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Pretty Little Liars- Close Encounters (4×16)

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Pretty Little Liars was considerably tame this week. Sure, we saw Ali, but we didn’t get any answers. The wind is blowing in the right way and something is about to explode!!

G3Q43This week, Spencer was on the hunt for answers. It seems like she was the only one who really cared to continue finding out what really happened to Toby’s mother. Her father dismissed the case and gave Toby paperwork that would give him some money, but included a ‘do not talk’ clause. She warned Toby not to sign it because after going through her fathers things she noticed that on the board of trustee’s for Radley is Ms. DiLaurentis. She doesn’t trust her father one bit. But, Toby has this need to put what happened to his mother behind him. Why Spencer was so dramatic about this and shed so many tears, I’m not sure. Maybe she believed that by outing Radley, she would get some information that would lead the girls closer to Ali and closer to A? Maybe the info the Ali’s mom is on the Radley board means something more than what’s given at face value? I admit, this storyline was really dull and I’m happy to see it go, but I do wonder, who was the other patient in the room that Radley was trying to protect? Was that patient really ‘innocent?” Is that something Radley is covering up?? That has to be an important piece of the puzzle! Right?

43Spence was also the only one who wanted to searching for A’s identity. At this point, the girls are more preoccupied with relationships, or lack of them, and don’t really care about finding out who A is. Emily was approached by Shawna in the church and  found out that Shawna is apparently working for Alison. She has been this whole time. Hmm. Seems like Ali feels she can trust her friend that she’s known since she was 3 better than the liars. Maybe cause A is on their trail? But if Shawna was really that close to Ali, wouldn’t A know it and harass Shawna? Loopholes people loopholes. Anyways. Shawna was delivering a message to Emily on behalf of Ali. She wanted to meet her somewhere tonight, but only her, because Ems was her favorite. Yeah, more like the easiest target and the most gullible, cause she actually loved Ali the most out of all the girls. This could have easily been a trap set up by A so Emily confided in Spencer, who was certain that Shawna was in cahoots with A. Despite Spencer’s warning, Emily had a strong gut feeling this really was Ali reaching out. Well, she was right.

A34HTRWIn all honesty, I don’t know why the writers can’t make the meeting places be anything other than an abandoned warehouse. Maybe like a hotel room? Or a cafe like in another town? Something nice and cozy, less ‘I’m in a drug deal.’ This blind meeting could have ended badly. It could have been A’s trap.  Thankfully, it wasn’t. As Alison emerged from the shadowy darkness, all of Emily’s anger at her from previous weeks was gone. Who care’s that she’s been playing with Emily’s mind and leading her on, she’s alive!! Ali asked her for help so she could come home and admitted she regretted ever doing anything to hurt Emily. But before Em’s could get any of the answers she’s been desperately waiting for, Spencer’s clumsy self interrupted scaring Ali off.  What I didn’t expect is Emily’s reaction. We all know she’s the easy target. All Ali did was feed her some lies and sweet nothings about how she’s always been her favorite and how she always cared for her and Emily turned on her friends. But Spencer wasn’t falling for it because this was something Ali liked to do. She loved to play games. If the girls started turning against each other, it would be easier for A to get to them right?

42rg3gvweMaybe Ali was always working with A. We really don’t know Ali’s story. Is she really scared of someone? Is she making it up? She could constantly be playing a game. Maybe her parents know she’s alive. Unfortunately, Ali didn’t trust any of the girls to begin with and Emily betrayed her trust, so we might not find out what Ali’s deal was to begin with. Why doesn’t Ali trust any of the girls? Does she know something? Maybe one of the liars is actually working with A?? Maybe its Spencer?

24R23Meanwhile, blondie Hanna has been mending her broken hear with some pool and a make out session with Travis. I’m pretty dissapointed. First off, we all know thats not the way to get over a breakup. It’s very Spencer of her. Secondly, I don’t trust Travis. Sure, he seems like a nice guy, but so did Ezra. Travis was introduced in such a fishy way, as the witness of a murder, and now he’s trying to get close to Hannah. He was available to come save the liars when they got stranded on their way to the Busy Bee Inn, conveniently at the same time that A was lurking in the house. Maybe Travis is Ezra’s, err, I mean A’s little minion. You know, I want to assume the best, but I’ve been conditioned to expect the worst.

