Blog Archives

‘Pretty Little Liars’ Crush Quiz

As a younger person, the best part of teen magazines was always the quizzes about relationships and crushes and how to know if your partner likes you. But, as a queer women, those quizzes were also irritating for how heteronormative they were: these were quizzes for girls who liked guys, and that was never me.

Just this past week, Seventeen magazine posted a Pretty Little Liars (PLL) quiz, to determine “Who’s your Pretty Little Liars crush?” And when this popped up, nostalgic for my quiz days, I paid attention, because, of all quizzes, any one about a PLL crush should be inclusive for queer women too. After all, PLL includes a lesbian character, Emily, who has a girlfriend, Paige.


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Integrating Queer on TV

I happened upon a brilliant thesis by Jasmine Ing at the University of Calgary titled, “Queervisions: Queer Women Speak About Their First Experiences of Queer Representations in Film and Television”. For a great read check out the full thesis here.

The line that caught my attention was this:

“In short, popular culture depictions can allow the isolated to view characters who have managed to successfully integrate their queer sexuality into their daily lives.”

This line right here advocates for the fact that we need TV characters whose sexuality isn’t an issue; where they are just living their regular lives like everyone else. In teen-centric shows, such as Pretty Little Liars or Glee, the coming out story is important because of the age of characters. But beyond that, beyond what is organic to the character’s story, TV shows need to move past the coming out phase of a character’s life.

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Note of Appreciation for Marlene King

For those of you who don’t know, Marlene King is the show runner of the hit series on ABC Family, Pretty Little Liars.  With its Season 3 finale, it became the first TV show that was tweeted about over a million times during the airing of the show.

The show was also renewed for its fourth AND fifth seasons and will have a spin-off show starting in the fall.  If any show has learned how to use social media to it’s advantage, it’s Pretty Little Liars.  Not to mention, Pretty Little Liars is a well-written show with strong female characters and the inclusion of diverse, three dimensional characters that is seamless and equal.

Pretty Little Liars and its fandoms have such an inclusive, community feeling.  That starts from the top, with Marlene King.  And here is what she is up to today:

Marlene King

Not only is Marlene strengthening the community (and therefore support) surrounding her show, she’s also setting the tone for the community and energy she wants surrounding her show.  It’s her innate understanding that fandom IS the safest place some people have to land that makes her efforts special.  Positivity goes a long way, and that is what she offers up here; no fan manipulation or ship wars necessary.

Pretty incredible way to treat fans, who after all, are the life blood of the show.  No wonder Pretty Little Liars continues to be so successful.

The Case [For] Fans

Recently, a Richard Rushfield wrote an article on BuzzFeed titled, “The Case Against Fans“, in which he is worried that the increase in fan participation in our entertainment culture is ruining the quality of the entertainment  produced.  His article was inspired by a recent Kickstarter campaign in which fans of the show, Veronica Mars, raised money to have a movie made.

Veronica Mars

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