Top Ten Television Shows to Watch This Summer: Day Nine

Number 2: Pretty Little Liars and The Amazing World of Gumball (tie)

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This selection is more my guilty pleasures, but they are also some of my favorite television shows on TV today. Pretty Little Liars is daring and addictive, plus their producer, I. Marlene King, is constantly is making homages to the ever brilliant Alfred Hitchcock. So although people like to make it out like this is just another teen drama, it can be so much more at times. It is constantly growing and maturing with it’s audience, and is currently known as the show that is evolving the way we watch television and integrate social networking. The season 3 finale may have disappointed me, but I am beyond excited for it’s premiere tomorrow. Another thing that makes this television show stand out is it’s remarkable cast; Lucy Hale doubles in acting and singing and will be releasing an album later this year, Troian Bellisario is amazingly gifted starring in the WIGS serious Lauren (watch it if you haven’t) and is currently making a movie called Immediately Afterlife with costar Shay Mitchell, and Ashley Benson is making waves in movies with her break out hit in Spring Breakers. This season is supposed to be the season of answers, lets all hope together that they deliver.

People rage on and on about the creativity of Adventure Time and The Regular Show, but The Amazing World of Gumball goes unnoticed. This show has a direct line to my funny bone, it is a unique kind of witty and I don’t mind wasting several hours watching Gumball (Logan Grove) and Darwin (Kwesi Boakye) make dumb choices and learn weird lessons from each mistake; and yes, Darwin is a walking and talking fish paying homage to Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution. This season will be just as much fun as the first two, and will bring us further down the trail of Gumball’s and Darwin’s mind. If you have missed out on this greatness I do suggest you watch the first two seasons immediately, it is not necessary it just for your personal enjoyment.

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Pretty Little Liars Season 3 Finale

I have never been disappointed in a Pretty Little Liars Finale, but I guess there is a first time for everything. For most fans, they were happy to learn that Toby joined the A-team to protect Spencer. This brought on a steamy sex scene in a random hotel room. Welcome back Spoby, you have been missed. On the low side the end of Aria and Ezra was brought to an end, many speculating that this will be for the final time. I am hoping this is not true, I am quite the fan of Ezria but I feel like the writers (I am looking at you Marlene King) twisted their story into one that is unsuitable for the show so they do not have to write for them anymore and can bring in more interest. The in between highlights, was the discovery of red coat which is none other than Alison. This revelation was a little underwhelming and not well played out to show that this was real and not a hallucination. Now to enter my complaints with this finale (besides the Ezria breakup and plot line this season). First and foremost, Mona apparently never knew who red coat was despite the finale in which she says “I did everything you asked”. Jenna returned and apparently she has something going on with Shawna (what happened to Jenna and Noel?) and they later meet up with Melissa who is overheard saying “all these bitches will be in the same place” before ending. My theory for this was them burning down the house with the girls inside, while framing Toby for the crime; this is what brought out Red Coat, she couldn’t let someone take down the liars if she didn’t have a hand in it. We don’t have any resolution with the situation between Caleb and his dad. We still haven’t learned the identity of the body; my money is on Jason but since it wasn’t revealed it might just be a stranded guy which brings up the point of where the hell is Jason? It also seems as if now the liars and Mona are now working together to defeat their greatest enemy. We still haven’t learned what happened that night with Emily and the graveyard. To top of these great mysteries, the finale ended with the liars and Mona finding Wilden’s car pulled from the lake with the video playing. Added on to the end is Jenna and Shawna picking him up and carrying him off, soon the liars make their way to the trunk and pop it open with a gasp leaving us not knowing what’s in their. As the credits role we get a longer glimpse of the ending of the Halloween episode with a hand poking out of a grave and another hand helping to pull it up. But the greatest revelation was that pretty eyes as marlene the waitress would say was in fact Toby. Overall this finale was devastatingly disappointing, although no point was a bore it left me with more questions and only answered one or two. The writers need to start answering more if they want to keep viewers, and find a way to get back to what made the show such a hit in the first place; forbidden love, dark secrets, self revelations, and four friends trying to find the answer to the event that changed everything.

