I agree with professor Stein that there are a few conspicuous similarities among Veronica Mars, Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars. Firstly, all the three shows are teen dramas, with strong female characters, or in more accurate terms, the story revolves much around its female character or characters. In all the three shows, there is a mysterious figure, around which the plot of the show is woven. In Veronica Mars, the plot is propelled further by Veronica Mars’ attempt to solve the mystery of Lily’s murder and to find the man who possibly raped her. In Gossip Girl, it is the “gossip girl” who is sorted after by the characters or who sorts after the characters to expose their lives to the public. A/Allison is the central character that rules the lives of the other characters, namely her four friends, from her graveyard.
But Pretty Little Liars replicates closely the story world of Veronica Mars. As professor Stein states, “and the fascinatingly repeated trope of the dead, sexually-promiscuous girl at the center of the mystery, who haunts the narrative in potent flashback”, both A/Allison in Pretty Little Liars and Lily in Veronica Mars are supposedly dead, but they both take control over the respective narrative – by frequently causing the plot to flash back to the time when they were alive. A/Allison torments her friends, by flushing them with sensitive and threatening text messages, notes and video clips. Lily often occupies the thoughts and minds of those who know her before she is murdered. Veronica frequently thinks about her dead best friend, and so does Dunkin, who hallucinates of seeing his dead sister.
But for this week’s screening, if I have to choose one out the two, I would pick How To Make It In America over Pretty Little Liars. I liked the latter so much better.
How To Make It In America is much more true to believable in terms of story and the construction of its characters. The story revolves around how young people, right out of college, struggles to cope with the new chapter in their lives. Unlike in Pretty Little Liars, wherein A/Allison haunts the remaining characters, it is the real challenges – be it financial, love relationships, family relationships or other worldly problems – that haunts the characters in How To Make It In America. Therefore, I liked How To Make It In America much more than Pretty Little Liars.