The classic story of Peter Pan is getting a teen angst-filled retelling with the Alloy Entertainment web series “Wendy.”
Meaghan Martin, who starred in the ill-fated ABC Family show “10 Things I Hate About You,” stars as a modern-day Wendy who must choose between the boy she loves, Jackson, and literally the boy of her dreams, Pete, played by “Pretty Little Liars” star Tyler Blackburn. At first, it's not clear whether Pete is real or imagined, but he becomes more tangible as the fluffy web series goes on.
Pete's first appearance is as part of a band performing at a party, and much of his and Wendy's first interaction is without words -- because in teen shows like this, dialogue doesn’t matter; it’s all about the bedroom eyes.
Unlike it’s Disney counterpart, this brooding Pete can sing, and he’s in a band. Alloy released the single, “Save Me,” sung by Blackburn himself, in August to promote the series. Not only was this Blackburn’s first music video, but it was also his first time recording in a professional studio. Inspired by blues and rock n’ roll, the actor has always felt a deep connection to music.
“It was my first time recording something in a studio,” Blackburn tells The Huffington Post. “ I’ve always been into music. It’s kind of like a common thread in my life, and it was just a great opportunity to really try that out. It’s something that I’ve thought about doing professionally for awhile now. I think that song was great for the web series, but I would probably record something a little bit different for a solo project. I’m just in the explorations right now, just figuring out my voice”
Funnily enough, “Peter Pan” just so happens to be the 24-year-old’s favorite Disney flick. “As a kid, I was mischievious, necessarily, but I always wanted to do adventurous stuff,” he says. “I mean, who doesn’t want to fly? It was like this jungle summer camp and I just wanted to go so badly.”
But just because it’s “Peter Pan” 2.0, don’t expect teen heartthrob Blackburn to walk around in tights. In these modern-day times, skinny jeans will do just fine.
“He’s a little updated, so there’s no tights,” Blackburn jokingly says. “He’s edgy. He’s not quite so juvenile. Basically, he comes to Wendy through her dreams, it seems like at first, but he represents to her everything that she’s seeking in life -- mystery and excitement. He sort of lures her to hopefully come away with him and leave her mundane boring life behind her and have some fun. It’s kind of mysterious because of that, but it’s also romantic.”
And romance is something that Blackburn does really well. When he’s not rocking out as Pete, he’s playing Caleb, Rosewood’s sarcastic bad boy in ABC Family's hit teen series “Pretty Little Liars,” which is also produced by Alloy Entertainment. Caleb, having spent sometime in California with his birth mother and half-siblings, is finally back in Rosewood -- and with Hanna.
“He’s taking it slow this season,” reveals Blackburn. “He’s kind of found a home in Rosewood, he’s in love and I think his life is becoming more complete, which can definitely soften people. When we’re searching for things and angry about certain things from our past, it kind of shows. And when you finally get closure, you do soften up. I think for the rest of the season, his whole thing is about Hanna and helping Hanna and loving her and protecting her.”
And for all you “Pretty Little Liars” fans, just because Caleb spent a few months on the west coast, don’t expect him to pick up a guitar and start serenading his love Hanna anytime soon.
“I’m not sure that Caleb is necessarily the singing type,” said Blackburn. “He has his own strong points, and I don’t think being a musician is one of them.”
"Wendy" airs new episodes on its YouTube channel on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Watch the first episode below.