Troian Bellisario: Don’t Ignore Teen Shows Like Pretty Little Liars For Emmys!
Troian Bellisario urges Emmy Awards voters not to ignore teen shows like “Pretty Little Liars” when they cast their ballots in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter.
The actress argues that there are “so many different ways to tell a story” in modern television’s golden age, with a “variety of styles and genres all being celebrated and explored.”
“So why is it that with all the different types of shows being recognized this Emmy season, the ones like mine, ‘teen shows,’ are written off as fluff?” asks Bellisario, adding, “What if they are telling good stories too, just in a different way?”
Girls, Veep, House of Cards and Breaking Bad could not be more different in their style of storytelling, and yet we love and value them all. I believe it’s because no matter how different the method of storytelling, they all seek to express the same thing: truth, truth that represents a human experience. Otherwise, we wouldn’t watch them. So, can there be truth in a teenage soap?
Bellisario says that the genre’s fans see more than “the hair and the hashtags splattered across the screen.”
The star explains:
They see a version of their truth, their struggle to feel safe in high school, their loyalty to their best friend, their fear of their first broken heart. When a teenager likes a more mature show we congratulate them on their elevated taste, but when someone older enjoys a teen show, they hide it, they call it their “guilty pleasure.” Why? Weren’t you in high school once? Don’t you remember what it was like?”
She wonders why certain acclaimed sitcoms and dramas are “considered within the context of the style of their show,” while series like “Pretty Little Liars” and “The Vampire Diaries” are always ignored.
I’m not comparing our show to any other show, I’m not comparing myself to any other actor (especially not Bryan Cranston —please God, no!), but as someone on a teen soap I can tell you that I work with a cast and crew that searches for those same human truths, and who strives to convey those truths with compelling depth and excellence. We are just beholden to a different style of storytelling. And that is also worthy of serious consideration.
She makes an interesting case.
What do you think about what Bellisario says?