The friends are the tarot card tropes of the uptight jock Spencer, the former fatso Hanna, the boring one Aria (Lucy Hale of 'Scre4m') and the confused one Emily. Piper from 'Charmed' plays Aria's Stepford mother and Sydney from 'Melrose Place' plays Hanna's cougar mother.
Various brooding guys hang around. The creepy one, the virgin one, the wannabe date rapist one, Aria's cheating dad who is played by Rob Lowe's brother, Hanna's dad is also a cheater who traded her in for a stepdaughter who wasn't once the size of an Imax screen and there is Ezra who is Aria's creepy perv of an English teacher.
Alison was once the queen bee of their gang of five (now four). She was a horrible, horrible toxic waste of blood and organs. Someone killed her. Everyone's a suspect. Even the blind girl Jenna. The foursome suspect Jenna of evil because as she is apparently the only disabled person in their small town she must be evil.
Plots so far involve mysterious text messages, threats made via lipstick scrawls, a creepy cop, Spencer's mean sister Melissa, country club hijinks, Kendra the Vampire Slayer from 'Buffy' still playing a teenager, slut wear worn to school, shoplifting, patient file stealing, sign defacing, Toby being branded the 'Candyman', the Homecoming dance where no-one brushed their hair, jokes about Samantha Ronson, essay theft, a mysterious tattoo, Emily making a spectacle of herself at a dance and a stalker who has near omnipotent powers to the extent that he/she/it can send hate mail via fortune cookies.
This is okay. But the show is full of unsympathetic morons. The girls are suspicious of Jenna for no apparent reason and are mean to her stepbrother Toby. They foursome are unpleasant shrews. Granted the plots have a soapy appeal but if someone took out most of the characters with a semi-automatic you wouldn't really care.
"Girls like her don't approach guys like me unless they have deep seated self esteem issues and a serious drinking problem."
"I'm so sorry."
"No you're not. You never are."