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Friday
Jan232015

Pretty Little Liars: Over a Barrel

Part 1 of 2: WHAT'S IN THE BARREL

Some seriously classic A plot lines this week as Caleb and Spencer break into a storage unit that's been rented in Hanna's name and probably, maybe find a body in a barrel. We have no idea because Caleb didn't think to leave the timer on long enough for them to open the damn thing. Now I have to wait a week to know if it's Holbrook or Mona or someone else being pickled. Aria's letter to Jackie is coming back to haunt her, which may be further evidence of why she wasn't a star candidate for colleges: if girlfriend hasn't learned that A can hack her email and torture her with it by now, is she really that bright? Hanna is dealing with the fact that her mom slept with Jason (at least this latest age-inappropriate relationship is legal) and Emily is channelling her feelings about Paige into coffee shop politics. Even the owner of the coffee shop barely cares — but then again, Ezra hasn't always been known for his professionalism.

 

Everyone, brace yourself for an episode of almost no costume changes. 

I know ladies. It's rough. Blame the costume department. 

 

I know we've all agreed to never speak the name of the Spinoff That Happened, but if we were going to entertain the idea of a spinoff, I've got a great suggestion. 

I mean, that's just a working title, but I think it's got legs. We avoid any supernatural mumbo-jumbo and focus on Spencer's Sherlock-like deduction skills and Caleb could be her Watson with his mad hacking skills. Mull it over, ABC Family. You can make the check out to YKYLF and you can list us as a producer or something. 

 

Of course, since Spencer only applied to schools where they wear flip flops to class and she's more of a peacoat college girl (which, please. We could have told her that), maybe giving up college to become a PI is a viable option. 

Not that Toby the judgey #teencop would approve of this plan.

I just think it's aces though. She'd make an excellent detective and if Veronica Mars can do it, so can Spencer Hastings. Besides, Toby should check his morals and judgement at the door. He may be a #teencop now, but we all remember Gangsta Toby and Toby the A Team Member (#neverforget). And honestly, if he wants to give her a lecture on sleuthing, he should wear something more than grey plaid. His shirt probably put her to sleep. 

 

While I was cheering Spence on to be a teen sleuth, I was also little bit worried about Spencer's khaki knitwear and matching khaki pants. It just couldn't be an attractive combo with a place outside of 1987. However, the shape of both saved it for me. 

I mean, this isn't Spencer at her finest, but the cropped sweater with flared sleeves somehow make that knit palatable, even if it is a bit matchy matchy with the trousers. She's making it work for me. 

 

You know who else is probably digging her pseudo-80s WASP vibe? New Cute Boy in the Barn.

"Oh, what's that Toby? Why ever would you be jealous of a Cute Boy in the Barn?" Serioulsy. Classic PLL. Right down to the unimaginative dude fashion. Although this one has some new quirks. Like digging in the trash to get supplies for painting. 

He's lucky that the adult Hastingses are never around. My guess is they'd be properly horrified by this. 

 

Also in Classic PLL form, we get text messages from the dead.

I'm just sad to see the girls have given up on the manicures. It added a little something extra to the phone close ups. 

 

I had originally planned to knock Caleb for his choice of boring t-shirts, one of which seemed to be missing a collar to help with the layering, but then I realized it was a practical choice for crawling around in duct work. 

I mean, why would you wear something nice into dusty storage locker ducts? You wouldn't. It's simple. Sleuthing calls for practical wear. Because you never know when you're going to find a barrel THAT PROBABLY HAS A DEAD HUMAN IN IT. 

There was some early season suspense going on there and I loved it. More of this please, I.Marlene. 

 

Aria also got some classic A trickery this episode, with a text message scavenger hunt across town to meet "H" (wrongly assumed to be Holbrook) and then getting an A errand in the form of flowers from Jason for Ashley. A used to love random errands that hurt family members at the worst possible moments. Fortunately, Hanna intercepted the flower delivery since she seems to remember A's history (unlike Aria). Aria even got the classic A cryptic message when you least expect it.

Well, a receipt isn't the most threatening means of delivering a message, but when it's in your boyfriend's POS system, I guess that's tricky enough. 

 

All of this went down without the Nashville costume department noticing that Aria had raided their trailers and taken it back across the ABC lot. 

Honestly. The cut-outs? The giant embellished belt? Even pairing it with cowboy boots?

Why, she's just some horrible hair extensions away from being the latest country ingenue on Nashville out to piss off Juliette Barnes and her hideous wig. Of course, being Aria, she needs to accessorize with feathers. 

I think she can't leave the house without some kind of oversized feather. Birds everywhere must be terrified of her jewelry box.

