An Exploration of Terrible TV Spinoffs – Ravenswood

by Robyn

Pretty Little Liars is not a good television show. It’s full of confusing and ridiculous plot twists. Its main characters repeatedly make illogical and unbelievable decisions. It glorifies unhealthy and emotionally damaging relationships. And worst of all, its entire premise (that 4 teenage girls are being stalked and blackmailed via text by a mystery person known only as “A”) makes absolutely no sense. And yet, we love this show. Yes, we know its target audience is teenage girls. We know it’s vapid and manipulates the audience. We’re down with the very, very high level of disbelief that must be suspended each week when we sit down to watch the newest episode. Consider this as evidence of how much we love this show: Mary Liz recently visited me and the very first thing we did, after not seeing each other for months, was sit down and watch the Pretty Little Liars halloween special. Well, ok, the first thing we did was get milk shakes from Baker’s, but you get my point…Pretty Little Liars is Important.

But this post is not about Pretty Little Liars. It’s about the brand new Pretty Little Liars spinoff Ravenswood.


Like all spinoffs, Ravenswood is desperately trying to chisel out an identity distinct from its parent show. To do this, Ravenswood is set in the spooky, scary sister city to Pretty Little Liar’s suburban paradise/nightmare Rosewood. While Pretty Little Liars features only psychopathic stalkers and murders, Ravenswood ventures into the mystical realm and the plot revolves around a century-old curse that seems to involve war heroes, dead teenagers and a Victorian-era couple named Caleb Rivers and Miranda Collins who both died in a boating accident. Oh, and plot twist! The main characters of Ravenswood are modern-day versions of Caleb and Miranda, also named Caleb Rivers and Miranda Collins, who look exactly like the dead couple. Here is a photo, for LOLZ

Caleb & Miranda

I don’t really want to go too deeply into the plot of Ravenswood, but I will share with you some of the discussion Mary Liz and I have been having about the show. Both of us are very sad for Pretty Little Liar and girlfriend of Caleb, Hannah Marin:

R: I’m really worried that Caleb and Hannah are going to break up.

ML: Poor Hannah! Miranda is his true love.

R: I  know, I’m really sad for her. He won’t even email her!

ML: And he’s totally not going to show at the Apple Wood Grille or whatever it’s called!

R: I know, because he almost died A SECOND TIME, and he’s probably not even going to tell her!

ML: Also, those flashbacks with his slicked back hair are heeeelarious!

R: Hahaha! I know! I love it! His haircut is actually very 1880’s.

We are also suspicious/intrigued by Miranda’s uncle and his wrinkly housekeeper Mrs. Grunwold. And because we discuss her complexion at length, here is an image for reference:


ML: Or the uncle? What’s their deal? They’re probs good.

R: You think the uncle and wrinkle face are good? That would be an obvious and likely twist.

ML: Yeah. Why is she so wrinkly????

R: Hahaha, I was wondering if it’s make up?

ML: Me too.

R: Because no one looks like that.

ML: Yeah. Kathleen Turner is sort of wrinkly like that?

R: Sort of. Some women paleontologists look like that. Serious sun damage.


So the take-away, 5 episodes in, is that Ravenswood is terrible but Mary Liz and I are already emotionally invested in the characters and will continue to watch. Unless:

R: Do you think this show will get cancelled before we learn wtf is happening?

ML: OMG. That would be the worst! Hopefully teenage girls everywhere are watching!


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