Take Pretty Little Liars’ mysterious dreamboat Caleb Rivers, add a creepy town with lots of skeletons in its closet and a handful of sarcastic one-liners, and you’ve got Ravenswood, the PLL spin-off that made its debut Tuesday on ABC Family.
Although Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) is only coming to Ravenswood to help girlfriend Hanna and her friends solve a mystery, he is joined on a bus ride to the eerie town by Miranda (Nicole Gale Anderson, Beauty and the Beast), who is heading to the same destination to meet her uncle, her only known relative — who also happens to be the guy who abandoned her when she was just a child, forcing her into the not-so-loving arms of foster families.
It’s not long before the two arrive in Ravenswood and realize they’re connected somehow. Their only evidence? Matching headstones in the Ravenswood cemetery, engraved with their names and featuring old photos that look just like them.
But Caleb and Miranda aren’t the only entangled in Ravenswood’s spooky history. Three more are also entangled in the ominous curse plaguing the town:
• Olivia and Luke, siblings whose father was recently killed — with their mother as the town’s No. 1 suspect.
• Remy, girlfriend of Luke and daughter to the editor of the Ravenswood Gazette. If there were ever a character to sympathize with, it’s this quirky gal. Not only has her father forbidden her to see Luke, but her mother (who recently returned as the sole survivor of an ambush in Afghanistan) is just barely keeping her head above water as she struggles with nightmares and guilt.
Slowly — very slowly — the five teenagers begin to connect the dots and realize they are part of something much larger than themselves. And they’re living on borrowed time before Ravenswood’s resident ghost exacts her revenge.
As many pilots do, Ravenswood’s premiere included lot of exposition to wade through. And while the pace picked up in the last 10 minutes, several questions remained unanswered: How and why are these five strangers connected? Is there more than just one ghost haunting the town? And why is Miranda’s uncle so creepy?
Ultimately, Ravenswood is a sufficiently spooky tale — and you don’t have to be a Pretty Little Liars fan to enjoy the hair-raising series. Or that’s what we think, anyway! What’s your take? Grade Ravenswood via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!