Watching the new season of Pretty Little Liars makes me feel like I’m getting to know these girls all over again. 5 years have passed and a lot has happened that has shaped these girls into young women. At the same time, by the end of the episode, it becomes evident that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t escape the past and old habits die hard.
The liars are once again being investigated by the corrupt Rosewood PD. Thanks a lot Lorenzo. Since Charlotte turned up dead mere hours after the girls came back to town, they are suspects and it doesn’t help that they are all lying to each other. You’d think they would know better by now right? Hannah knows Aria left the hotel around the same time Charlotte was murdered, so she finds it super suspicious that Aria is the only one trying to skip town when the cops precisely told them to stay put. And no, a good job isn’t an excuse. When she confronts her, Aria feeds her a really basic lie and hops on a plane. But not before confronting Ezra and making sure he keeps their secret meeting well, a secret.
I’m glad to know Aria is totally innocent. All she wanted was some catch up time with Ezra the night she slipped away from the hotel, but actions come with consequences and if the tape of her leaving the hotel ever got out, she could be connected to the murder… hence Hannah deleting all the footage from that night. By the end of the episode, Ezra becomes the perfect murder suspect because he’s off the rocker, lying to Aria about what he did that night and really upset that deranged Charlotte walked free while his innocent girlfriend died. Not to mention that Spencer sort of gave him the idea by letting him in on her criminology paper. Is it a coincidence that Charlotte died the same was the victim in Spencer’s research paper? Doubtful. There are no coincidences in Rosewood.
The girls may have matured, but like I said old habits die hard. That speaks volumes for Ali, who sells the girls out to Lorenzo after she realizes they are covering something up about her sister’s death. Isn’t it just so typical of Ali? She brings the girls back, begs them to forgive her sister but then the minute something happens, she throws the girls under the bus. Why do they even help her anymore? After she told Lorenzo she thinks one of her friends was capable of murder, that basically sets them all back and to the top of the suspects list… a place they are all too familiar with.
We learn a little bit about what happened in the 5 years when everyone gets together for dinner at Ali’s house. Caleb went off to backpack Europe when Hannah decided she was going to focus on work. She didn’t mean to fall in love, but she did, with her boss Jordan, who I’m not very fond of. His accent is not cute at all and I love British boys. Surprisingly, Caleb is really cool with it because he’s an awesome dude who just wants Hannah to be happy. But is she really happy? She may have been in a false sense, but after returning to Rosewood, she’s definitely not. I think she need someone that didn’t remind her of her past, but the girls have gone through so much together, it’s inevitable to get sucked back in.
Caleb however magically ran into Spencer in Madrid, which is where their relationship started. I’d call it a romantic coincidence if you will. You know when we all thought these two might be dating? Well that isn’t the case… but the feelings are definitely there. And they definitely boned in Madrid. Their eyes were basically saying “I loved having sex with you that night” and I was like MMMM CHILD! Oh and Caleb also became a super hacker/computer dude who is now working on the Hasting’s campaign and helping Veronica do some good PR because of course, the world is now connecting Spencer to Charlotte’s death. I’m sure she’s thrilled he’s sticking around and hey, maybe she’ll even give him a spot in her bed!
Emily continues to remain a mystery and she’s hiding a lot of things from a lot of people. We know that she dropped out of school after failing classes and loosing her scholarship. I can’t really blame her – she was always super close to her dad and his death definitely took a toll on her. And since her mom was always very focused on school, she never had the heart to tell her or her friends that she’s kind of a failure. Especially since they’re all pretty successful. Then there’s that “treatment” thing that I can’t really figure out. Is Emily sick? What is she getting treatment for? I need more of this backstory.
As for Aria, she moved on with a new dude named Liam, who is cute in his own nerdy way. They work together, keep their relationship a secret, and make out in the office. Aria always had a thing for forbidden relationships! But it seems she hasn’t told Liam about Ezra being more than just her teacher. And she uses the fact that Ezra wants to give back his book advance as a way to see him and hopefully motivate him to write a second book. Payday!
- Is it bad that I thought Caleb and Spencer were kind of cute?
- I need some backstory on that girl trying to chat it up with Emily. What’s her deal?
- Why wasn’t Toby invited to the dinner? Why did he break up with Spencer? Who is his new girlfriend?
- Where is Jenna?
- Could the “guy” that is the new big bad A possibly be Lucas?
- Where is Mona? What has she been up to in these past 5 years besides dabbling in politics?
