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.
Pretty Little Liars – Farewell, My Lovely (7×19)
Have you heard the tale of the “twisted sister?”
Doesn’t ring a bell? Think hard…. it’s a story you’ve been hearing about for roughly 7 years, masked under the nickname A.D.
The final round of A.D’s game reached it’s end on Tuesday night, leaving even the strongest of fans a hot mess.
This was the last time that the liars would solve mysteries in Rosewood and you know that the writers and Marlene would “go big or go home.” How could you expect anything less? The pressure was really on for Pretty Little Liars to impress a fandom waited several year’s to find out the identity their tormentor.
After the reveal, negative comments began swarming in about how they were disappointed with the outcome but realistically, despite their best efforts, any “A” revelation was going to be a letdown simply because it was so hyped up…. we’ve imagined it in our minds on so many occasion. I’v heard complaints that it was far fetched but if you think that, you must not have been paying attention the past few years. This is the same show that blows up telephones, that had the liars trapped in a doll house with exact replicas of their bedrooms, that had a board game dictating their every move. When has anything ever been REALISTIC in Rosewood? Last time I checked, the definition of Rosewood was “batshit crazy” so really, when it came to the finale, it was best to leave expectations at the door and strap in for a wonderfully bonkers ride. No one comes to Rosewood for realism, we come for the crazy and the twisted and in that regard, the finale delivered.
Charlotte’s death marked the end of A and the beginning of A.D and while the tricks and torments may seem the same, they aren’t the same person, nor do they have quite the same motive. But they are connected by blood because as it turns out, every motive that A, Uber A or A.D ever had was motivated by a dysfunctional family.
Without further ado… A.D is….
Never heard of her? We don’t blame you. Up until a few hours ago, we hadn’t either. You might not recognize her name but you’ll definitely recognize her face because it’s Spencer Hastings. Well, her evil twin.
Let’s backtrack a bit though shall we?
Last weeks strange episode saw “A.D” driving off into the sunset as the liars figured they’d finally beaten Liars Lament when Mona confessed to killing Charlotte. Even though they didn’t really know who A.D was, they just assumed it was #endgame and that was the last they’d hear from him/her… but that was naive. A.D has a way of sneaking up on you and showing up at the most innoportune of times, in this case, a year later when everyone was happy and Aria and Ezra were about to exchange “I do’s.”
When we catch up with the liars, you realize what a difference a year can make. Emily and Alison became parents to beautiful TWIN girls (definitely foreshadowing here), Spencer’s working as a paralegal at her mother’s firm and finishing up law school, and Toby is returning from a soul-searching trip to Africa.
The couple you thought would continue to be the strongest, Caleb and Hannah, were having marital problems because of their struggle to have a baby. That and Mona was finally released from Welby and Hannah, who felt indebted to her former BFF, allowed her to stay at their loft. “She has no one else,” she kept telling her friends and family, but that wasn’t enough for Caleb. He’s always been the wisest of the group and knew that there was no way they could trust Mona after all that she’s put them through.
Seems like we should trust Caleb’s gut because the minute Mona got her freedom, she went right back to doing A.D’s bidding. She still didn’t know who was running the game but was eager to find out so she followed the instructions, wearing a Melissa mask to spy on the girls. Fans briefly thought that Spencer’s sister was the ringleader and well, they weren’t too far off – it wasn’t Melissa but it was Alex, who Spencer came face to face with after being knocked out by Mona and locked up in a cell. Yep, we were right on the money with that twin theory!
Seeing Spencer and Alex stare at each other was equally as eerie as it was insane. The British half of Spencer, who had a terrible English accent, was thrilled to meet her sister. She was also borderline insane but you probably could have guessed that considering her mother is Mary Drake and she was born in Radley. The phrase “all roads lead to Radley” has literally never been clearer.
It didn’t take long for Alex Drake to open up to Spencer and give her the backstory as to how she got there. She was given up for adoption when she was an infant but once she began showing troubling signs, the family gave her up to an orphanage. Wren discovered her in a bar at London and filled her in on this whole family that she literally never knew she had, including half-sister Charlotte, who became the only family she’d ever known. She loved Charlotte, she was loyal to her, she became her friend and then, when she was killed, she channeled that anger on the liars.
So yes, the game was started by Mona, stolen from her by Charlotte and when she died, taken by Alex, who wanted NOTHING more than to get revenge on her “dolls” for killing her sister. But despite being a villain, she also had a soul and she was jealous of Spencer and her friends for having everything she never did. She quickly realized that despite everything that A threw at them, they were always going to be friends, always going to stick up for each other, always going to be there for each other. And she wanted that, so she devised a plan to infiltrate the group by assuming Spencer’s identity. She wanted her life and she wanted Toby.
Literally, every scene where you thought “that’s unlike Spencer” was your gut telling you that it is in fact Alex. That hallucination Hannah had after being kidnapped and tortured – Alex. Kissing Toby before he left with Yvonne – Alex. Sleeping with Toby in the cabin – Alex. Running into Ezra at the airport – Alex. If you caught on, go tell your friends you told ’em so.
After clearing the air, Alex locked Spencer and Mary back up and left for Aria’s wedding, fully knowing it would never happen because she kidnapped Ezra who had figured it out. Sadly, Aria didn’t know any of that and thought that maybe the fight they had the night before about her infertility gave him cold feet.
If I was Spencer, I’d be pissed that none of my friends figured out that some imposter was pretending to be me. I mean, Alex was good at nailing Spencer’s talk, walk, and character to a tee but she wasn’t Spence. How did no one pick up on that? But crazy always starts showing and soon enough, Jenna, who knew all along that Charlotte had a sister, figured it out and informed Toby, who was also skeptical after seeing Spencer’s beloved horse get hostile around her.