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Pretty Little Liars Season 3 Episode 7 “Crazy”

The episode opened up with Hanna on the phone with her mother, marking her return to school since the break up with Caleb. Detective Walden greets her at the door to let her know that when her mom returns Hanna is needed at the police station to test her blood for the bracelet Spencer and Jason found last episode, this bracelet also cleared Garrett’s name as Allison’s killer. Snap to the next scene, the four liars are together heading to school with Hanna worrying if the DNA they found is truly her, this A is unstoppable. With Hanna’s departure they head into Emily’s Cafe where they meet Cece (Vanessa Ray), who was also friends with Allison. Allison has a lot of similar attributes to her, causing them to guess that she was Ali’s “role model” . Now we are at Rosewood High, and Aria and Ella are talking when Ella spills that she is going on her first date since the divorce to Byron. Now to Spencer who is trying to keep up the timeline/collage of Allison’s death by adding in Cece. Toby soon joins her and confronts her about lying to him, Spencer confesses she was with Jason and that they found the anklet, the sadness is still on her face and she still holds blame in her heart for Garrett. Toby isn’t so sure, and reminds her that she thought the same for him, the bell rings and she rushes off to class. Emily is working at the cafe and Nate meets her to ask about the gift he bought for Jenna, and this does not please Emily. Nate also reveals that Jenna told him that Maya and her were friends, and shared rides home. We go back to Hanna and she finds a Ouija board waiting for her. She soon tells Aria the story behind it, and that the looking glass is what she hid in Ali’s coffin. Hanna and Mona had used the board before they found Allison’s body, and the board had told them Allison was alive. Right before they quit, Hanna believes she truly did see Allison. This story prompts Aria to go visit Mona, and to see if she has answers. After a pot breaks and scares them both Hanna informs Aria that she is staying the night with her, and Aria agrees. When then see Jason running and Spencer goes out to greet him and ask him how he was doing. Both are depressed that they could not provide proof that Garrett was guilty, and Jason feels like he is back to being a screw up. Spencer is confused why he feels this way, and Jason lets her know that his and Ali’s father had always made him feel this way. Now back to Maya and Nate, they are trying to shop for Jenna’s perfect gift. Maya is not thrilled, and the emotions she puts out don’t help her case. Cece soon figures out she was the one with a crush on Ali, and tells her she needs to let Nate know that Jenna is a mistake. Nate also reveals that “if the hottest girl in Rosewood was available, and interested in guys” he would not even be bothering with Jenna. We flip to Ella waiting for her date, where she coyly flirts with the guy at the cafe’s register before her date comes in and asks her to go out for ice cream instead. And the mysterious suitor is Ted, Ashley’s love interest via last episode. Aria is now at Radley’s for Mona, and the distant screams send chills down her spin, or it at least removes the color from her face. After signing in she is finally met with Mona, remember the last time she saw her was the night they discovered she was A. Emily, after Cece’s convincing, tells Nate the part truth about Jenna. Unfortunately he takes it in the wrong direction, and his feelings towards Jenna only grow fonder. We are greeted with more scenes from Ella’s date were we see that she is truly not enjoying her date, although everything seems perfect. Moving along, Hanna goes to Ali’s dad and tries to apologize for what she did and let him know that she is not a part of what is going down now. Before she can finish, he tells her to stop and that a friend would never do what she did. Back to Mona and Aria, Mona tells the nurse that she