“Pretty Little Liars” The Complete Third Season has plenty of surprises that thankfully overshadow some of the lamer moments or tedious storylines. The four leading ladies still share great friendship chemistry with one another while the supporting cast lend to being devious suspects and/or foils for the girls. The DVD offered by Warner isn’t anything spectacular with the features but the audio/video transfers are more than adequate for the home viewing audience.
Genre(s): Mystery, Drama
Warner Bros. | NR – 1056 min. – $59.98 | June 4, 2013
Directed by: Various
Writer(s): Sara Shepard (books); I. Marlene King (developed by)
Cast: Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell, Tyler Blackburn, Holly Marie Combs, Ian Harding, Laura Leighton, Chad Lowe, Janel Parrish, Sasha Pieterse
Features: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel
Number of Discs: 5
Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
THE MOVIE – 4.0/5
At the end of the second season, the Pretty Little Liars — Aria (LUCY HALE), Emily (SHAY MITCHELL), Hanna (ASHLEY BENSON) and Spencer (TROIAN BELLISARIO) — discovered classmate Mona (JANEL PARRISH) had been their nemesis “A”. However, as one would expect from a popular series, Mona wasn’t the mastermind. And there’s one final shocker: Emily’s girlfriend, Maya, was found murdered.
Season three of “Pretty Little Liars” begins five months later with the friends back together after summer break. While three of them seem to be doing fine, especially believing “A”/Mona is secure at the mental hospital, Emily is still reeling from Maya’s death and has turned to alcohol to numb the pain. In the early morning hours, they awaken to find Emily gone. We find her, shovel in hand, standing over Alison’s grave… now empty. Later the girls join her after receiving a call from Emily’s phone and it appears the game is afoot (to put in Sherlock Holmes terms) with “A” apparently back in action.
Along with being tormented by “A”, and getting the bigger picture of his/her plans which includes others in the scheme, each girl has their own season storyline. Aria’s relationship with Ezra (IAN HARDING) gets tested when she discovers old flame Maggie (LARISA OLEYNIK) has a son Ezra doesn’t know about; Emily begins a new romance with Paige (LINDSEY SHAW) while also making a connection with Maya’s cousin, Nate (STERLING SULIEMAN); Hanna and Caleb’s (TYLER BLACKBURN) relationship remains somewhat strained early but caring for him, attempts to fill the void in his heart finding his father; and Spencer and Toby’s romance continues to go strong but “A” makes things uncomfortable with one of bigger surprises in the show’s history…
Obviously with a 24-episode season, it’s tough to keep the momentum with the mystery surround “A” and the person behind the hood. Also adding into the mix, is the lady in the red coat which only brings more questions that will seep into season four alongside “A”. One of the problems I have with the show, albeit its only four years in now (with a fifth season already confirmed), is how far the writers and producers can keep the mystery going before it becomes ridiculously over-the-top and overly complicated. As with “Lost”, the series has had its fair share of double-crosses, misunderstandings, lies, secrets (of course) and double agents to the point where I wonder how much longer it can go on. Perhaps the introduction of “Red Coat” will perhaps bring towards a wrap of “A”… or complicate matters even further.
Episodes (favorites marked with an asterisk):
1. It Happened “That Night”*
2. Blood is the New Black*
3. Kingdom of the Blind
4. Birds of a Feather
5. That Girl is Poison
6. The Remains of the A
8. Stolen Kisses*
9. The Kahn Game
10. What Lies Beneath
11. Single Fright Female
12. The Lady Killer*
13. This is a Dark Ride*
14. She’s Better Now
16. Misery Loves Company*
17. Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Inferno
18. Dead to Me
19. What Happens of the Broken-Hearted?
20. Hot Water*
21. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
22. Will the Circle be Unbroken?*
23. I’m Your Puppet
24. A Dangerous Game*
All in all, despite some dumb moments, “Pretty Little Liars” is still a fun show featuring great performances from the main cast and a mystery which still lends viewers the need to watch the next episode. It’s not quite the addiction that season two was but with the introduction of “Red Coat” and a (fan-termed) “B-Team”, the series still has plenty of life in it.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5
As with the previous season sets, season three comes with a matted side-sliding slip cover. Inside is a small pamphlet with episodes and synopsis’.
Unaired Scenes (TRT 13:29) – Scenes from 11 episodes are spread across all five discs. There’s nothing of import among them and likely were removed due to pacing and/or time constraints.
‘The Lady Killer’ Alternate Endings (1:13) are a set of alt. teaser endings. As you may already know, the ending to aired episode revealed ____ (you know who if you’ve seen it) to be part of the “A” team but in these the filmmakers had different plans with other characters under the hood.
Pretty Little Liars and the “A” Network (15:11) gets reactions and thoughts about the A and all of his/her accolades, which especially come to light in season three. They also discuss the various suspects of the real “A”.
Gag Reel (6:00) features on-set miscues and flubbed lines.
Webisodes (TRT 13:54) – There are eight webisodes included: “A Reservation” (0:50), “A Reunion” (2:15), “A Voicemail” (1:12), “I’m a Free Man” (2:19), “Trade Off” (2:06), “Association” (1:00), “Call Security” (2:59), “The A Train” (1:13).
VIDEO – 4.0/5
“Pretty Little Liars” The Complete Third Season arrives on DVD presented with a adequate video transfer. Presented in 1.78 anamorphic widescreen, the show pretty much matches what was shown on television. While the HD version had some better detail, this one isn’t too bad and the color looks well balanced.
AUDIO – 3.75/5
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is good enough providing some good depth through the numerous teen angst song choices. The dialogue and other elements, like any action, is on the front-loaded side but still not too bad. I wouldn’t call this a dynamic track but it serves its purpose for home viewers.
OVERALL – 3.75/5
Overall, “Pretty Little Liars” The Complete Third Season has plenty of surprises that thankfully overshadow some of the lamer moments or tedious storylines. The four leading ladies still share great friendship chemistry with one another while the supporting cast lend to being devious suspects and/or foils for the girls. The DVD offered by Warner isn’t anything spectacular with the features but the audio/video transfers are more than adequate for the home viewing audience.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman