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Pretty Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars- How the ‘A’ Stole Christmas (5×13)

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“Merry Christmas Bitches”

Oh indeed it is! 

The Christmas special of Pretty Little Liars by far exceeded my expectations. I think it was better than all of the Halloween episodes put together. I was watching like an excited child at Christmas opening presents. And after I opened all those presents, I CRAVED more… Unfortunately, I, like the rest of you fine liars, have to wait until Jan 6.

The special definitely sent a “shiver me timber” down my spine once or twice all while putting my in the holiday spirit. Is there room for another one at that dinner table ya’ll?

Who knew that even Santa could be influenced and threatened by A. When Aria did a good deed and donated to Santa, he gave them quite the surprise… a snow globe from A. In order for A to pull of half the crap he/she does… he needs to know these girls better than they know themselves. He needs to predict how the girls will react in given situations.. like that Aria is giving and will put some money in Santa’s bin. If she didn’t the whole plan wouldn’t have worked out. This might be a huge clue as to who A really is.

We found out that Spencer was bailed out of jail, but her fun is only beginning. Technically, she isn’t cleared of any “murder” charges against Bethany Young, so how is she suppose to enjoy Christmas. She’s basically Rosewood’s grinch and I don’t blame her. Thankfully, Mona helped changed the holiday spirit from the grave offering up one last Christmas miracle. A lawyer approaches Hannah on the street handing her paperwork that Mona ordered him to deliver after 30 days passed since her death. Inside were maps of Ali’s house… and all of her secret hiding spots, including a note that made me miss Mona THAT much more. and motivated Hannah not to give up and keep on looking because Ali is still playing the game. Kisses to you too girlie. 

But this wasn’t the last we’ve seen of Mona. She came back as the very haunting yet fun (well not for Ali) ghost of Christmas past. Just like in the old tale, Mona came back to show Ali the error of her ways… or rather to show her things from her past that she maybe forgot. And also, why did she forget them? Even Mrs. D came back from the dead to help out in the most bizarre of ways, telling her daughter to listen to what Mona has to say. We begin with the first scene. Ali is watching a younger version of herself play the piano. When a key breaks she opens the lid and finds two Christmas presents. Curious as any other child, she opens them, only to find two identical sweaters inside. Mrs. D comes running in forcing Ali to lie if her father asked her and say she only saw one sweater. If she revealed the truth, dad would leave them. This is the moment that Mona says “the monster was born.”

IAN HARDING, LUCY HALE, LINDSEY SHAW, SHAY MITCHELL, ASHLEY BENSON, TYLER BLACKBURNWhat could this really mean? Well.. Either that sweater was for Bethany. Or that sweater was for Ali’s twin sister. Either way we know there is someone else that was close to Mrs. D and Ali’s age. And we also know Mrs. D had a close relationship with Bethany. But still. None of this makes sense. After watching this episode I realized something that wasn’t too obvious to me in the beginning. This Alison, tormented by Mona was very confused, fragile and downright clueless about life. She’s not the same girl that threw the ice ball and created a whole new squad of minions after losing her best friends the liars. She didn’t even seem phased by losing her friends. Which can mean 1 of 2 things.. the twin thing can really come into play here and we’re dealing with 2 different Ali’s. OR Ali is bipolar. 

The visions, dreams, nightmares, whatever you want to call them, keep happening throughout the night. The second memory takes us back to the church. Inside is a coffin with Ali’s body inside. She’s looking at herself dead and asks Mona “when.” All she says back is “does it even matter?” adding that they never found Ali’s legs…. That sounds brutal. But what does this really mean? This can’t be a flashback because Alison never died. Is it a look into the future? Is Mona warning Ali that someone is going to kill her and chop off her legs? What is the actual significance of this statement? Ali is just as confused as we are but then things get even creepier. The black widow comes out of the shadows.. the one whose identity we’ve been dying to know. Turns out the lady in black was Mrs. D all along! Or is this just a fragment of her imagination? All I do know is that Marlene King once said the black widow has all the answers their looking for. If it really was Mrs. D this woman needs to come back from the dead and illuminate the answers for me here… God, you just never really know, you know! In this version of the story though, Mrs. D is mourning the loss of her daughter saying that it’s all her fault and soon their going to come after her. Scary sounds can be heard outside of the church, like demons are about to take Ali, which left her wondering if she’s “going to hell.” Honestly darling… DUH! The demons gave me some Ravenswood flashbacks…. and I’m not liking it. No wonder future promos show Mrs. Grimwauld back in town. The demons are coming. Maybe A isn’t even human!?