- What was Alison up to? How does she get with Dr. Rollins?
- If Hannah gets mad that Spencer has feelings for Caleb, then she’s clearly not over him right? She’s just liking the money and freedom that comes with dating him.
- Could Ezra have killed Charlotte? What is he not telling us?
- Why is Sara Harvey so creepy? Like home girl is deranged right? And the burnt hand thing… so creepy. She has a man that signs things for her and she wears gloves. Could she be innocent? I’m skeptical.
8 Murder Mystery TV Shows to Watch and Solve
Do you fancy yourself a little crime sleuth? Well, throw on your trench coat, grab your magnifying glass, and set out to solve the biggest murder mysteries to hit networks and streaming services!
The murder mystery genre, while always popular, has been skyrocketing in recent years, with plenty of new TV shows and movies to capture the thrills and chills.
There’s nothing like a whodunnit to get you through the day and keep you on your toes. But while some classics date as far back as the 1985 Clue movie or all the Agatha Christie novels now getting new life as films (Murder on the Orient Express or A Haunting in Venice, for example), others, like Knives Out and Glass Onion have revitalized the genre and gave us some of the most captivating shows.
There’s no shortage of content for mystery enthusiasts to enjoy—but here’s 8 of our favorites!
High Seas – Netflix (3 seasons)
Netflix allows audiences to dive into the world of suspense on the high seas with its Spanish mystery series set on a luxury cruise ship in the 1940s. A web of love, deceit, and, of course, a string of murders will keep you on your toes as two sisters investigate all passengers onboard and try to piece the clues—and plot twists—together.
Nancy Drew – The CW (4 seasons)
Who killed Lucy Sable? That’s the question on everyone’s lips as Nancy Drew kicks off its first season with Kennedy McMann taking on the iconic role of the teenage detective. As the seasons continue, she and her Drew Crew become the lifeline to solving crimes in the mystical small town of Horseshoe Bay (much to the dismay of local officials). The intrigue is elevated with supernatural elements and plot points that bring the beloved character into the 21st century.
Only Murders in the Building – Hulu (3 seasons… so far)
What happens when you mix murder with comedy? Thankfully, the series has tapped the right people to find out with Selena Gomez, Martin Short, and Steve Martin making up the brilliant (though not always the brightest) trio of true crime podcast enthusiasts-turned-amateur-sleuths who set out on a suspenseful journey to find the killer. The quirky series has become such a global phenomenon that it’s even been able to nail some rather impressive guest stars, like Paul Rudd and Meryl Streep.
Death and Other Details – Hulu (Premieres Jan. 16, 2024)
The newest addition into the fold is Hulu’s mystery drama that takes place on a lavish Mediterranean ocean liner amongst the glamor of the “global elite” (we’re getting some Knives Out and Death of the Nile vibes, but we’re not complaining) and finds Imogene Scott (played by God Friended Me’s Violent Beane) at the wrong place and the wrong time, becoming the prime suspect in a murder mystery. To prove her innocence, she has to partner with the world’s greatest detective, Rufus Cotesworth (Mandy Patinkin), whom she, by no coincidence at all, despises.
The Traitors – Peacock (1 Season – Second Premiering Jan 12, 2024)
Murder mystery games are a party hit, so naturally, they’re a fit for reality TV. The competition, hosted by Alan Cumming, features 20 contestants, a mix of famous people and everyday Americans, as they work through missions in an ancient castle in Scotland. Amid those “Faithfuls” are “Traitors,” who try to eliminate the good guys for the top prize.
Pretty Little Liars – Freeform (7 Seasons)
If you by some chance missed the pop culture phenomenon that was teen drama Pretty Little Liars (where have you been?)–and you consider yourself a very patient person–then it’s time to give it a whirl. The series follows four best friends whose deepest darkest secrets not only come to light but are used against them by someone calling themselves “A” when investigating the death of their good friend, Alison.
The Outsider – HBO (1 Season)
Based on the chilling best-selling novel by Stephen King, the HBO series finds a detective investigating the gruesome murder of a young boy, with all clues pointing to a family man played by Jason Bateman, all before the case takes a supernatural twist, adding horror and paranormal to your typical murder mystery.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries – ABC (3 Seasons)
The Australian drama series infuses the murder mystery genre with glamour and 1920s charm. With a flair for solving crimes and an impeccable sense of fashion, detective Phryne Fisher and her pearl-handled pistol take on murder cases that baffle the police, all while making sure Murdoch Foyle, who she thinks is behind her sister’s disappearance, stays behind bars.
