TV Rundown: Week of Jan 24 | 'Pretty Little Liars' Ramps Up, 'War & Peace' Reaches Week 2

Pretty Little Liars cleared up some misconceptions from last week by revealing why Emily was seeing a doctor and Spencer was sharing flirtatiously darted looks at Caleb. It turns out Emily is donating her eggs and Spencer’s crush on Caleb isn’t unrequited.

The monumental decision to donate DNA to create a child she may never meet was pretty much brushed over and while Emily sold the idea to Hanna without any hesitation, the fact she didn’t want to share it with her mom says she might be a little more conflicted.

Hanna didn’t even ask if she’s done any legal legwork to assure she could to meet her children at some point in the future, in the event that’s something she comes to desire.

Now onto Spencer, who broke “girl code” by pursuing her best friend’s ex. To Spencer’s credit she did seek Hanna’s approval, which she was granted before making her play for Caleb. Hanna moved a little too quickly on giving her the green light, as the teaser for next week’s episode indicated.

She was clearly motivated out of trying to convince everyone and herself she’s totally over Caleb. What in the heck broke them up in the first place, by the way? Did Caleb want to travel the world sharing political banter and Hanna didn’t share his vision? Whatever the reason, it’s going to have to be better than “growing apart”. They’ve always been two birds of a feather. 

As for Aria’s storyline, she began ghost writing Ezra’s book without his knowledge or permission. That’s going to backfire. Then again the show intimated that Ezra might not even notice since they’re so alike, he and Aria basically share the same stream of conscious when it comes to writing. Oh boy.

Out of all of the Liars’ newfound love interests, it’s Aria’s new guy who’s been the most endearing. Sadly for him, he doesn’t know what the rest of viewers do, Aria never chooses anyone over Ezra. Sorry new guy!

[Image by BBC]
War and Peace waged a siege of tranquility in its second outing. In comparison to the premiere, there wasn’t as much going on in this chapter. The cliffhanger concerning Pierre and his duel with Dolokhov were resolved in the show’s opening minutes and everything that followed was rather dull in contrast.

The fallout from Pierre’s act of retribution, comprised most of his storyline as he struggled to come to grips with his rash behavior. He wound up finding a more mature version of himself along the way. Also finding his way towards manhood was Andrei, who returned home from soldiering to face the tragedy of his wife dying shortly after his return.

Now a single father, Andrei sought out a more pastoral way of life for himself. It’s a lifestyle change of pace Pierre shared with his friend. The second part of the series contained its biggest difference between this adaptation and King Vidor’s. Andrei’s capacity for compassion and progressive role in his son’s parenting are completely absent in this retelling, an aspect that heavily enriched Vidor’s version.

Andrei’s love story with Natasha remained intact as the two finally set eyes on each other towards the latter half of the week’s installment. The ballroom sequence was beautifully done and the intertwining of various scenes depicting the development of their relationship was an effective effort to speed along their union.

It was also a good use of the “falling in love” montage in general, a commonly utilized device by movies to leap over the issue of making audiences believe in a rapidly created relationship. With so much effort made to build the three main characters individually, it would’ve been nice to have spent a little more time seeing how the characters intermingled together.

Scenes like the one with Natasha and her brother singing (awkward!) could’ve been readily dismissed to make room for a more realistic build up to her and Andrei. Just a thought…

[Featured Image by Freeform]

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