Sponsored by the Paley Center for Media , thePaleyfest is a two week event which allows fans to connect with the producers and cast members of their favorite television shows via a live panel.
This year, I got to see the panel for two of my favorite shows: ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars and ABC’s Marvel: Agents of Shield.
Today, I thought I’d share highlights from the Pretty Little Liars Paleyfest Panel.
Based on the series by Sara Shepard, Pretty Little Liars is a mystery-thriller set in the fictional town of Rosewood, Pennsylvania. It follows the lives of Spencer, Aria, Hanna and Emily, four teens whose lives are thrown completely off balance when their queen bee, Alison disappears. One year after Alison’s disappearance, her four friends begin receiving messages from a mysterious stranger called “A”, who threatens to reveal all their secrets.
My writer friend Jenn got me hooked on Pretty Little Liars a couple of years ago. She said it was the perfect thing to watch if I wanted to learn more about the YA (young adult) culture/lingo for my YA books. So this past March 16th, Jenn and I attended the Paleyfest for Pretty Little Liars.
The Dolby Theater was packed with people, most of them were teenage girls who are the shows’ biggest fanbase.
At the Paleyfest, they usually treat the audience to an advanced screening of the next episode. But since the Pretty Little Liars season finale was the following week, we didn’t get to watch the episode. Instead, they treated us to an old clip featuring a teenage Chad Lowe (one of the actors on PLL), and an hour and a half long panel with the cast and producers of the show.
Executive producers Marlene King, Joe Dougherty and Oliver Goldstick, were present for the panel, along with stars Troian Bellisario (Spencer); Ashley Benson (Hanna); Lucy Hale (Aria); Shay Mitchell (Emily); Sasha Pieterse (Ali); Ian Harding (Ezra); Janel Parrish (Mona) and Keegan Allen (Toby).
Troian Bellisario (Spencer); Ashley Benson (Hanna); Lucy Hale (Aria); Shay Mitchell (Emily); Sasha Pieterse (Ali); Ian Harding (Ezra)
It was amazing to see the cast live and to watch them interact and talk about their characters. They revealed key plot points in the season finale (which aired March 18th), and dropped hints about the upcoming 5th season. It was fun to see the cast as real people, bantering with each other and revealing what they thought about their work. At one point, Troian Bellisario challenged Ian Harding to show off his sound effects skills. Actor Ian Harding provided the sound effects as Troian Bellisario pretended to shoot him with an arrow.
Ian Harding (Ezra) provides the sound effects as Troian Bellisario (Spencer) pretends to shoot him with an arrow.
We learned that many of the cast were musically talented and would often have impromptu jamming sessions. Three of the show’s stars can actually dance and sing. Lucy Hale, who starred in Disney’s Another Cinderella Story, actually released a country album. Janelle Parrish, who plays Mona, has Broadway background, and Keegan Allen who plays Toby sings and plays guitar.
The producers actually thought about doing a musical episode to highlight the stars’ talents, and the cast even joked about having a Broadway version as well.
Fans also asked about a movie version and Executive Producer Marlene King said that they would love to make a movie when the show ends.
After the two hour presentation, fans rushed to the stage to get their favorite stars to sign posters and what not.
Jenn and i didn’t even bother to try and get through the crowd, for fear of being trampled. But we did enjoy the show and left with some fond memories of our favorite show.
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