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

Pretty Little Liars/ Freeform

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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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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.

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7 Shows That Will Fill the Void Left Behind By ‘White Lotus’

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Shows to Watch Similar to White Lotus

You’ve binged White Lotus in a single breath, but now what? Where do you go when you’re still looking for a mind-boggling and slightly sinister series to get emotionally invested in?

There’s obviously going to be a bit of a wait for the third season of the hit HBOMax drama as filming hasn’t even begun yet, so you’ll definitely need another series equally as intoxicating to hold you over until that day comes.

What makes White Lotus such a global phenomenon is its originality… there’s nothing quite like the satire anthology out there, but there are a few shows that come close, weaving in similar elements such as murder, mystique, mystery, sex, and, for some, even a lush tropical backdrop.

We’ve done our best to compile a list of similar pieces of content that will be sure to fill the void left behind following your stay at the White Lotus.

 

Enlightened

Laura Dean leads the way as Amy, a corporate executive who works herself into a very public mental breakdown. She goes on a spiritual retreat to Hawaii for treatment, returning to her normal life after having a “nervous breakthrough” and promising to be an angel of change. When she realizes that her new outlook doesn’t exactly jive with the people back home, she hatches a plan to burn the system to the ground. It’s a groundbreaking show that was too smart for its own good—it got canceled after two seasons as fans deem it ahead of its time—and features what many believe to be Dern’s best career work.

You can watch it on HBO. 

 

Nine Perfect Strangers

Nicole Kidman stars as Masha, a resort director who leads a pack of stressed city dwellers to a private oasis in hopes of helping them heal their minds and bodies. But what should be the perfect escape turns into a bit of a nightmare for the 9 guests.

Watch it on Hulu now.

 

The Resort

Simply based on the name, the series draws a lot of comparisons to White Lotus, but while it’s set in an idyllic paradise, a key difference is that it delves more intensely into the mystery at hand—one that draws in a young couple vacationing to celebrate their anniversary into an unsolved crime that occurred 15 years ago.

You can watch it on Peacock. 

 

Acapulco

A young man’s dreams come true when he gets a job at Acapulco’s hottest resort, Las Colinas, but as anyone who has watched White Lotus knows, working at a resort comes with its share of cons, and in order to succeed, he must perfect dealing with a demanding and privileged clientele all while juggling the ups and downs of his personal life.

 
You can watch it on Apple TV.
 

 

Yellowjackets

Yellowjackets is a mix of psychological drama and horror, the former which definitely ticks off the White Lotus replacement-worthy box. And with a second season on the horizon, there are enough episodes for a proper binge-watch of a series filled with intrigue and a desire to stay alive at all costs. The series tells the story of a group of high school soccer champions that survive a plane crash deep in the Ontario wilderness. Viewers see their transformation from a thriving team to a cannibalistic clan as timelines toggle between past and present.

You can watch it on Amazon Prime Video now. 

 

Revenge

An oldy but a goody, back when primetime television took the risks—and watched them pay off. Led by Emily Van Camp in the dual role of Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke, a woman who seeks to avenge her father’s death at any cost by setting her sights on the wealthy who are covering up a Hamptons-sized secret. 

You can watch the ABC series on Hulu now. 

 

Bad Sisters

There’s nothing quite like a sisterly bond due to a death. And when the brother-in-law of the Garvey sisters passes away prematurely, an investigation is launched by life insurers to prove malicious intent. With every single one of them having a motive to kill, they all quickly become suspects. The series is largely underrated, gaining traction amongst die-hard fans mostly through word of mouth, so remember, you heard it here first! 

You can watch it on Apple TV.

 

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Will There Be a 5th Season of ‘YOU’?f

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YOU Season 4 Premiere Review Episode 1 Joe Takes a Holiday

As YOU wrapped up its fourth season run on March 9, fans couldn’t help but wonder whether a fifth season was in the works. 

The good news is that on March 24, Netflix announced that YOU Season 5 is happening.

Unfortunately, the fifth season will also mark the drama’s final season. No premiere date has been announced, but new episodes are expected to arrive in 2024.

The fourth season of the Lifetime-turned-Netflix thriller basically hit reset, throwing audiences for a loop with a murder mystery format surrounding Joe’s new life in London as Professor Jonathan Moore. 

The action really ramped up in the second half of the season as Joe’s lies and secrets began to unravel and catch up to him, threatening his “European getaway” and any shot at happiness. 

It’s actually quite amazing what the writers have been able to accomplish. They’ve managed to keep Joe’s character consistent yet provide several unique seasons that continue to keep audiences in suspense and shock with numerous well-executed twists. 

And it definitely seems that there’s much more where that came from in terms of a fifth season, which will now gear up to wrap up the storyline, provide closure (will we see Dr. Nicky and Ellie make a return?) and hopefully, serve justice where justice is due.

Spoilers below—stop reading if you’re not caught up on the most recent season of YOU!!

By the end of season 4, Joe managed to come out on top, eliminating Nadia by forcing her to take the fall for Rhys Montrose and Edward’s deaths. He thought his Marienne problem was taken care of when he carried her lifeless body to a park bench, but little did Joe know, she was actually alive. He fell for the elaborate and insane escape plan that she concocted with Nadia.

And after a failed suicide attempt, Joe managed to silence the voices outside of his head, personified by the hallucination of Rhys, embraced his darkness, and found a kindred spirit—sort of—in Kate, who he believes is the love of his life.

The two promised that they’d keep each other on the straight and narrow, though for Joe, that meant simply accepting his desires to kill as normal. And with Kate’s protections in place, he’ll be able to continue on as Joe doing what Joe does.

