See It or Free It: 'Ravenswood'

The set-up is creaky and the execution is a massive fumble. Ravenswood is a spin-off of Pretty Little Liars and that is perhaps the greatest hurdle the show fails to make it over. The creative universes of each of the respective shows are irreconcilable, vastly varying in tone.

While Pretty Little Liars exists in a sunny, realistic yet creepy setting, Ravenswood is steeped in the supernatural, explaining nothing by way of plausible explanation and instead focusing on paranormal activity as the sole cause.

The ability to crossover between the shows ranges between incredibly difficult, to next to impossible. When the town of Ravenswood was first introduced on Liars it looked ludicrous and instead of backing off on the look, they’ve went full throttle into it.

Crossing over Caleb (Tyler Blackburn), who has a fan favorite pairing with Hanna (Ashley Benson) on Liars, was nonsensical story wise. There was nothing that would drive his character out of Rosewood. Character wise it is senseless.

Why he remains away from his girlfriend to uncover a mystery surrounding people he barely knows goes unexplained. Making it even more preposterous is that Hanna is still battling “A” or whoever the heck is terrorizing her. It is completely out of character for him to abandon her when she is still in need. So in the crossover set-up, the most important aspect, the show fails miserably. 

Blackburn carries the show with aplomb as does cast member Nicole Gale Anderson (Miranda). Sadly, her role has been cut short of its potential. The remaining members of the cast are unremarkable and listless in their delivery. Overall, the show lacks the spark that Liars had when it premiered. The cast of Ravenswood pales in comparison; to the effervescently charming camaraderie of the Liars crew. 

The subtle creepiness that composes Pretty Little Liars’ Twin Peaks  appeal is all lost in the dank and over the top, dreary effects of Ravenswood. The grey camera filter drains the show of any aesthetic appeal. We get it. This is a really creepy place.

Constant visual stimulation is not needed to enforce the point; the story should be doing most of the leg work. Even on its worst day, and there have been many of those on Pretty Little Liars, Ravenswood can’t compete.

Episodes Aired: 2

See It or Free It: Free It, the angst ridden doldrums of this gothic thriller, lacks any thrills. I foresee, getting a bus ticket out ASAP.