Back in reality, the girls are celebrating Christmas Eve, volunteering for the holidays and doing other good gestures like dressing up as sexy Santa. Thank you Spencer Hastings! A girls got to celebrate her potentially “last” Christmas the right way right? As the day turns into night, the girls get ready for Ali’s Ice Ball and they come with a plan. When Queen A arrives, Spencer and Hannah would secretly slip away to look for something at Ali’s house that could possibly help exonerate Spencer. What’s a breaking and entering charge onto murder charges right? Of course as easy peasy as the plan sounded… it wouldn’t be. Ali makes a big entrance with a clique of masked bitches. Spencer and Hannah slip away while the rest of the gang remains on the lookout.

SASHA PIETERSE, I. MARLENE KING (DIRECTOR)Aria notices Ali slip away and finds her making out with Santa Clause. This is pretty disturbing considering not too long ago, Spencer took a picture on Santa’s lap and Dear Old Santa was actually Lucas, who was in on the plan of helping bring down Ali. “I saw Ali kissing Santa Clause,” Aria said to Emily as she dragged her over to the spot. But of course, they were already gone. And of course, there was more than one Santa at the party… including Detective Holbrook, who was acting hella suspicious…. as usual. Could he be Ali’s mystery man? I say yes! 

Ali sneaks away from the party to follow a white hooded figure who turns out to be CeCe! Yes, she’s back from Paris. Honestly though, I have a feeling she never really left. Plus, she’s got that whole hooded, hiding thing down packed. CeCe tells her bff Ali that she can’t let her guard down now, especially when all of her friends are here and she shouldn’t worry because Mona is dead and she can’t hurt her now. Okay one…. how does she know Mona is dead if she was in Paris and the two had no prior contact. The only way she would know is if she’s the one who killed Mona. That’s highly possible considering the blonde hair of that hooded figure wasn’t exactly Ali’s. And CeCe isn’t a stranger to murder… After all she did kill Wilbrook remember. And maybe the boys are onto something. If Ali is dating Holbrook then he could have totally helped her escape and clear her of any charges in connection with the murder. And why Spencer was suddenly a top suspect in Bethany Young’s case. It’s all so shady! Sheesh.

It gets worse. As the girls try to leave with Holbrook, Ezra goes to distract the detective while the liars and their dates split up to stop Ali and CeCe. However, these two are WAY ahead of the liars and the two their all chasing are actually Ali’s twin minions dressed up as Ali and CeCe. Damnit. Is it a coincidence that Ali picked TWINS to do her dirty work? Me thinks NOT! 

Back at the DiLaurentis household Spencer and Hannah are tearing the house up. Spencer is upstairs, while Hannah gets really into her role downstairs in the basement. First Hannah finds a passport which indicates that Ali has a plan to disappear ASAP if need be. Also another example a possible bi-polar/multiple personality disorder. Hannah rips apart a paper wall and finds a jack-in-the-box… as if those aren’t scary enough. The Mad Hatter sign on the sign gives her an idea to check Ali’s hat boxes. There she finds a letter that proves Ali and Bethany were friends. And even crazier… Ali invited Bethany to Rosewood for that labor day weekend! Proof! We have proof. Unfortunately, the blonde didn’t take her phone with her and was completely unaware that A was trolling around the house wielding a knife. Spencer did a good job of hiding and keeping quiet, but something tells me A didn’t actually want to find her. If he/she/it did, they definitely would have. When A leaves, Spencer quietly picks up Hannah’s phone, showing Toby, who was stuck in a wheelchair on watch to make sure the girls were safe and tried warning Hannah with camera flashes. She also brilliantly made her own weapon out of the glass from a picture frame. I really need to learn my survival skills from her. 