needs her meds and asks Aria why she really is here and Aria tells her about the gift she received from the new A. Mona asks if they are sure this was A, and Aria tells her that this what not the first gift they have received from Ali’s grave. To Aria’s disappointment, Mona does not know anything but she does ask one favor of Aria; to apologize to Hanna. Soon after Aria is kicked out due to curfew, Hanna meets her and tells her that they can sneak in when the nurses switch shifts. Emily runs into Cece again, and asks if she talked to “Handsome” and when she said it didn’t work out she ask for Emily’s phone so they could switch numbers. Upon the looking in Emily’s phone she calls Jenna and chews her out for “dating her boyfriend”. Emily is upset by her doing this, but there isn’t much more for her to do. After her date, Ella goes back to the cafe looking for Emily to see if she knew where Aria was. She runs into the cashier again, who gives her two free pastries since they cannot sale day old pastries. Upon this gift, she discovers that he owns the Cafe and that his name is Zach. Back to Radley’s, Hanna breaks into Mona’s room and asks for Aria to wait outside for lookout. Aria comes in shortly after since the nurse was looking around. Mona soon reveals what Ali’s dad was upset about, and Hanna lets Aria in to what happened. Hanna had called Ali’s mom after that night and said that she had seen Ali and that she was alive, the next day her body was found. Ali’s dad was so upset for giving her hope, that he goes after Hanna and tells them to stay away from all of them. After she is done with the story they discover that Mona escaped. We flash to Spencer casually driving in her car before a car comes speeding around her. The car belonged to Jason and he was drunk, Spencer (out of sorrow) pushes Jason over to the passenger seat and drives off before any cops could get to the scene. As sweet as the gesture was, it leaves her car at the scene of the crime. We flash back over to Hanna and Aria as they go exploring to find where Mona could have escaped to. They soon discover the Children’s Ward is open, and the lock that guarded it on the floor with Hanna’s tweezers. Back to Spencer and she runs to Toby and tells him she needs help getting her car, and before they could tell much more they are greeted with a knock on the door from the police. Walden is there questioning her, and Toby covers for her saying that he picked her up after work and that someone must of broke in and stole her car. They soon leave, and Walden lets Spencer know that they will talk soon. Toby then questions Spencer and Spencer comes clean that she saved Jason so he wouldn’t lose everything and that he couldn’t tell anyone. Now back to Aria and Hanna as they walk in the ward they start hearing Mona hum. Following the hums they find her rocking in the chair combing dolls hairs. When they try to question her she freaks out and just keeps repeating weird phrases. Soon the nurses come looking for her and they find her causing them to hid in the closet. As she leaves she looks to them in the closet and says “she just wanted to play with her dolls”. Back to Aria’s house, she receives a call from Ella telling her about how she shared two dates, not one.She says the reason that the first date didn’t go so well is that Ted eats ice cream like Byron, and she didn’t want that again. They soon go to sleep, but Hanna is still haunted with what happened that night. Emily walks home and sees Nate sitting alone at the diner. Back to Hanna, she starts clicking what Mona was saying. She was using a code she was trying to teach Hanna to play, and they soon discover that she was saying not safe and providing them with a website, http://www.massugar.com. Their was only one they missed out on remembering, and that was Maya knew. Is this why Maya was killed? Did she know who A was? Or did she know who killed Alison? The web they are entangled in just keeps growing, and it seems like they will not be escaping anytime soon.

