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article imageReview: Pretty Little Liars stuns in classy noir episode

By Syra Sharif     Feb 12, 2014 in Entertainment
Pretty Little Liars went back in time this week, with a special black and white episode. Much of the episode took place in the 1940s, in a time when tensions were easily heightened based on the music playing in the background.
It was meant to be a dream which took place more in the mind of one character and led to exploring the current plot in another era.
Spencer, convinced that her teacher is who she and all her friends should be wary of, has taken too many pills. Her ADHD is getting worse with countless sleepless nights of trying to solve the mystery of “A” and finding her former dead friend.
In case you are unfamiliar with the show, four friends are left to grapple with their friend's disappearance and in the wake of this incident they start receiving mysterious messages from an anonymous person(s) named “A.” It is obvious there is more than one “A,” this much the girls know. Though, it was also recently discovered that their friend who disappeared is also alive. Their friend’s name is Alison and the person Spencer suspects is actually a part of their lives in more ways than just their teacher. Ezra, the teacher, is also one of the girl’s boyfriends which obviously complicates matters. Hope you’re somewhat caught up on the premise by now.
The episode was called “Shadow Play” (episode 19, season 4) and is widely referred on social media as #pllblackandwhite. It was beautifully done and looking through the photos the show posted to Facebook of the cast and crew, it’s obvious that they had a lot of fun doing it. I liked the idea of it, even if it was really all meant to be a dream. Sometimes we all need to dream, even if it is in black and white. Suspicious characters became a little sketchy in the black and white version of themselves and paired with the dramatic dialogue and music, it was wonderfully done.
Actors Ian Harding and Keegan Allen acted together for perhaps the first time on the show and helped add to the mysterious air of drama around them. Actresses Lucy Hale, Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Shay Mitchell, Janel Parrish, and Sasha Pieterse were all gorgeous in the black and white filmed episode. Not many shows do episodes such as this, though since the show is already an intense drama making it black and white seemed a perfect fit.
Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesday’s at 8 pm EST on ABC Family in the U.S. Watch it in Canada on M3 on the same day and time, check your local listings for more details. The first three seasons are available on Netflix.
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