Monday, April 25, 2016

Pretty Little Liars on DVD: Got a Secret, Can You Keep It?

(Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Home Entertainment)

Pretty Little Liars' Sixth Season is Now Available on DVD/Digital HD!

A quick synopsis:
As the sixth season begins moments after the season five finale, Aria, Emily, Hanna, Spencer and Mona are trapped outside the “dollhouse” where their tormentor, Charles, has been keeping them — with nowhere to run. Angered by their attempted escape, Charles’ games take a more demented and darker turn. As the girls struggle to survive, Ezra, Caleb and Toby (recurring guest star Keegan Allen) continue the fight to find the girls with or without Rosewood Police Department’s help. Charles’ story begins to come together, with the Liars eventually solving the puzzle and unmasking Charles, finally putting an end to the “A” game. The second half of the season jumps five years forward, with new secrets, new lies and a whole new look.
One of the most addicting shows that I've watched over the past few years is Pretty Little Liars. I don't know what it is exactly about the series that captures my attention. Perhaps it is because it frequently frustrates me, yet compels me to watch more. Perhaps it's because of the fashion or the relationships that Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna have with one another. Maybe it's the constant push and pull of mystery and intrigue, with equal parts humor and sass. Or it might just be the fact that the show is such a perfect guilty pleasure that it transports you from your reality into the quiet, seemingly-sleepy world of Rosewood, Pennsylvania.

This past week, Pretty Little Liars released its sixth season on DVD and digital HD. Warner Brothers Home Entertainment was kind enough to send me a review copy of the DVD before it was released, and if you're a fan of the series, you definitely need to own a copy of this.

First off, the DVD packaging is beautiful. The cover art and inside sleeves are vibrant and detailed without being overtly so. The discs themselves (of which there are five) are also very intricate and beautiful, and all are varying shades of green (which I weirdly appreciate in terms of color pallet consistency). But what really sells DVDs for me are their special features, so I'll spend some time discussing those. I love Netflix. I really do. But the thing about it that is maddening is that it doesn't offer blooper reels or extra content — both things I value, sometimes more than the episodes themselves. I love binge-watching episodes of Friends on Netflix, for example, but sometimes I just want to watch Matthew Perry mess up half a dozen takes on the blooper reel.

(Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Home Entertainment)


Pretty Little Liars' discs are chock full of extra and special content features (around 30 minutes' worth, actually). The first disc has a feature called "We Heart the PLL 'Ships," which is a fun look into the pairings on the show (pre-time jump), with the actors and the executive producers weighing in on what makes Spoby, Ezria, and Haleb so great. This feature is fun if you're fans of any of those pairings (though it does kind of leave off Emily, perhaps because she didn't really have a steady partner throughout the series like the other girls), and is a nice trip down memory lane. Both the actors and the executive producers note that part of what makes Pretty Little Liars so intriguing — and its ships so beloved — is the showcasing of push-pull dynamics between the characters. The best love stories, after all, the EPs discuss, are ones in which characters learn from one another and become better because of their relationship (while encountering friction along the way).

In this feature, you'll also get to hear the EPs and actors discuss some of their favorite ship moments from the first few seasons.

Also on the DVD is a really fun feature titled "A PLL Prom." This was probably the most engaging one, as the EPs and behind-the-scenes set talent discuss all that went into the creation of the prom, not just in terms of props and scenery but also wardrobe. You probably picked up on the fact that Aria's dress is supposed to be an homage to Snow White. But did you know that each Liar has a story and fairytale homage behind her dress, too? Check out this feature for the glimpse into the wardrobe and the accessories (seriously, those accessories are so cool) as the actresses explain that each of their looks has its own story.

And since the prom's theme was "Enchanted Forest," all of the amazing behind-the-scenes set talent got to explore what that meant thematically and practically for the scene. There's a giant hourglass in the prom, for instance, that took four men to constantly tip, turn, and lay on its side in order to maintain continuity from shot to shot. Additionally, all of the lanterns hanging up at various heights near the dance floor? Those were from Inception!

Learn more secrets about set and costuming on this really fun feature.

(Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Home Entertainment)

Also fun are the special features "Inside the 5 Years" and "A Homecoming: The PLLs Return." The cast and EPs take a look at what the time jump meant for their characters (including headcanons from I. Marlene King, the rest of EPs, and the girls), as well as what it meant for their fashion sense. That last bit is focused on in the homecoming feature, where the cast and producers talk about what it was important for them to reflect in each of the Liars' updated wardrobes. They discuss how Hanna's has evolved into high fashion, Spencer's remains practical but stylishly professional with pencil skirts and dresses, that Aria's evolved from wild to a more tame and still expressive style, and how Emily has embraced a more put-together California casual. Sasha Pieterse also talks about Alison's wardrobe was completely overhauled in order to provide her with a more tailored, teacher look.

Overall, these features were a fun glimpse behind-the-scenes into the world of Pretty Little Liars and the minds that create and maintain the series. Apart from the special features, the DVD also includes a lot of deleted scenes, in addition to the episodes themselves.

If you haven't already purchased your copy of the sixth season on DVD or Digital HD, do so today!

(Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Home Entertainment)


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