 

Friday
Jan232015

Pretty Little Liars: Over a Barrel

Part 2 of 2: Office Politics

Remember how last week, the caterer totally saved Emily's empenada (both figuratively and literally) at the party and was super nice to her? Well, Emily did not, and spent this episode throwing a hissy fit over things like brewing technique and where to store the cleaning supplies. 

That's a showdown that had us all on the edges of our seats. Of course, shit got real when the caterer (Talia? Maybe? Do we care?) dared to say that maybe a vintage t-shirt that makes you look like a Whitesnake groupie from 1986 and a pair of cut-offs aren't the most profesh look for an upscale coffee house. 

Apparently the shirt belonged to Paige and was sacred (as opposed to being leftover from a coming of age movie set in the early 80s and starring Kristen Stewart). However, I'm inclined to side with Caterer on this one. Some coffee shops embrace that look, but with the new renovations and the addition of Literature (because you know Ezra got poncy on the book selection he sells), I don't think this is one of those coffee shops. Maybe jeans and a shirt from this decade? Maybe something that makes you look like you care about life?

 

Like this number.

Even Caterer was all, "daaaaamn girl. You clean up nice." Emily tried to be blow off the compliment, but for reals, she cleaned up nice. I usually get on her case for her collection of leather and t-shirts, but this quilted moto with a bright blue shirt, khaki skinnies, and what appears to be moto boots is a good look for her.

 

Although I think the truce might fall apart now that Emily knows that Caterer thinks there are "cute buns on the boss". Honestly though, I'm surprised she'd go for Ezra the Man Child. 

Does this look like a grown up with his own business? Or does this look like a guy who has had to give up teaching two or three times to date a teenager? I'm not saying he needs to dress like a square, I'm just saying that maybe it wouldn't hurt to button the shirt up and get a nice leather satchel and maybe a great pair of shoes (dollars to donuts he's got ratty sneakers on with that). 

 

The sexy politics of the Rosewood real estate world got tricky when surprise! Pastor Ted spontaneously returned from darkest Peru to sweep his lady love off her feet and eat her waffles. (Literally. She made waffles. That wasn't a euphemism.)

Because of course pastors can afford to change his plane ticket at the last minute to fly from Peru to Pennsylvania (only $800, plus whatever the cost of his original ticket was). I suppose if she'd known her man was coming home, she wouldn't have borrowed Ella Montgomery's look of slouchy cardigans.

 

Then again, maybe she's just not that into Ted these days, because this blouse is doing her very few favors.

The color? I love it. She rocks a jewel tone like nobody's business. But the boxy fit? Noooooo. It makes me long for her days as a banker who bribed cops with sex and wore body con dresses.

 

But maybe it isn't about Ted. Maybe she's just feeling remorse for sleeping with her boss who only graduated from high school four years ago and is a sports coat away from being in the Dick in a Box sketch on SNL? 

That facial hair gave me the sads for reals. I'm also not digging his shirt, but I will give him points for attempting to dress like an adult and mixing some patterns while he's at. It's a good try and hopefully he continues on this path towards interesting menswear, making a pitstop on the way to shave off that awful beard.

 

The somewhat unnecessary Jason-Ashley-Ted love triangle is distracting poor Hanna from things like choosing a college or focusing on who the hell killed her former best friend. Unfortunately, it has not distracted her from her committment to the pseudo-grunge look she's been working lately. 

While I could barely deal with that cropped denim and fishnet sleeve over a t-shirt look, I was really not into the t-shirt being a dress with a giant slit up the leg.

Oh, Hanna no. I wish I could show you the chunky boots she wore with that, but I couldn't get a good screenshot. Besides, there's no need for all of us to feel sad about Hanna's wardrobe. I'll take that one for the team. However, as I mentioned in the mini-recap, golf claps for that hair. 

The calculated "messy" braid that wraps around into a side bun? Gorgeous. I am so on board with that I can pretend the outfit didn't happen. But if wardrobe is reading this, can we please shake up Hanna's look and ditch the blacks and greys and denim soon? 

 

Finally, in Rosewood office politics, we're given another reminder as to why the police are so incompetent (aside from hiring teenagers and accepting sex bribes to drop shoplifting charges): "A" can waltz in and login as Holbrook and eat Holbrook's caramels and no police officer thinks to stop the hooded/gloved figure from doing any of this. 

There were so many mentions of Holbrook this week that I'm leaning towards him being in the barrel. Whenever you're the obvious suspect in Rosewood, you're also the most most likely to be dead. 