Pretty Little Liars Season 2 Finale “UnmAsked”

I am a big (some might say huge) fan of this show, and the finale/reveal of A did not disappoint. It opens with a television telling us that Officer Garrett Reynolds would plead not guilty to the murder of Alison DiLaurentis. From various articles I have read, we will tackle this topic more in season three. Shortly after this, the girls receive four tickets to the Masquerade Ball from A. As the episode goes on, we get a tense scene between Spencer (Troian Bellisario) and Toby (Keegan Allen), but more importantly was what happened when Spencer stormed off; Toby received a call from Dr.Sullivan who we haven’t heard or dealt with since Season 2 part A finale. Right from that moment I wanted to know more, such as why was she calling Toby? But of course we would have to wait just a little bit longer for that answer. Before we encounter another scene with the girls Jenna (Tammin Sursok) take off her glasses and reveals to an unseen person that she could see again, but giving us on of my favorite lines of the night “I’ve thought about this moment so many times, wondering what I would say to you if I saw you again.”, and it wasn’t even what she said it was how she said it, so sympathetic and understanding. Whoever she was talking to, she genuinely seemed to care to talk to them. Before going to the next scene she tells this mysterious person that they know what they need to do, referring to the Masquerade Ball. We cut to the girls who are heading to the creepiest hotel on the face of the earth, (Hats off to Producer Marlene King and all the Pretty Little Liars cast for the homage to “Psycho” through out the episode, so brilliant!) they check into Room 1, which is the room Ali stayed in before her disappearance. After settling in the room, Spencer and Aria go back to check out the register book providing me with my second favorite line of the night “You are small, but you’re big” (delivered by Spencer to Aria), leaving Emily (Shay Mitchell) and Hanna (Ashley Benson) left in the room. Hanna goes to take a shower, and as soon as she steps foot into the shower Emily receives a call from Maya but loses the call due to signal which causes her to leave, and shortly after we see someone enter. After this scene I had a terrible feeling about the state of being for Maya, it was a little too convenient that the moment Emily left, a mysterious character entered. As soon as the girls come back, the mysterious figure is no longer in the room, but he/she is watching the girls from Room 2. The next morning before checking out Spencer and Aria have to return the register book, when Spencer first propose taking it back and leaving Aria bails, but as soon as Spencer gives them the best nickname “Sparia” there was no way Aria could deny. I am hoping to see more “Sparia” scenes in Season 3, let’s face it they make the perfect team. And finally we are at the Masquerade Ball, where each of the girls look stunning as they make their way to the down the stairs. Shortly after arriving, Hanna is greeted by her boyfriend Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) who completes her idea of Romeo and Juliet, giving them one last night/surprise set up by Mona (Janel Parrish). Upon this happening Spencer comes up and says I know who you are, which Mona pleads guilty to. Is this our A we have been waiting for since the pilot episode? Oh wait, fake out, Spencer was just commenting on how good of a friend Mona was to Hanna. Snap shot to Aria, who receives a text and starts walking down a pathway, Jenna following behind her. Finally you hear an oh so familiar voice, Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding). When he appeared, I am not going to lie, I panicked a little thinking he might be A, but thankfully no; he came because he could not stay away from the one he loved. But even better than that we got to see Ezria go public, set to the tune of “Just a Kiss” by Lady Antebellum (Favorite scene of the night, I’m a romantic-sue me). Then it comes down to Spencer leaving, she figured out something; Ali didn’t stay at the hotel to hide, she stayed there because she was watching whoever was watching her. The girls were a little stressed she left without them, but after reassuring them that she was with Mona they trusted all would be fine. We get another beautifully done scene relating to Psycho, even down to the conversation; it was truly marvelous. Then Mona had the key and we were inside the mind of A, Room 2. This room was every bit as haunting as one could imagine, the walls covered in pictures of Ali, and the liars. Some their eyes were cut out of, each left you with a disturbing feeling; whoever A was, she was obsessed and she wanted revenge, and from the looks of a drawing they found she was in a black swan costume. Things started getting tense, Spencer was starting to sense who A was, and we soon discover that the person sitting under our noses the whole time was the sweet and seemingly innocent Mona. After getting Spencer in the car, Mona started going into detail about her motive; She was tortured by Alison all through middle school, but how could she betray Hanna, her best friend? Hanna left her when Aria came back, and she was completely gone when Caleb came into a picture, like she said “it’s easier to forgive an enemy, then it is to forgive a friend.” And the more Mona talked, the more she revealed such as an “A-team”, and she wanted Spencer to join because Spencer has the brains and detective skills of Sherlock Holmes. The whole time this is going down, Spencer has Aria, Hanna, and Emily listening in to the conversation. Discovering the truth of A was, well AmAzing, I did pity Hanna though, she lost a best friend, someone she trusted. How do you handle that? To tie it up, Mona was sent away, and we saw the return of Dr.Sullivan who explained Mona’s symptoms and why she went into hiding, and we learn that Toby was acting for the safety of Spencer. And yes, we got a Spoby reunion, which I know almost every PLL fan had been waiting for all season. But we don’t end there, the girls make their way to Emily’s house and on the way we are met with the end of the first episode all over again (cue “Suggestions”), and we are delivered with some of the most heartbreaking words all season, they had found a body and the think it might by Maya’s. This scene is so chilling because of Shay Mitchell, her performance left me speechless/breathless. She looked completely heartbroken, it was the perfect way to sum up season 2. During the credits we are treated with a glimpse of Mona in the asylum telling a mysterious figure that she did everything she asked of her. Was this the same figure Jenna met in the park? Will we meet the “A-team” in season 3? Will Melissa deliver her baby? Is the black swan the leader of “A-team”? Does Ali have a twin? Who killed Ali? When will Jenna’s vision be revealed? And Was it Maya’s body? Well, I guess we will have to wait for season 3. This is the beauty of Pretty Little Liars, it will always leave you wanting more. Season finale grade: A!