After that, he pieced it together – the book she gave him before he drove off with Yvonne didn’t have any notes in it, which was unlike her. It was also unlike her to kiss him when he was engaged or to pounce him after his wife passed. “What if twins run in the family,” he told the liars. “That would give A.D motive,” Caleb retorted.
Before you know it, they had located Spencer’s phone and surprisingly, it was at Toby’s old house. This CRAZY person bought the house Toby built for Spencer, keeping her and Ezra prisoners smack dab in the middle of Rosewood. Spencer’s craftiness came in handy and she was able to break them both out using a bobby pin she pulled out of Mary Drake’s hair when they embraced.
If we learned anything from the dollhouse it’s that escaping a psycho with unlimited funds is virtually impossible. When they ran outdoors, they found themselves trapped inside a huge underground dome that was built to mimic Rosewood and an axe-wielding Alex right behind them. Literally, you could see the crazy in here eyes.
As a sister fight ensued, Ezra was knocked to the ground. Thankfully, the liars along with Caleb and Toby found them just in time and came face to face with a set of identical twins dressed exactly the same. Which Spencer was the real Spencer? Easy, Toby simply asked for Spencer’s favorite poem from the book, which the real Spence gladly recited. Toby asked them both for real Spencer’s favorite poem and just like that, they figured it out.
Mona, who was accused of once again conspiring with A.D, revealed that she was always playing the game simply to help them this whole time. It’s definitely a redeeming moment for her and while it’s normal that the liars had their reservations, it speaks volumes to Hannah for always sticking by her friend and defending her, even though she tried to kill her multiple times.
With their tormentor finally gone for good, the girls were ready to start their next chapters. They took their final walk around Rosewood, a town that for once could enjoy some peace and quiet. Aria and Ezra were gearing up for their honeymoon in the South of France, Emily and Alison were just enjoying being parents to beautiful daughters Lily and Grace, whose biological father turned out to be Alex’s ex-Wren. She admitted to killing him when she decided to fully go through with her plan to assume Spencer’s identity and kept his ashes close to her in a diamond because “diamonds are forever.” (RIP Wren, you didn’t deserve this, although I was always convinced you did.) I don’t think Alison and Emily ever found out who the biological father was and I guess it’s for the better.
Spencer and Toby finally found their way back to each other after he stepped up to save her. Toby sat much of season 7 out and wasn’t really involved in the AD madness, at least not that he knew of. It was nice to see him brought back into the loop the way Caleb and Ezra have always been.
And thankfully, things for Hannah and Caleb worked out because she revealed that she was expecting a little baby Haleb. Not to jinx it but it seems like everyone got their happy ending.
“It feels like the end of something,” Alison admitted and I’d have to agree… it’s the end of A.D, of the games, of the threatening text messages and constantly living in fear. It’s the end of our relationship with the liars as we know it. But there’s beauty in the end because it also opens the door for a new beginning, which these girls needly BADLY. We can leave Rosewood knowing that their friendships will weather any storms… I mean, they all survived AD!
As for Mona, she got an ending that only she deserved. She moved to France, began dating some Robert Pattison lookalike cop who was completely unaware that she had split personalities and was holding both Mary Drake and Alex Drake hostage in the basement of her doll shop while forcing them to partake in “afternoon tea” parties. Literally, MONA TOOK THE GAME BACK! “She can’t keep us here forever,” Mary exclaimed. “Yes she can, she’s Mona,” Alex said while rolling her eyes. Game recognizes game. I could totally see a spinoff with Mona and Alex taking on the game together.
To me, that was a fitting ending but for some reason Marlene decided to assure us that even without AD and without the liars, the mythology of Rosewood continues. The mini-me liars aka Addison and her friends recreate the very first scene of the series when the girls woke up in the barn only to find Ali had disappeared. Throughout the season, they kept teasing that these girls would be the next liars, with Maya’s niece even finding a stabbed doll in her locker. While I get that it comes full circle, I don’t believe that history would repeat itself in this same way. Let it go, Marlene, let it go. Rosewood has seen enough.
- The moms are goals. I want to join their mom club and drink with them. Kudos to them for acknowledging that they too were too drunk to remember how they got out of the basement.
- Alison’s proposal to Emily while wearing a pug hoodie was everything. I’m glad Emison got their happily ever after, even if it was forced by someone impregnating Ali against her will.
- Turns out, Archer Dunhill was never actually involved with Alex’s plan. He loved Charlotte so much that after she was killed, decided to get his own revenge on Alison and her friends. Turns out creepy is as creepy hangs out with.
- I’m surprised that Alex, Charlotte, Wren and Archer “hung out” all the time in Rosewood yet no one ever saw anything. This town needs better law enforcement I swear.
- I feel a bit jipped when it comes to seeing the liars’ stories play out, specifically Hannah telling Caleb that she was pregnant. I definitely wish we would have seen his reaction.
- Maybe I missed this but was Spencer’s relationship with Caleb and Marco actually her or was that all Alex?
Saying goodbye to these girls was hard. I watch a lot of shows and haven’t formed such a bond with other characters as I did with Aria, Spencer, Hannah, Emily and Alison. It felt like I was watching my friends grow up, start new lives and finally free themselves from a cyber bully that took it too far. It’s bittersweet but like they say, don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
And to echo Spencer, how lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?
What did you think of the finale? Was it everything you wanted it to be? Did you want more closure? Let me know what you’re thinking.
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