Wednesday
Jan212015

Pretty Little Liars: Over a Barrel

This episode has some shades of classic PLL — wild goose chases to deliver messages that will hurt family members, break and enters, cute boys living in the barn, and Se7en level suspense about WHAT IS IN THE BARREL???. But seriously. What’s in the barrel? Is it Mona? Is it Holbrook? Are they pickled? And why is the locker in Hanna’s name? I want answers, and that means super sleuth team of Caleb and Spencer need to step it up to figure out who is getting set for a Breaking Bad crossover episode in the storage locker. Meanwhile in lesser plots, Spencer debates college in Hawaii to escape A, Toby sulks that his girlfriend keeps doing what she was doing before he became a #teencop, and Emily faces her most boring plot line to date: arguing over whose job description covers making coffee and moving cleaning supplies at the Brew.

 

Only in Rosewood
Can you climb through the duct work with ease between storage units. Perfect for meddling teenagers!

Return of a Minor Character
Pastor Ted is back from darkest Peru to make an honest woman of Ashley. Did we even know he went there? 

Best outfit
None of the outfits were particularly inspiring this week, so it’s a tie between Emily’s quilted moto and Hanna’s killer braid/side bun. That fantastically calculated messy updo deserves a mention – not a bobby pin in sight!

Best A Message
"This kind of lie will stay on your permanent record. – A" as A shows prowess around a POS system and prints Aria's letter to Jackie on a Brew receipt.

Current A  Team suspect
There’s a lot of finger pointing to Holbrook  — right down to the hooded figure eating his caramels and logging in to his with his password. But if Rosewood history tells me anything, that means he's the one in the barrel. 

 

Pop back on Friday for the fashion and snark from me

Saturday
Jan172015

Pretty Little Liars: Fresh Meat

Part 1 of 2: Kilns & Knives

This week on Pretty Little Liars, bad decisions abound. Ali’s still in jail, Toby finds a knife (which he doesn’t let the other cops know about. Did we mention the knife may possibly be the clue to Mona’s killer?), and Spencer and Caleb burn said knife (at school, because that makes sense). Also making bad decisions are Aria and Hanna. Aria writes an essay that Ezra would be heartbroken to read, but hey, it gets her into college! Meanwhile, Hanna is supposed to be touring one of the many colleges she’s gotten into…but instead makes a detour at a creepy trailer park. Oh, and possibly the worst decision of the episode: ASHLEY AND JASON WHAT!!

 

So, orange? Not a good color on Ali. And the jumpsuits at Rosewood County? Not the most flattering — or maybe Ali just can’t rock orange like Piper Chapman.

 

Back at Rosewood High, the girls are (finally) starting to worry about getting into college. It only took them oh, two seasons to get through the first half of senior year. While Aria secretly freaks out over not getting in anywhere (it might be "A" OR MAYBE a byproduct of never attending class the past few years) Hanna has seemingly gotten in everywhere. Maybe they’re just as impressed with her outfits — the breezy all-white with knotted floral top (or cleverly tied scarf?) paired with the high pony and dangly earrings give off a Serena van der Woodsen vibe, sans macaron-baring skirt.

 

Spencer proves that the "no white after Labor Day" rule is silly in a doily/mesh top that somehow just works. It’s preppy without being too WASPy, and I love the slightly ruffled sleeves. But Emily… you were doing so well moving away from sporty tanks or weird cut-out Ts. Why does anyone need to know you were up til 5am?

 

But Aria? Aria’s still got her quirky/slightly odd sense of style, but she’s toned it down a bit — the peter pan collar on this sweater is just adorable, especially paired with the flouncy skirt. The heels with giant ankle braces straps though? No.

 

While the girls are at school (hopefully going to classes), #teencop Toby is helping with yet another search behind Mona’s house.

 

This time he finds something...a knife with blood on it that could BE THE MURDER WEAPON?! But (there’s always a "but" on this show), it’s a knife from the Cavanaugh’s cabin...meaning that, duh, both Toby and Caleb's prints are probably all over that knife.

 

Toby panics and leaves the knife, telling Caleb and Spencer about it later. And it turns out Toby might be the only cop in Rosewood concerned about doing the right thing (aka handing in the knife because you know, it might lead to Mona’s killer). Spencer and Caleb, on the other hand, are more concerned with not joining Ali in jail. The three agree to leave the knife — they won’t destroy it or turn it in.

 

But of course this just leads to Spencer and Caleb meeting up in really good outerwear to search for this knife.

 

 

After all, Caleb can’t almost go to jail again (pre-Rosewood hacker Caleb got into a bit of trouble with the feds). They don’t allow fabulous outerwear behind bars, so this olive green cargo coat would have to go.

 

Spencer also wouldn’t be allowed to wear this equally fabulous trench coat behind bars. So the knife? HAS GOT TO GO YOU GUYS.

