Pretty Little Liars

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Sweet Disposition

Ella loves it, the bell rings, Hanna has been electrified and radicalized by Spencer's all-encompassing map of the universe and chases Ella down, but Coach snags her and drags her to detention... Where Cyberwolf is already licking his chops. There is a hilariously deadpan product-placement conversation about the upcoming movie about Justin Bieber's life such as it is, so tone-deaf and ridiculous and out of character that you just full-on have to admire it. It's like when your boyfriend "does the dishes" by breaking them into one million pieces so you'll never ask him to do it again.

"Oh, you want us to talk about Bieber this week? You know that our show is about alienation and the inappropriate sex roles into which teenagers have been forced by the neuroses of their Baby Boomer parents, right? And that there is no Justin Bieber in our universe, because he represents the defanged and feminized virgin ideal that would invalidate our whole show... But still, yeah? Because sure! We can talk the fuck about Bieber. The only thing more perverse than our obsessive documentation of modern perversity is the commodification of his Cullenesque male vagina anyway."

"First of all, it's not just a movie, it's his real story. You know what? Just don't talk about the Beebs okay? You don't know the Beebs, you don't understand the Beebs. Or his hair."

Hanna Marin, ladies and gents. She complains about Ella going to Philly and lives being ruined and whatnot, and Cyberwolf is like, "Um, is Mrs. Montgomery running a terrorist cell?" (I wish!) Hanna remembers herself and goes, "Just turn around, Sketchy," in the funniest way, and then suddenly he's excused, because he has emailed the school posing as his social worker, and he runs off to be sketchy someplace else.

Aria is uncomfortably hot right now, knocking on Fitz's door, but then he drives up in a limo, grinning hugely, and they are total dorks and it's sort of bemusing.

Lolita could never be written now, of course, but I've always preferred a reading that sidesteps the second-wave specter of "coercion" -- an admittedly hard interpretation for most to swallow, but supported by the fact that the book's funniest and darkest passages are Humbert's Keystone Kops farcically failed attempts at rape -- by looking at it as the story of two people who get exactly what they want, and why it destroys them.

Dolores is too young to be making these decisions, but in another way so is Humbert, which makes it not a story about pedophiles but a story about us, because that's the dilemma: Everybody's got trapdoors and surprise parties inside, and you want to watch for that; but also, if you wait until you are perfect and he is perfect you will never ever fall in love, because nobody is ever fully grown. Which is a good thing, because if you were perfect you wouldn't need love, because nobody would have anything you needed.

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Pretty Little Liars

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