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.
When Will ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Season 40 Premiere?
Wheel of Fortune is getting ready to go XL for a milestone season.
“XL Week” (otherwise known as Extra Lucky and loaded with many prizes) will kick off the upcoming season in celebration of four decades of the game show.
Pat Sajak and Vanna White are on board to host, with the latter “working at a new LED screen puzzle board,” per the press release.
“XL Week” represents the roman numeral 40 for the 40th season and will feature extra prizes, puzzles, and hopes to be “XL (Extra Lucky)” for contestants and fans.
” During “XL Week,” not only will contestants have double the chances to win $1 Million with up to two full $1 Million wedges on the Wheel, but when they bring the $1 Million to the bonus round their chances are doubled because a second $1 Million envelope will be added to the Bonus Wheel. This week also introduces the “XL Wedge” with the chance to win an additional $40,000 when the player takes that to the bonus round for a minimum win of $80,000. Viewers will have big chances to win as well with a chance to win the Prize Puzzle featured in the round and the XL Bonus Round prize if it’s won,” the release notes.
Following “XL Week,” gameplay returns to normal, with the minimum amount that can be won at the Bonus Wheel bumped to $40,000 because, again, 40th season!
The fun kicks off on September 12, 2022, reportedly running through June 9, 2023.
And if you’re a huge WOF fan, don’t miss Celebrity Wheel of Fortune starting on Sunday, September 25, 2022 on ABC.
You can see the full 2022-2023 Fall TV schedule right here!
7 Must-Watch Shows This Fall
We’re only a few weeks away from the 2022-2023 fall TV season!
With the addition of streaming services, there are plenty of choices when it comes to what to watch all year long, but honestly, there’s something so special about primetime programming debuting strictly in the fall.
Much like pumpkin spice lattes, it provides a cozy feeling of returning to a routine and reuniting with your favorite TV characters while also welcoming new ones to the fold.
But there are always a few standout shows — new and old — that we think you definitely need to add to your list this season.
These titles will likely be the talk of the town (see: watercolor talk before remote work took over and turned it into slack talk), and you definitely don’t want to be left out of the conversation—in person or virtual.
Lopez vs. Lopez – NBC
Who doesn’t love a multi-cam family comedy? George Lopez teams with his IRL daughter, Mayan Lopez, to portray fictionalized versions of themselves in what’s described as a “working-class family comedy about dysfunction, reconnection and all the pain and joy in between.” Brice Gonzalez of TikTok’s EnkyBoys fame has also been cast in the series, so keep him on your radar!
Premieres Friday, November 4
Alaska Daily – ABC
After the short-lived Netflix series, Away, Hilary Swank is returning to TV as a journalist seeking a fresh start in Anchorage, Alaska where she begins investigating a missing woman’s case.
Premieres Thursday, October 6
Monarch – FOX
Trace Adkins and Susan Sarandon are just a few big-time names hoping to hook audiences in a drama about a country music dynasty, the Romans. “When their reign as country royalty is put in jeopardy, heir to the crown Nicolette “Nicky” Roman will stop at nothing to protect her family’s legacy, while ensuring her own quest for stardom, alongside her brother Luke and sister Gigi,” the synopsis notes. A handful of A-list country stars have already been tapped for guest appearances, including Shania Twain and Martina McBride.
Vampire Academy – Peacock
Calling all vampire lovers! Julie Plec, the creative force behind The Vampire Diaries, is hoping fans will sink their teeth into yet another series adapted from YA books about a group of supernatural attending boarding school at St Vladimir’s Academy.
Premieres on Thursday, September 15
Big Sky – ABC
Big Sky isn’t exactly a new show, but the Montana-set crime drama is sort of reinventing itself in the third season with a brand new mystery and title “Deadly Trails.” Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) and former partner/now undersheriff Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick) will team with newcomer and sheriff Beau Arlen (Jensen Ackles) to investigate Sunny Barnes (Reba McEntire) described as a “successful backcountry outfitter with a secret history of missing customers.”
Premieres Wednesday, September 21
La Brea – NBC
If you snoozed on La Brea in season 1 because you thought it wouldn’t get renewed, it might be time to catch up ahead of new episodes coming this fall. The series will pick up on the disappearance of three cast members, who were previously stuck in 10,000 B.C following the emergence of a sinkhole in Los Angeles. They have been transported to a different time period, which they must now navigate. Meanwhile, everyone still stuck in 10K B.C searches for a way back home.
“This season will still largely take place in 10,000 BC. However, we will no longer be telling a concurrent story in modern-day Los Angeles. Instead, we will be telling a story in 1988 Los Angeles,” showrunner and creator David Appelbaum said.