TYLER BLACKBURN, ASHLEY BENSON, LUCY HALE, IAN HARDING, LINDSEY SHAW, TROIAN BELLISARIOHannah gets attacked by A but comes out unscathed… only knocked unconscious.  See… if A wanted to kill these girls, it had so many chances. Why does A always knock them out and run away? It just doesn’t make any sense. 

After all the craziness, everyone meets back at Spencer’s house feeling pretty optimistic. With Hannah’s note, Spencer may be cleared of charges. And while there’s a snow blizzard, the roads are closed for the night and their all away from their families on Christmas, their all together, safe and sound.. which is a pretty big win them. As Hannah says, Christmas is wherever we are, as long as we’re together. Preach girl.And…. the boys (plus Paige) had the best surprise for their significant others. A Merry Christmas in Santa boxers and nothing else. God, these really are some lucky liars despite everything. Everyone sits down for a lovely Christmas dinner when suddenly, the bells start jingling and it seems like Santa is about to come rumbling down the chimney. They go outside to check it out and see that the huge tree has been decorated. It seems like a Christmas miracle, until… wait for it…. the garage lights up in “Merry Christmas Bitches–A.” You didn’t think A would actually give it up for the holidays did you?

merry xms

Maybe this is a wrong place at the wrong time kind of moment but I shall point out that Alison was watching everyone have Christmas dinner and feeling pretty jealous about it before the whole A message. Could she be behind it? What are your thoughts? What’s your A theory? What do you think Mona was trying to tell Ali? What is Mrs. D secret? What’s the relationship between CeCe and Ali? And Bethany and Ali? Share your thoughts while you get heated up for PLL’s second half kicking off January 6! 

Other Memorable Moments/Quotes

  • Spencer: “Santa is not bringing me a get out of jail free card.”
  • Spencer: “Different name, same bitch.”
  • Mona: “It’s not going to be that easy bitch.”
  • Spencer: “Merry Ho, Ho.”
  • Loved the scene where Hannah stood up for the deaf girl from mini-Ali. Although telling little girls that “in Rosewood bitches get buried” was a little blunt it definitely had an affect. Little bully was put in her place and the girls learned a valuable lesson. All they really need is each other… not a leader.
  • Okay Hannah and Caleb as elves= priceless.
  • The holiday season really brings people together… including Jenna, Paige, Emily, Lucas and Sidney in singing X-mas carols for the elderly… What a weird group.
  • Jenna and Sidney are the other two minions in Ali’s group….. and their doing it out of fear. Jenna admits she made a mistake ignoring Ali’s friendship the first time. Until Ali was locked up, she wasn’t going to be on the opposing side. She clearly thinks they don’t stand a chance against the mean girl. Oh and they also think she killed Mona. I doubt it’s going to be that simple. 
  • Ezra: “I got two ponies.. but I only asked for one.”
  • Did it bother anyone else that they were saying there was a snow blizzard and the roads were closed but then these guys went outside and there was less than an inch of snow and they weren’t even wearing jackets. Have they ever experienced winter? IN CHICAGO? That much snow does not call for road blocks…
  • Mona: “Wake up bitch. It’s Christmas and I promise, you don’t want to miss it.”
  • Paige’s parents think Rosewood isn’t safe and want her to move to California. Emily shouldn’t be upset… she should be packing her bags and going right along with her. Adios Rosewood! 

 


(ABC Family/Eric McCandless)


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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

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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Coffee Table News

‘Pretty Little Liars’ Cast Reunites for a Podcast that Involves Drinking and Rewatching Episodes!

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Pretty Little Liars Cast Including the Moms Reunite for Podcast

The moms of Rosewood got out of the basement just in time to start their own podcast!

Go mamas! 

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: 

 


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Coffee Table News

The Cast of Pretty Little Liars Is Reuniting & Fans Can Join In LIVE – Get All The Details

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Pretty Little Liars Farewell, My Lovely

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. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_7tuU5DBh6/

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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