'Pretty Little Liars' Premieres Tonight ... Do We Need Another 'Gossip Girl'?

Kim Conte

pretty little liars
Photo from ABC Family

The brand-new teen drama Pretty Little Liars premieres tonight and promises plenty of beautiful couture-wearing high schoolers doing bad things (well, not too bad, this is ABC Family, after all).

But wait just one minute! Beautiful, rich teens misbehaving? That sounds suspiciously like another show already on my DVR ...

Oh right. Gossip Girl. Do we really need another teen drama of this ilk?

Here's the premise behind Pretty Little Liars, which is based on a series of tween/teen books of the same name: Four suburban 16-year-old girls reunite one year after their best friend, Alison, goes missing at a slumber party. Each girl has a secret -- ranging anywhere from an inappropriate relationship with a teacher to shop-lifting -- which someone named "A" (uh, Alison??) tauntingly reminds them about through text messages, Gossip Girl-style. (I love that the cell phone has become an indispensable main character in so many of today's teen dramas.)

It all sounds interesting enough; plus, critics are saying that the cast, which includes Privileged's Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Troian Bellisario, and Shay Mitchell, is fresh and lovely. An added incentive? Chad Lowe (love him!) and Laura Leighton (Sydney of Melrose Place) also star. (You know you're old when you're way more excited about the parents in teen dramas than the actual teens.)

What could make or break the show is the tone: If it's smart and tongue-and-cheek like Gossip Girl or 10 Things I Hate About You (also on ABC) or satirical like Desperate Housewives, then possibly it stands a chance. But if it takes itself too seriously, well, then I'm banning it from my DVR. Now that Parenthood is over, I'm in the market for some decent Tuesday night TV. But the last thing we need is another The Secret Life of the American Teenager, if you know what I mean.

Are you going to watch Pretty Little Liars?

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