A SPIN-OFF THAT WILL MAKE YOUR HEAD SPIN

by Nadin Pyatnitsa 

Welcome to Ravenswood, a small town where people party at the cemeteries… live near the cemeteries, and overall hangout a lot at the cemeteries. Frankly, it is the location that I’ve seen the most so far.
 A younger cousin and a spin-off of Pretty Little Liars, Ravenswoodis definitely a blood chiller.
Following the ‘Halloween special’ episode of Pretty Little Liars, Ravenswood takes us to a small town of Ravenswood (shocker, I know) where Caleb Rivers comes to reunite with her girlfriend Hanna Marin (Pretty Little Liars) on All Hallows’ Eve and where he stays to help his new friend Miranda Collins (Ravenswood) to find her family – and kinda figure out why there are graves of Caleb Rivers and Miranda Collins at a local cemetery. (I don’t know about you but if I saw my own grave, I’d probably pack my stuff and be out of there in a blink of an eye. But then again, it wouldn’t make a decent TV series, would it?)
A few minutes – TV minutes, obviously – later they meet a bunch of other local kids that seem to be somehow connected to the whole graveyard mystery thing. And the ride begins!
THE DO’S
~ Ravenswooddefinitely gets points – LOTS of them – for the never-ending creep factor. Ouija Boards, ghosts, poltergeists, blood coming out of the faucets instead or water and such. My favorite are usually when people find themselves trapped somewhere, be it an old house, a creepy attic, or the afterlife.
~ I would say that the story in general feels interesting. I like not knowing what’s going on. I like mysteries and secrets and reveals in every episode. I like – I definitely like – the cliffhangers and OMG moments. Ravenswood is a gem for the true fans of all things supernatural.
~ No one – literary NO ONE – is ever safe. Hell, they killed the main character in the first episode! … Ooops, spoiler alert? … Which kind of makes them totally badass. And the fact that they use ensemble cast, which makes it hard to define who the whole story is about, exactly, definitely raises the stakes for all of them.
~ You never know who to trust. How can that not be intriguing?
~ Caleb Rivers, an ‘adopted’ character from Pretty Little Liars played by Tyler Blackburn, is an eye candy (spelled AI KANDEE). Often a shirtless eye candy. Did I just say that? Just… just keep on reading.
~ Dunno about you guys but small towns with big secrets are the best! Especially the ones where people die seemingly without reasons. In some gruesome ways. All the time. What’s not to love?
~ Everything paranormal!!
THE DON’T’S
~ The first couple of episodes of the show are hugely expositional. I think I’ve never disliked any back story as much as the one stuffed in our throats in Ravenswood. Now, some of it, maybe all of it, is quite important, or will be at one time or another, but too much at once is never ever a good idea.
~ All the creepy things only work when the creators do their best with the budget, not push the limits like they did with a couple of ‘green screen’ scenes that were so cheesy and horrible and obvious I wanted to claw my eyes out. I would definitely advise them to back off the VFX they can’t afford.
~ 24-year olds play 17-year olds is a no-go. No matter how hard they try, it’s really hard to sell. I do not doubt them as actors but come on, they LOOK older, and no make-up can fix that. In fact, make-up really makes it worse 😛
~ Do NOT mess with another show’s storyline. Caleb and Hanna are true sweethearts on Pretty Little Liars, and if Ravenswood ruins it, I will flip. Consider yourselves warned. That said, having the storylines of two different shows as connected as the plots as Pretty Little Liars and Ravenswoodseems dangerous. First of all, the creators basically make it necessary to (1) watch both of the shows to be able to stay on track and (2) accept the fact that one of the fan-favorite things about Pretty Little Liars is no more.
AAAAANYWAY.
The story is pretty decent by far, very confusing but compelling. All things considered, I probably wouldn’t call myself the biggest fan if only because it is hard to take stories about teenagers seriously. Yet, I’m willing to give them a chance and see where they are going to go with all the build-up and hype.
The dialogue in the first couple of episodes was so on the nose I spent most of time cringing, but if they keep working on it and if they maintain a good balance of creepy but not overly so, they are good to go.
At this point, I can’t really see the story growing into season two, especially considering the fact that some of the fans that this show gained by default from Pretty Little Liars may not accept certain storylines and not stick with Ravenswood for long. But I guess we’ve all seen worse, and I am more than eager to give this show a try and see where it’ll take me by the end of Season 1.
teamplotbunnies@gmail.com'

Four screenwriters candidly writing about film, television, novels, comic books, video games, and fanfiction.

Comments are closed.