Whether you prefer classics, those with a modern twist, or a dose of comedy with your crime, these shows are sure to keep you guessing until the very end!
WATCH: The New ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Is Dark AF
‘A’ is not messing around in the Pretty Little Liars spinoff Original Sin.
If you thought we’d seen the last of ‘A’… think again. The masked stalker is back to torment a new group of little liars on the HBO Max series.
The ten-episode season will debut Thursday, July 28 with three episodes. Two new episodes will follow on August 4 and 11, with the final three episodes debuting on August 18.
A new teaser for the series reveals the tone is going to be much darker than the original ever was, and that’s likely thanks to Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Riverdale, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) who serves as writer and co-executive producer.
Check out the teaser — complete with a new version of the intro song “Secret.”
Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin synopsis: Twenty years ago, a series of tragic events almost ripped the blue-collar town of Millwood apart. Now, in present day, a disparate group of teen girls — a brand-new set of Little Liars — find themselves tormented by an unknown Assailant and made to pay for the secret sin committed by their parents two decades ago…as well as their own. In the dark, coming-of-age, horror-tinged drama PRETTY LITTLE LIARS: ORIGINAL SIN, we find ourselves miles away from Rosewood, but within the existing Pretty Little Liars universe — in a brand-new town, with a new generation of Little Liars.
We Don’t Need a ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Reboot
Pretty Little Liars, which premiered in 2010 on ABC Family (now Freeform), took fans on a rollercoaster ride. The twists and turns were so dramatic and exaggerated, halfway through the show’s 7 season run, many fans began to taper off.
Dedicated fans, however, stuck it out despite the fact that the show was rapidly going off the rails. Why? Because they desperately needed to know the identity of “A,” and later, “AD,” once and for all.
And the glorious day came on June 27, 2017. As we sat huddled up in front of our TV screens, we were filled with a mix of emotions ranging from confused, misled, and finally, relieved.
“Relief” is a strange emotion to feel when a show ends. Most fans tend to feel a sadness wash over them when the curtain falls, but with PLL, the finale was a sign that the madness was officially over.
The journey with the liars is one we’ll never forget, but let’s face it – most fans are not clamoring for more, especially not a mere three years after the finale. Heck, some of us are still trying to piece that ending together in a way that makes any rational sense.
We’re living in a time where reboots are hailed by TV executives as a sound and sure-fire idea. There’s plenty of examples of success: Dynasty, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Charmed, and Roswell, New Mexico. Even revivals that have honed a place in society with shows like The Conners and Fuller House both leading the pack.
But the one thing that these reboots have in common is that the original shows aired a decade or more ago. The key to a successful reboot is nostalgia; they aim to hook the original fans while also appealing to a brand new generation.
Reboots may either reimagine a familiar story with a modern spin and new characters or reunite fans with characters years later a la catching up with friends years after college.
It’s obvious that PLL does not fall into the category of a show that warrants a reboot. Not yet, at least. There’s no sound argument when one could argue that enough time has passed to try to take a stab at this overly complex teen mystery drama once again.
One of my biggest gripes with the PLL reboot, which was officially announced as an HBO Max original, is that it doesn’t center around the original liars.
I’m firm in my belief that had it not been for the popularity, relatability, and dynamic of Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Troian Belissario, Sasha Pieterse and Shay Mitchell, the show wouldn’t have found a cult-like following or lasted as long as it did. The ladies made the show worth watching and managed to sell us on every single outrageous storyline.
Many of us stuck with the series because of our love for the liars. But the reboot, billed as “set miles away from Rosewood” in a new town, with a new set of characters, strips the very identity of PLL.
How can you have a show without any involvement from Aria, Emily, Hannah, Spencer, and Alison? They are the pretty little liars. There is no show without them. No one is interested in watching a new generations of teens get tormented by threatening cyber-stalker who knows too much about their life, which was fun to watch partially because it paralleled the rise of technology and the fears surrounding privacy that came along with the emergence of social media.
Even if the ladies considered (and I use that term loosely — they are over here working on their careers and expanding their families, after all) returning for a reboot, not enough time has passed for a proper reunion.
There’s been talk of a potential movie sequel involving the original liars, and truthfully, that’s an idea fans of the original could get behind. It would be a one-time thing, it wouldn’t overstay its welcome or feel forced, and it would hopefully gives fans the follow-up they’ve been dying for.
