Now I’m about to do something that I don’t normally do: I’m going to tell you not to watch a show that’s actually quite good. Pretty Little Liars was the summer’s surprise success story for The CW, a kind of blending of Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries in which a group of four friends with lots of deep dark secrets are reunited and think they’re been stalked by a former friend who they all think is dead. It’s not my cup of tea, but it’s surprisingly good for what it is.
Now it’s been acquired by Viva, which is one of those odd Freeview channels (it’s also on Sky and Virgin) in the UK that no one in the UK has heard of that mysteriously acquires decent US programming (cf Community), the result of which is that no one gets to see the decent programmes, because no one knows they’re on. Viva seems to be aware of this problem since it recently ran a stunt to promote Pretty Little Liars: they blocked off traffic and sent four weeping girls around the streets of central London in a mock funeral procession. I can see from the photos that Regent’s Street, Oxford Street, Panton Street and Great Marlborough Street at the very least all got snarled up by this, which means all the roads in between them did, too.
So I’m saying this now: central London’s traffic is messed up enough already without stupid PR companies running stupid stunts like this. So don’t encourage Viva to do it again. Don’t watch Pretty Little Liars, even though it’s quite good.