Is there anything more annoying than when a TV show has a commercial right at the cliffhanger?! I’m sure most people out there would say “No! That is super annoying and I hate commercials!” But not me, I actually find commercials pretty interesting and love to view them from the perspective of the advertisers (good thing I am an advertisingmajor then, huh?), what I find annoying is the little scroll that runs across the bottom of the screen promoting the show that is playing, whether it is a hashtag about the episode or the show’s website, it really pushes my buttons when the bottom of the screen is covered up by words!

Somehow though, I happened to be sitting down a few weeks ago anxiously watching the season finale of Pretty Little Liars, and I found myself on the ABC Family website, my mouse heading straight for the PLL page. I guess the website flashing constantly at the bottom of the screen subconsciously caught my eye (most likely, the advertisers’ intent) although to be sure I did not go and tweet “#Aday” like the screen also wanted me to do.

I must confess, I was quite disappointed with the overall website about the show, which itself is one of my favorite TV shows and seems to be a big draw for girls in their tweens, teens, and even early twenties.

Star, Lucy Hale, on the cover of Teen Vogue

The front page of the show’s site is very overwhelming, with a garish orange being the color of choice, an orange so bright it almost hurts your eyes (not to be dramatic or anything :)). In my opinion, for the links at the top of the site , the first link should be an “about” section, which would lead a viewer to a page about the overall content of the show. This basic feature cannot be found until one scrolls all the way to the bottom of the page, and even then the information is very limited with the show being described in about one to two paragraphs.

One would think that perhaps a reason a viewer would visit the site would be because they missed an episode and would like a recap of the earlier episodes shown. An episode guide is not easily found, hidden under sections about red carpet events and even a poll, I was able to find a more concise recap on Wikipedia.

I will say though, that one of the website’s best features is that it offers up completely free full episodes streaming online, and getting to video extras about the show is very easy, it’s the first link at the top of the site. The site itself has many extras for fans of the show from photos, and blogs about the episodes to games, and group chat boards, the site even offers a link to a mobile site if a viewer is on their cell phone. 

All in all, the Pretty Little Liars website was a let down and even with the great features, the basic information about the show is lacking and it is not the easiest website to navigate. I continued to explore more of ABC Family’s site and found similar problems on their other shows’ pages. I definitely think this website could be “cleaned up” and the overall design and color scheme re-thought, don’t worry though (which I am sure you all were…) the website won’t turn me off from watching Pretty Little Liars any chance I get. 

  • Have you ever explored a website advertised by a TV show?