a lot of death in this one), who killed who and why weird, supernatural things keep happening.
While PLL isn’t the most groundbreaking drama to come from the studios of ABC, it is exciting, complex, and it keeps you on your toes with a shocking plot twist every couple of episodes. For this reason, I had expected more from Ravenswood. However, all I find after the pilot, is that I’m confused, and very grumpy at being made to feel this confused.
Here’s hoping the next episode of this new drama answers a few questions.
Review Score: TWO STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Ravenswood airs on ABC Family in the USA. No Australian release has been confirmed, however reports indicate that GO! will screen the series in 2014.