Premieres Tuesday, September 27
The Cleaning Lady – FOX
Again, if you snoozed on the hottest drama, The Cleaning Lady forgives you, but it definitely wants you to catch up before new episodes drop! Elodie Yung stars as Thony, an immigrant mom that’s determined to do anything to save her sick child. When she witnesses a murder, she finds herself working as a cleaning lady for the mob and doing things she never thought possible.
Premieres Monday, September 19.
Only Murders in the Building Season 2 Finale and New Murder Mystery, Explained
In the words of Mabel Mora… “well, sh*t.”
Only Murders in the Building concluded its second season with a few satisfying twists, including a killer cliffhanger!
The murderer was revealed, though, it likely wasn’t the person you suspected all along. Or, maybe it was, and in that case, you’re a much better detective than our trio of podcasters.
Upon getting a call from Detective Williams, who got a positive DNA hit on the knife used to stab poor Bunny Folger, Mabel, Charles, and Oliver were finally able to piece it all together. And the evidence did not point back to Cinda Canning, as we all previously believed, or, as Poppy, aka Becky, wanted us to believe.
It surprisingly also didn’t lead back to Alice. While Mabel’s theory at the killer reveal party (a killer party where they revealed the killer on a live stream) declaring Alice as the mastermind was well-executed, it was, as Poppy herself pointed out, missing a motive. Nothing connected the “Australian girl” to Bunny. And in that revelation, Poppy gave herself away as the culprit instead. Then, she solidified it with a handful of sneezes—just like the killer.
In simple terms, she slipped up.
Earlier in the day, Mabel, Charles, and Oliver realized that Poppy’s desire to be acknowledged, respected, and recognized would be her demise. After they staged the reveal that made Alice the scapegoat, Cinda was so impressed that she offered Mabel a job and her own podcast, two things that Poppy has been desperately seeking from Cinda this whole time.
Once she realized that she was being undervalued yet again, she started unraveling like a sweater until she was in handcuffs.
Bunny was, unfortunately, an innocent bystander in Poppy’s quest to matter and become the best podcaster in the world.
She murdered Bunny in order to provide a good story for her podcast, working simultaneously with Kreps—the corrupt cop we initially thought was sleeping with Cinda—in order to get away with it.
It was truly a great twist, proving that the series excels at modern-day murder mysteries. Even if the whole plot wasn’t as clean as the Tim Kono murder investigation, it was a still a fun ride across 10 episodes that gave us a deeper look at the protagonists we’ve come to love.
Poppy was definitely top of mind on the suspect’s list, but since we didn’t know her backstory until the beginning of the episode, there wasn’t anything connecting her to it. Once fans realized that she faked her own death because she was miserable working for a misogynistic mayor and taking care of a drunk father, while also being the one to suggest diving into the mystery of Rose Cooper for a podcast, it became clear that there were just too many things linking back to Poppy.
It was enjoyable to see everyone at the Arconia involved in the final chapter of the murder mystery as they all loved Bunny and deserved to be part of this journey. Even though their roles are minimal, they are all such well-developed characters who contribute to the hilarity with witty one-liners. I was fully expecting Nina and Amy Schumer to make an appearance, and I’m kind of disappointed the latter was just added for the sake of uplifting the Arconia as “the spot” to be.
Once Poppy and Kreps were behind bars, the trio could breathe a sigh of relief. And it was understandable that they were all eager to put solving murders behind them. The success of the podcast, and the unlikely collaboration with Cinda, propelled Charles and Oliver back into the spotlight as one landed a much bigger role on the Brazzos spinoff, while the other got a job directing on Broadway. Their dreams are coming true! Oliver also told Will that he wasn’t his biological father, but not only did Will already know (he knows his father’s tells), he didn’t care.
Meanwhile, Mabel decided it was time to stop being defined by her sad past, so she remodeled her Arconia apartment (yep, she painted over that incredible mural) with Alice’s help.
And then, the series did a time jump one year into the future, which was unexpected but necessary as it allowed the characters to grow into their new lives, which are about to be derailed by yet another murder.
This time, the murder happened to the star of Oliver’s Broadway play and Charles’ co-star/ enemy, Ben (played by Paul Rudd!), who was poisoned just as he took the stage for his big moment.
As Oliver, Charles, and Mabel watched on in horror, they simply couldn’t believe that they were the center of yet another murder mystery.
And this time, Charles definitely looked guilty as there was clearly some beef between the actors right before Ben’s death.
But while Bunny’s death was a great cliffhanger, I’m even more intrigued now to see how these new, more successful, and self-confident, versions of our trio take on this new mystery.
Not to mention that the new murder setting—the theater— will undoubtedly provide us with new opportunities and new suspects, which is an exciting change of pace.
The third time’s the charm, right?
What did you think of the Only Murders in the Building season 2 finale? Did you like the season? Were you surprised by who the murderer ended up being?
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