The mystery makes Pretty Little Liars more entertaining than the tedium of Gossip Girls, and many parents might actually enjoy watching along with their young adults, who can explain why this sort of thing is so alluring to them.
There is no socially redeeming value in this series and your kids shouldn't watch it if they are too young and impressionable. But if you can distract them enough to miss the first 15 minutes, the show isn't half-bad. Actually, it is half-good.
The mystery element of this show might intrigue but viewers need to care about the characters first, and there's not much in the first hour to suggest that will happen. So far, Pretty Little Liars is a silly little show.
The existence of an invisible, BlackBerry-obsessed social observer copies shamelessly from the conceit of Gossip Girl. But at this point, any series about teenagers that imagines a world without vampires feels like remarkable cultural progress.