Earlier this year, Hale said she wouldn’t “rule anything out” but ultimately, they’d “need a little more time to pass.”
“I feel like we would get more out of it if we were, like, 10 years down the road,” she explained to Entertainment Tonight, adding that she’s protective of the show. Hale worked with Roberto Roberto Aguierre-Sacasa on the short-lived Katy Keene, so I’m truly curious to see what she thinks about this upcoming reboot. Note: none of those involved with the original have weighed in or commented yet.
Honestly, much of the pushback that I’ve seen about this rumored reboot is for that very reason — fans, even the ones who thought the finale came out of left-field and was a total dumpster fire — are also super protective of it. We don’t want anything or anyone to taint the show’s legacy.
We also cannot ignore there’s the fact that PLL’s Marlene King attempted her own reboot of sorts shortly after the series concluded and even centered the storyline around two familiar faces, Alison DiLaurentis (Pieterse) and Mona Vaderwaal (Janel Parish), to drum up support and interest from the core fandom. That didn’t work.
PLL: Perfectionists lasted a whole ten episodes before Freeform pulled the plug leaving any fans that submitted themselves to yet another A-like mystery in the dark. It’s a shame the series wasn’t give a real chance because it had potential if it stayed true to the books and veered away from trying to make it so much like it’s predecessor. In this case, a complete overhaul could’ve worked if done right.
And it’s probably better if I don’t mention Ravesnwood, the second PLL spinoff that centered around Caleb Rivers (Tyler Blackburn), which saw a lot of people seeing dead people in the neighboring town. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the show’s ten-episode run, but it’s yet another example of the franchise trying to reinvent the wheel and failing miserably.
If King couldn’t make these shows work while PLL was at its height, maybe it’s because the audience needed to take a break from the world of A?
Which brings me to my next point… Roberto Aguierre-Sacasa. You may not know the name, but if you love teen dramas, you’re familiar with his work. He’s the brains behind The CW’s successful and oftentimes disturbing teen thriller Riverdale.
One fan on Reddit noted that “PLL walked so Riverdale could run,” and let’s be honest, plenty of fans (and critics) have called the show a hot mess. However, that’s what we’ve come to love about Riverdale; it’s wacky, weird, and only tolerable when you suspend all disbelief.
He’s also proven himself in the reboot-realm with Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. CAOS is an entirely different ballgame; it’s a dark twist on the 90s sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch that pulls much of its inspiration from the Archie comics. It offers up an entirely new world featuring new takes on some beloved characters. Not to mention Sabrina wrapped its run in 1996 meaning enough time has passed; the world was ready for the Spellman’s once again.
As I mentioned, CAOS is ending with its upcoming season while Aguierre-Sacasa’s other series, Katy Keene, was cancelled after just a season at The CW.
I’m not questioning Aguierre-Sacasa’s qualifications — I’m a fan of his shows — but I don’t think jumping into and revamping a still-fresh franchise is necessary right now.
Apparently, neither does Twitter. One person commented that he should “stick to one show and make that good.” I’d prefer HBO Max gave Katy Keene another try rather than investing into this PLL reboot.
The reboot seems to be hoping to capitalize on the the original fandom (the brief teaser features the same imagery as the original right down to the logo), but the fandom has opposed a reboot from the start. And they’ll be further alienated with the reboot’s description of a “horror-tinged, coming-of-rage” version.
Aguierre-Sacasa’s strength lies within creating shows permeated with twisted mysteries that have a campy, horror vibe, which is tonally different than the psychological mind games we’ve come to expect from PLL.
There’s room for another teen thriller, obviously, but maybe it would be best to leave the franchise alone and call the show, which is shaping up to be its own entity anyway, something else entirely? “Original Sin” minus the “Pretty Little Liars” would have given the series a fresh-slate without any comparisons.
Here’s the show’s description so you can decide for yourself: “Twenty years ago, a series of tragic events almost ripped the blue-collar town of Millwood apart. Now, in the present day, a group of disparate teen girls — a brand-new set of Little Liars — find themselves tormented by an unknown Assailant and made to pay for the secret sin their parents committed two decades ago. as well as their own.”
I’ll watch merely out of curiosity and because I’ve made television my job, but man, I haven’t even had time to miss PLL yet.
If you really need to feel the PLL-void in your life, the best thing to do is just stream the original episodes, because I think we can all agree that some things are better off left alone… at least until enough time has passed to revisit them through a new lens.
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