There is no place like home… well, unless that place is Rosewood. The liars finally returned home this week after flashing forward 5 years. When they stepped back into that place of madness that was once haunted by A, they were no longer teenagers. These adults moved on with their lives and got some sort of normalcy.
Aria became a publisher and is currently dating her co-worker Liam. Hannah is engaged to a man named Jorden and works in the fashion world, traveling all over the world as a “rodeo for dresses” as she puts it. Spencer is a “lobbyist” working in politics. Emily is the only one who didn’t find herself away from crazy town. Instead, she lost her dad at war, dropped out of college and started working at a bar. Who would have thought.
When the girls return home, it’s almost as if they are strangers in a town that was once only focused on them. They walk in the same halls to visit Ali, who is now a teacher. They hang out at the Brew getting coffee. Old habits die hard. And they are still spending a lot of their time at Radley, although it’s a little different than you may imagine. Radley Sanitorium is no longer a looney bin, it’s not the hottest drink spot in town. Yes, Mama Marin aka the exorcist managed to turn that place into a fancy bar/hotel, which Hannah gladly stays at during her visit to town. The girls even get drunk there, which I guess may have been the thing to solve their problems in the first place right?
Aside from the liars, the rest of our fave characters are also back in the picture – although they might be a little different than you imagine. Caleb is a risk analyst and not with Hannah anymore. He does visit her and the moment is sweet, until you realize that he’s flirting up a storm with Spencer, who he mentions multiple times and tries to cover it up by saying that he might be working with her in Washington. Um… are you two hooking up? Toby has turned into Noah from The Notebook and is building a house for a “special someone” Spencer assumes. Can’t wait to meet his leading lady, although I was surprised by how friendly these two exes were. Why did they break up? Ezra turned over a dark leaf, which is very interesting to see considering he’s always been the chipper one in the group. He was dismissed from his social work in South Africa after his team and what I assume was his girlfriend get kidnapped. From there, he turned to alcoholism and it’s probably not going to get any better when all the “Big Bad” drama starts again.
I like seeing the girls out of their element, but quickly noticed how many things paralleled the first episode of Pretty Little Liars in season 1. In a sense, this was the first season all over again. This time however, the girls were allowed to drink wine. Their nostalgic return ended just as quickly as it began when Alison asked them to do her one last favor and lie to the judge at the hearing that they are no longer scared of Charlotte. Despite everything Charlotte did, Ali believes she changed and wanted a fresh start with her sister. The girls are unconvinced however because to answer Mona’s question – yes, they do still have nightmares.
When they all get in front of the judge, Spencer, Hannah, and Emily all state that they are no longer afraid of Charlotte. Aria is the only one who is unable to lie because the PTSD of everything that happened in the doll house is still very much real to her. Unfortunately, the judge doesn’t seem to care what she thinks and later that night, they get the message that Charlotte is going home.
That night, the girls decide to drown their sorrows together and when it’s time for last call, they take the party up to Hannah’s suite. The next morning, they wake up and the hangovers are real. In the time that they slept however, so much happened. Very similar to that time in the barn when they all passed out and Alison disappeared.
Ali calls and lets them know Charlotte has gone missing. Before we can even wonder what happened to her, Toby and Lorenzo find Charlotte’s body thrown off the bell tower. Remember that bell tower? A place where Spencer almost lost her life!
A is finally dead and it looks like a suicide. Obviously, Ali is distraught and the girls aren’t any happier. They came here to help Ali and now they have another funeral to attend. A funeral that’s very reminiscent of Ali’s. The black widow comes in to pay her respects, only this time, we actually know who she is – Sara Harvey! The moment is terrifying to the girls, who are once again the scared versions of themselves, sitting in those pews. Although refresh my memory, why are they so scared of Sara? Sure, she helped Charlotte plot all the madness, but she’s been out and about for the past 5 years. If she wanted to stir something up, she would have done so by now right?
As the girls stand in the same exact spot outside of church, they are approached by Lorenzo aka the new Wilden in town. Apparently, the coroner found out that Charlotte didn’t commit suicide…. she was killed. Could one of the girls really have done it? Just like that, my stomach sank at the same time the girls’ faces did. It was one of those “here we go again” moments. Not only were they stuck in Rosewood again, they were being framed. Part 2 of A had just begun. Spencer nailed it on the head when she told the girls, “We are home.” And home, is not a very fun place to be.
So now, back to square one. Here’s what we know – whoever killed Charlotte wanted to get caught and he wanted to frame the girls for it. After all, he waited till they were back in town. And how do we know it’s a he? Well the flash forward in the beginning of the episode indicates this new big bad is in fact a he. My money is on Jason or his father. Neither of them were in town when Charlotte was released. Ali mentioned that Jason didn’t agree with Dr. Rollins about letting Charlotte out. And we know his father Kenneth hated Charlotte. They seem to have the most motive here.
