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Published on August 15th, 2011 | by Melody Simpson


‘The Lying Game’ Series Premiere Review: Pilot

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ABC Family brings yet another Sara Shepard book to life with The Lying Game, which premiered last night to quite a satisfied audience, at least according to Twitter. Readers soon realized that this one-hour drama is loosely connected to the book series. More importantly, ABC Family has molded it into its own piece which is actually incredibly fun to watch.

As far as what has changed for the television series, Sutton is alive for one. And the long lost twin sisters have been talking online for three months when the show begins. This is actually an element of the show that many may be delighted to see, because we do not know everything that Sutton and Emma talked about over the past three months, and surely the secret that they are baring of their twin identities is only the first of many. What wasn’t so thrilling to see, no matter how action packed Emma’s escape seemed, was Emma’s foster mom calling the cops on her after she found money missing. It was implied that Emma was the innocent one, due to her pervert foster brother’s recent secretive actions, but not getting inside her head like readers get to in the book and not getting to see what ultimately provoked Emma to leave was a bit disappointing. Changes like this may have readers wondering if and when Sutton dies and if “The Lying Game” safe in Sutton’s room will be incorporated into the show.

So when Emma gets to Sutton’s, Sutton informs her of the new lead, which leads the search for their biological parents to Los Angeles. Sutton plans to head to LA while Emma impersonates her at home in Texas in the mean time. This is a major change in the story line compared to the book, though to outline the series’ longevity, it is completely understandable why the writers and producers chose to drive the story this way. Plus, it works. The mystery is there no matter what but now there are even more doors available to go through, there’s more room to lie and get caught up in sticky situations. For example, Sutton’s relationship with Thayer is not dwelled on much at all in the first book of The Lying Game series, so watching this mystery unfold on the screen is quite exhilarating and is sure to bring half of the anticipation every Monday night. Also, watching both Sutton and Luke cheat on each other, it’s typical and unfortunately predictable so there definitely needs to be more going on here and not just between Emma, Sutton, and the adorable Gale.

There are a few negative things that can be said about the show. For one, there’s Alice Greczyn who does not pass at all as an underclassman in high school. Greczyn is gorgeous and her features are so much more mature than the other girls, making her stand out in every scene. While she is only 25 years old, she looks far more mature and much too old to play this part. It’s distracting. Then there are the similarities to the upcoming new fall series on The CW, Ringer starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Though Gellar is a much more seasoned actress than The Lying Game lead, Alexandra Chando, so there’s the incredibly talented lead with a gigantic following up against the Soap turned ABC Family lead. Important to note though is that Alexandra Chando is doing a fabulous job at playing dual characters and that is not to be overlooked. Plus, there are plenty of familiar ABC Family faces backing her up including Kirsten Prout previously from Kyle XY. Aside from this casting bit, viewers will have to tune into Ringer this fall and then make their judgments as to which of these shows is more their style. There’s definitely more teen angst in The Lying Game, so this alone may be the deciding factor for some. But don’t let the young adult genre completely sway you because this show is just as captivating as Pretty Little Liars and every other series on ABC Family right now. While this is not exactly a series one would watch with the entire family, the older audience will surely enjoy this series as much as the younger audience. The Lying Game is sure to take its viewers on one ridiculously entertaining roller coaster and that is no lie, so make sure to keep watching.

On a final note, were any readers bummed out about not getting to see a scene with Gale and Emma on the tennis court late at night? Were you happy with how the tennis was incorporated into the series?

Stay tuned for Adrian Pasdar (Heroes) to begin is arc in episode 2!

Watch The Lying Game Mondays at 9/8c on ABC Family.

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  • Katie Lucius

    I really enjoyed the first episode. I’ve never read the books but the show, itself, is amazing. From the start though, the writers are taking the show in their own direction and not following the books to the tee. But its good that it will loosely follow the books. I’ll probably start reading the books to see how they are. I really loved the first episode and can’t wait the next episode. The first episode left questions that are begging to be anwsered and there’s no doubt in my mind like any other soap drama TV show the next episode will only leave more questions instead of anwsers. Anyway, I can’t wait for the next episode!

  • Dok .

    What a terrible review. For anyone that has not read the books and merely wants to know what this show is about it is unreadable! 

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