On a crisp Tuesday evening in California, I saunter into The Hollywood Forever Cemetery for a very exciting screening. I’m usually loathe to watch television in pants, but for the über pretties of Pretty Little Liars I am happy to make the rare effort. Tonight ABC family is pre-screening the PLL Halloween special in an infamously glorious cemetery. There’s also a red carpet, where stars Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale and Sasha Pieterse will be forced to briefly interact with me. I’m sandwiched between two major gossip outlets before the red carpet’s final feet, where last glimmers of enthusiasm are wont to die.
Credit must be given to ABC Family: The event is gorgeous. Silver platters laden with fall-chic nibbles and hard “Liar” lemonade cover every available surface to keep guests full and toasty. A very meta photobooth takes four pictures and turns them into a tweetable gif just for you, of you. I love it. No expense has been spared because tonight isn’t just about Pretty Little Liars: It’s aalso bout Ravenswood, a new spin off. Events in tonight’s episode of PLL will lay the foundation for Ravenswood AND finally reveal whether or not Ali is alive. I’m bound by pinkie swear/journalistic integrity/manners not to reveal much, but I confirm that fans will get a legitimate answer.
Caution: Mild spoilers ahead!
All photos by Bethany Wilde
While you’re waiting for the Halloween Special to hit commoner airwaves tonight, allow me to tide you over with insights from the stars themselves. First to foray before my insightful gaze were, alas, boys. Glorious boys with the bone structure of a Ukrainian ballerina and teeth of an orthodontist’s favorite child, but boys none the less. My straight photographer is aflutter but I, unmoved, wave the strapping lads along. It’s politely uncomfortable, like refusing to shake a politician’s hand or declining an invitation to dance. Am I the only lesbian who has trouble telling men apart? Mostly unattractive middle aged men, who are identical, but even resplendent man boys of LA are starting to blur together in my eyes.
When Cody Christian (Mike Montgomery) stops in front of me expectantly, looking like a pre-blow Zac Efron. He, like everyone in front of me, is good looking to the point of suspicion. Beautiful people always strike me as a bit shady. You never know what they could get away with. Cody chirps “Hello” brightly and I scramble to find a polite way of saying, “My audience and I have no interest in you.”
“You seem lovely,” I say firmly, “but I write for a lesbian audience and they’re just interested in the girls.” People titter, and for a brief moment Cody just stares at me, Tiger Beat blue eyes bewildered. I smile. He smiles. I laugh. He laughs. Oh God, we’re mimicking. Cody is a good sport and moseys along to a more mainstream outlet while I brace for the next celeb.
Boys and not beautiful people trickle past, looking at us expectantly, but my eyes are fixed upon my golden proverbial horizon: Troian!
With reptilian dexterity, I slither through a hoard of camera wielding outlets to interrogate with WASPY starlet.
AE: Why should readers tune in to the Pretty Little Liars Halloween Special?
Troian: Because at the end of this episode, you’re going to find out whether or not Ali is still alive! And that’s something fans, and Spencer, have been wanting to find out forever!
AE: What’s your favorite moment from this episode?
Troian: Oh, no. I’m going to have to be so vague! OK, there’s this one cool moment when Spencer gets a one-on-one with somebody. And she kicks ASS.
AE: I heard there are new characters coming to Rosewood! What can you tell us about them?
Troian: Well, they’re not vampires! But they are incredible, and I’m always excited to welcome new actors. That’s what’s so wonderful about this show! We’re a teen show, and a lot of it is about the hair and the makeup and the costumes. But we also get good actors.
AE: What would someone need for a Spencer Halloween costume?
Troian: “Well that depends on what Spencer you are. Are you drunk Spencer? Are you crazy Spencer? Are you normal Spencer? Are you school Spencer? You can probably just through on a cardigan and some equestrian boots. Then if you’re crazy Spencer, just whack out your hair and wear no makeup. That’s what I did. And if you’re drunk Spencer, just dance on everything, do really inappropriate things, and try to make out with people!
Troian looks like a geek-goddess in noir and royal purple. The girl has charisma, and, alas, the girl is walking on.