2TW4Who could blame me? I’m sure we’re all a little weary. First we were tricked into thinking Toby was A. Now we think Ezra is evil. Maybe he is. Maybe it’s just the way the writers portray him.  Ezra is evil. I don’t want to fully commit myself to the thought that Ezra is A because that’s what they want. But Ezra isn’t making it easy on himself. He lied to Aria about going to Philly. She wouldn’t have known but when she gave back the little trinket Jake gave her while he was away, Jake saw him in Rosewood violently shouting at some blonde lawyer/soccer mom/step ford wife of Rosewood. He admitted that his outburts were directed towards Maggie’s lawyer about getting visitation rights for Malcolm. Umm… Malcolm the kid that turned out NOT to be your child? And why in that tone?? The lady was really terrified of Ezra! And maybe Ezra’s story could be true, but he totally clammed up by Aria when she confronted him. She’s so blind to the fact that she’s dating a bad teacher, ignoring everyones warnings? It’s believable that she wouldn’t believe Jake as she just broke up with him and he was pretty distraught about it. Why? I don’t know. These two had less sparks than flat water. But maybe she will believe him after Jake shows her his hurt and cut foot after he kicked his punching bag and found that it was filled with knives. Obviously, it looks like Ezra planted them to hurt Jake after he told Aria about his outburts. But what if it was actually Aria. There are theories she’s A and when she walked in, she told Jake to get a new punching bag. Hmm. Fishy, fishy!

bwrjketThe last scene, as always is left up to interpretation. We see a hooded A walk into the girls locker room, to which he/she conveniently knows the combination. Than A takes a picture out of a book and rips a picture of two girls in half. I’m assuming that it is a picture of Shawna and Alison. A burns the part with Shawna on it. The girl in the picture could also be Emily, but considering that Shawna said she was friends with Ali since she was three, it must be Shawna. What could this mean? This could be Spencer, burning Shawna after she ruined the meeting with Ali and Emily. I mean, how else would A know about Shawna all of a sudden (this refers to my original point of why A isn’t targeting Shawna since she’s known about Ali way before any of the girls).

Random Fun Thoughts of Mine

  • If Shawna is telling the truth, she’s friended Jenna because she’s a suspect. Where is Jenna by the way?
  • If Jenna is a suspect, than Paige must be too. Shawna developed a friendship with Paige as well!
  • A must be two people. Sometimes A signs with just -A and sometimes it includes Kisses, A. Girl and boy duo?
  • If Ezra isn’t A, why the hell is he everywhere where A is. Is he following A? Is he trying to help the girls.
  • Ali’s been on the run for a couple of years. Where does she get clothes without being seen? Where does she eat?? How does she do her makeup in dark abandoned warehouses!!! How does she just disappear when danger comes?
  • If throwing plates to get your anger out actually exists, SIGN ME UP! (Yeah, I’m too chicken to go a shooting range… and what?)

 

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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

Pretty Little Liars

8 Murder Mystery TV Shows to Watch and Solve

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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! 

2024 Midseason TV Schedule—All the Network Premiere Dates You Need to Know About

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WATCH: The New ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Is Dark AF

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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.

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We Don’t Need a ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Reboot

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Pretty Little Liars Farewell, My Lovely

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 PLLthe 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. 

Pretty Little Liars PlAytime

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS – “PlAytime” – After Noel Kahn’s abrupt death, the Liars try putting their lives back together again in “Playtime,” the first of the final ten episodes of Freeform’s hit original series “Pretty Little Liars,” airing TUESDAY, APRIL 18 (8:00 – 9:02 p.m. EDT). Fans can catch up on where the Liars left off with an all-day marathon of season seven starting at 11:00 a.m. EDT and running up to the one-hour spring premiere at 8:00 p.m. EDT. (Freeform/Eric McCandless)
SHAY MITCHELL, LUCY HALE, TROIAN BELLISARIO

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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