- Why was Mona super creepy when she approached Spencer at her mother’s speech? Why did she ask about nightmares? I’m pretty sure all the girls are still traumatized and I’m glad Marlene King made Aria recognize that pain. It would be stupid for us to think all of them were fine. Some are just better at masking the pain.
- Why did Mona want to set Charlotte free? Is she still up to no good and working with the new Uber A?
- Can we believe this new A is connected to Uber A?
- I did not miss writing about A.
- Anyone find it weird that Veronica Hasting’s is running for office? With a family like the Hastings, I feel like all their dirt and secrets would totally be aired to the public.
- Where is Melissa? Still with Wren in London?
- Why is Aria so surprised to learn about Ezra’s depression when they’ve clearly been in contact?
- What is Caleb up to with Spencer? Why did he “get the car” for her during the funeral?
Overall, it was really good to see the girls as adults and while the show contained elements from prior episodes, it felt fresh. I was surprisingly impressed and even though I don’t want to go down a trail of finding out who A is again, I’m intrigued. And with Charlotte gone, we can finally get a fresh start while also seeing what the girls learned in the past 5 years to help them out of this situation once and for all.
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.
‘Pretty Little Liars’ Cast Reunites for a Podcast that Involves Drinking and Rewatching Episodes!
The moms of Rosewood got out of the basement just in time to start their own podcast!
All jokes aside, Holly Marie Comb (Aria’s mom Ella), Lesley Fera (Spencer’s mom Veronica) and Nia Peeples (Emily’s mom Pam) are reuniting to rewatch episodes together and offer some commentary.
Honestly, I’ve always wanted to know what the moms of Rosewood thought about what their daughters were up to/involved in, especially since half the time, it didn’t seem like the liars even had parents!
The podcast, titled “Pretty Little Wine Moms” (yes, ladies!) means that they will be sitting down with their favorite drinks and breaking down one episode at a time. Since they were a part of the production, they’ll be able to add in behind-the-scene tidbits.
Here’s where things get super fun — each week’s episode will have a new special guest that joins in for the chat.
According to Digital Spy, guests will range from other cast members, writers, directors, and producers.
This month alone the podcast will feature Shay Mitchell (Emily Fields), Brant Daugherty (heads-will-roll Noel Kahn), and Torrey DeVitto (Melissa Hastings).
In September, the lineup includes costume designer Mandi Line, writer/producer Bryan M. Holdman, Ashley Benson (Hannah Marin), Lucy Hale (Aria Montgomery), Sasha Pieterse (Alison DiLaurentis) and Tyler Blackburn (Caleb Rivers).
I love how much support the moms are getting from the cast and that the cast is finding new ways to keep this fun and twisted show alive!
Of course, we cannot wait for the mom-circle to be completed with a guest appearance by Laura Leighton (Hannah’s mom Ashley)!
The idea for the podcast came to Lesley where she was bored at home during COVID. She invited her co-stars to appear on her podcast with her husband, Ned Mochel, and fans were so thrilled that the moms were back together again, they figured why not roll with it?
We’re so glad they did.
And we cannot wait for the mom’s to spill some tea! Maybe they’ll finally tell us how they got out of that basement…
Here’s a snippet of how I envision this podcast in my mind:
The Cast of Pretty Little Liars Is Reuniting & Fans Can Join In LIVE – Get All The Details
This isn’t a secret, Rosewood’s finest are coming together again for a good cause.
The cast of Pretty Little Liars will be reuniting for a virtual reunion.
All your favorites will be tapping in including Troian Bellisario (Spencer Hastings), Ashley Benson (Hannah Marni), Shay Mitchell (Emily Fields), Sasha Pieterse (Alison DiLaurentis), Lucy Hale (Aria Montgomery), Ian Harding (Ezra Fitz), Janel Parrish (Mona Vanderwaal), Tyler Blackburn (Caleb Rivers) and creator I. Marlene King.
So, what’s on tap for the live event?
A panel with the cast likely catching up on what’s happened since the show went off air three years ago and reminiscing about best moments. There will also be a fan Q+A portion and one-on-one video chats with each cast member and King.
Those who wish to join in on the fun can do so by purchasing a ticket for $15.
All one-one-one chats with the cast are currently sold out. A chat with King costs $95. Tickets can be purchased at Cast4Good’s website.
All proceeds benefit Feeding America. The reunion will take place on Friday, May 15 at 12pm ET and can be watched on the Looped app. It’s being led by Cast4Good, a fundraising platform, which aims to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
So, grab your black hoodie and pretend its 2017 all over again.
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