TV Report Card: 'The Lying Game' Season 2 Review

“The Lying Game” had its second season after a whole year away from being broadcast. You would not have known it from watching because the show has not missed a beat. It features characters worth caring about and a mystery that keeps you intrigued and satisfied along the way.

Storyline Direction: The Lying Game" constantly keeps you on the edge of your seat. It maintains a character-driven storyline and does not waste time on random plot points that drive viewers to dead ends. As a viewer, it takes a lot to decide to invest in a mystery show. That is because you will more than likely have to stick around until the very end of the series to get all of the answers.

That could require a lengthy amount of episodes. Or in the worst case scenario a cancellation that keeps you from receiving any of the pay-offs. The key to winning personal long-term investment is to feel there is a real plan for the series. That there is a definitive endgame in place with mini pay-offs coming into play on a regular basis. “The Lying Game” delivers on all of these fronts.

The characters are always fun to watch. They are also multi-dimension. Just when you were about to write your favorite villain off, something comes to light that makes you see them in a completely different light.

It is these things that keep viewers engaged and loyal to a show, long after the initial fanfare and press fades away. The quality of "The Lying Game," speaks for itself. It is a series that deserves as much attention as "Pretty Little Liars."

It is hands down one of television's most underrated gems. There is no mystery-centric show on the Big 5 (yes, I’m counting CW) that comes close to capturing its sparkling quality. While other shows ("Lost") string us along with no end in sight, "The Lying Game" firmly has itself on track. As a viewer, you can enjoy the journey to the destination.

Performance Quality: Many have played twins before her, and yet when you see it done correctly, you realize that you have forgotten most of those portrayals for a reason.

Alexandra Chando’s dual portrayal of Emma Becker and Sutton Mercer is incredible, and it will remain a standard for all other dual roles to come. Chando flawlessly portrays both twins with so much ease that you forget how tricky it truly is to pull off.

While Chando diligently anchors the difficult lead roles; her supporting cast never leaves her hanging. Helen Slater (Kristen) plays one of the best TV moms ever. She embodies a noble decency that provides a moral compass for the show.

At the core of "The Lying Game" is that it lets the family develop. It is easy to see why Emma falls in love with them as much as anything else in her newfound life. Andy Buckley (Ted) and Allie Gonino (Laurel) round out the Mercers. Their performances lend credibility to Emma’s desire to stay in this life.

Viewers can really invest in wanting to see Emma unite with the Mercers under her real identity. Yearning for that would not be possible without the fabulous familial chemistry that all four actors share.

As much focus that is put on romantic chemistry between actors, it is the more underappreciated aspect of developing familial chemistry that makes a well-rounded character fully come to life.

Blair Redford (Ethan) adds the perfect amount of teen angst and bad boy charm to balance out all of the morality that is our lead heroine, Emma. Charisma Carpenter turns in a delightfully sinful performance as the mysterious and proverbially scheming, Rebecca.

Musical Score: The music on this show is consistently well done with a refreshing indie vibe that never impedes its gentle melodies against the dialogue-heavy series. The standout music moment of the season came when Allie Gonino performed with her real-life band, The Good Mad. They have a really cool sound that is worth staying tuned for.

Overall Grade: A+, “The Lying Game” never misses a beat. Always keeping the audience engaged in the machinations of its characters. All the while keeping viewers guessing until the very end. There has to be another season for this criminally underrated little gem.

[Featured Image by ABC Family]

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