 

Sneaking around Mona’s backyard and finding the knife? Piece of cake for these two. Destroying it? Not so much. They decide to use the school’s kiln...because the knife will disintegrate in a kiln? The logic of this plan escapes me. But both Spencer and Caleb should know to never go into rooms that can lock. Especially rooms that can heat up to 1400 degrees.

 

Luckily, Spencer manages to get Caleb out, and the two leave the knife to burn up inside of the kiln. Maybe. I mean, we never did get a second glimpse at it, did we?

 

Later, Spencer dons this GORGEOUS white lace dress with an even more amazing leather corset belt. Where does one even find a leather corset belt? The look is equal parts preppy and prairie girl chic. Which I guess is a thing. We can't see the shoes but they’re probably some sort of seriously adorable cognac pennyloafers.

 

But nothing is ever perfect for long in Rosewood. Toby comes to confront Spencer about the knife, and when she proceeds to tell him about her and Caleb destroying it, Toby tells her he can’t hear these things.

Because, you know, he’s a #teencop.

Saturday
Jan172015

Pretty Little Liars: Fresh Meat

Part 2 of 2: Trailer Parks and Teddy Bears

While Spencer and Caleb go about destroying evidence, Aria and Hanna are preoccupied with one thing: college. Well, at least Aria is. She’s waitlisted for Talmadge College, and considering she hasn’t gotten in anywhere else, she has to get off that waitlist. Her situation is made even more difficult by one glasses-wearing, cardigan-sporting, Ezra-hating person — Jackie.

Yes, Ezra’s ex and Talmadge’s new head of admissions are one and the same. Her outfit is blah, but it’s preferable to Aria’s mess of an outfit…

 

She’s wearing a plaid shirt made for a giant and what seem to be platform bowling shoes. Is she going bowling later? No. She’s up at Talmadge to beg Jackie not to read (and not to forward to Ezra) the letter she wrote begging to be let in to the school. The letter which begins with something along the lines of “I ruined my high school career by getting involved with an older guy and I regret it so so much”.

 

Jackie is thoroughly impressed (and probably feeling slightly vindicated) by Aria’s letter, so Aria gets this email…

 

…which leads to her feeling guilty but wearing the cutest black and white fit and flare dress at Ezra's cafe's opening party. The print is quirky enough for it to be an Aria dress, but the silhouette and tailoring are on point. Ezra's in a T and blazer, le yawn. Dude is the sartorial equivalent of white bread.

 

While Aria’s swanning about in a cute dress and gorgeous hair, Em's in the kitchen...not so much baking up a storm, as just creating a mess.

 

This was supposed to be goat cheese stuffed grapes.

 

The phyllo pastry wasn’t much better…

 

But hey, at least she ended up with something to serve! Her mom’s famous empanadas, nicely offset by Em's tropical print top.

 

Which didn’t end up so great, but Talia swoops in to save the day with a dipping sauce and slivered almonds (can fix anything, apparently). She’s the cook Ezra hired to swoop in and save the day. She also has fabulous outfits. She can totally pull off cutout sleeves with this gauzy white top.

 

Her style is reminiscent of Ashley Marin’s tailored, impeccable style. Who said redheads can’t pull off pink? Ashley does it wonderfully.

 

And further snaps for this pretty teal. One thing Ashley doesn’t have, though? Impeccable taste in men.

 

No wonder Jason (in a chambray top, does he wear anything but blue?) can’t keep his eyes off of her…

 

Which leads to this odd coupling.

SERIOUSLY. THIS SHOW.

 

I mean, Hanna came home to see this:

 

Although it probably didn't shock Hanna too much, considering her college weekend turned into a visit to the creepiest trailer park ever. It started off well, if boring. Her tour guide had a bad case of verbal diarreha and the only thing Ballard seemed to offer her was a teddy bear.

 

So Hanna decides to go off in search of Holbrook’s dad, whom Holbrook has allegedly been taking care of.

I'm noticing a trend: Fabulous outerwear (leather jacket in Hanna's case) is a must for any Rosewood detective mission.

 

Of course Holbrook’s dad lives in a creepy trailer park, and of course he looks nothing like Holbrook. (Also, Holbrook? Nowhere to be found).

 

To top off the creepiness, Someone stuffs Hanna's college gift with guts. I’ll spare you the gross picture and leave you with the teddy sitting innocently in her car instead.

Wait, maybe that's a bulldog? I can't tell.

 

ANYWAY. Was it A? A's Alison, though...right? Well Ali gets this note in jail

 

It isn’t signed A, so it could be interpreted as either a threat or a promise. Is it Holbrook, helping her out? Or the real A, threatening the rest of the Liars?

One thing's for sure. This show will never run out of plot twists or ridiculous couplings.