And thus, Joe is more powerful and dangerous than ever. It would be a shame if the streamer didn’t let writers, and audiences, explore this new side of Joe—the one that’s completely content with himself and no longer running from the darker parts. 

There are so many unanswered questions that benefit from another season. Can he really be the man Kate wants him to be? Will he be content with Kate and tame his obsessive nature? Can he cover up additional murders? Does having Kate on his side make it easier or will she eventually begin to pry and wonder? What if he can’t control his temper? Will Kate end up in a glass cage just like the rest of them eventually? 

Then there’s Marienne, who is a loose thread since she’s alive and well. I don’t think she’d actively risk her safety to take down Joe, but she does owe Nadia, who risked everything and went out of her way to help free Marienne, only to get caught in the crosshairs herself.

There’s a lot of story left to tell when it comes to Joe Goldberg’s new lease on life, and while I’m not exactly sure how much more audiences can stomach or how much more blood needs to be spilled, Netflix clearly knows it has a duty to the people to end this series the right way—with Joe hopefully meeting his match and dying an excruciatingly painful death just like all of his victims. 

That didn’t happen on YOU Season 4 as he once again got away with murder, so it just means that we’re hoping to see it on YOU Season 5. 

You can check out all of our YOU coverage in the meantime! 

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‘Riverdale’ Season 7 – Everything We Know About the Final Season

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'Riverdale' Season 7 - Everything We Know About the Final Season

It’s time to say goodbye to Riverdale. The series that brought to life the Archie Comics—and made Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, and Jughead Jones household names—is embarking on its seventh and final season in 2023.

Below, we’re breaking down some details along with your most-asked questions about season 7! 

What Will Riverdale Season 7 Be About?

On Riverdale Season 6, Cheryl managed to successfully save everyone from Bailey’s Comet, but the strange events were far from over as everyone woke up in the ’50s. Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Veronica are all teenagers again living in 1955, though Jughead is the only one who remembers what happened.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s Instagram also gave us this gem of ’50s Jughead, so do with that what you will. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (@writerras)

“Jughead remembers everything that happened. And I think our characters, whether they’re conscious or not, have an emotional memory of what they’ve been through… It is still in continuity,” Aguirre-Sacasa told Decider. He also acknowledged that many of the storylines from season 6 would be addressed, which hopefully means we won’t be spending all of our time in 1955.

He’s been revealing quite a bit about the final season on Instagram, including that there will be a ’50s-themed dance, the sock hop, in the second episode of the season.

 

Is There a Teaser for Riverdale Season 7?

Kind of. Aguirre-Sacasa’s Instagram is a vault of Riverdale-goodness, so the unofficial teaser was shared on his page and gives fans a look at the first minute or so of the premiere episode. Pop’s customers are dancing in the year 1955 as we’re introduced to the ’50s versions of our favorite characters. 

Check it out:

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (@writerras)

Are There Any Riverdale Season 7 Photos?

Yes! Entertainment Weekly previously revealed the first-look photos at the upcoming season, which included the core cast back in the classroom and in their best ’50s looks. Fangs also took the stage, with the show runner telling the outlet, “Fangs is sort of our greaser rocker. He’s a little bit like a Ritchie Valens character in our universe.”

Aguirre-Sacasa also posted a look at Archie, who is a dreamboat in every single decade he exists in.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (@writerras)

Will Riverdale Season 7 Be As Weird As Previous Seasons?

In a surprising twist, Aguirre-Sacasa revealed to Entertainment Weekly that it’s “probably, weirdly, our most grounded season.” Madeline Petsch confirmed this, noting it is “pared down with the craziness” while chatting with Variety, adding that it will focus heavily on the core relationships that made season 1 so special. She did warn, however, that “everyone is dating everyone.”

“Thank god the ’50s were as crazy as they were, because it’s been so fun to be in that world,” Aguirre-Sacasa explained, adding, “Every season we explore the tropes of a specific genre, be it supernatural, be it pulp, be it crime. This year our genre is the 1950s, so we’re in dialogue with the American myth of what the 1950s were versus the reality.”

Will There Be New Faces on Riverdale Season 7?

You bet! Aguirre-Sacasa explained that there will some differences between the characters, so the ’50s Veronica may not have the same background as the present-day Veronica. This will likely make it complicated to keep up for fans, especially since season 6 was so all over the place. 

“In season 1, Veronica arrived from New York, and in the 1950s, she’s arrived from Los Angeles,” he notes. “She grew up in 1950s Hollywood, so it’s similar but different from season 1. She’s still an outsider and a socialite, very different from everyone else.”

“Archie feels much more innocent than we’ve ever depicted him on Riverdale,” Aguirre-Sacasa explains, adding, “When we meet Archie here, he is a clean cut, 1950s teen. We describe him a little bit as a Richie Cunningham-type from Happy Days and he’s on his own journey. He’s a more innocent, romantic kind of character.”

However, it also provides the opportunity to mix in new characters. 

Deadline reported that two new faces were cast for the season as recurring cast members. Nicholas Barasch will play Julian Blossom, a “bully who always gets his way.” He will be Cheryl’s twin brother (yep, not Jason Blossom!), and the “antagonist to all of our teen characters, most especially Archie.” It also seems like Archie and Cheryl might be getting married (or something?) based on this teaser on Instagram. It’s Riverdale… that’s all I have to say.

Karl Walcott, on the other hand, joins as Clay Walker, an Army brat described as  “studious, well-read, and well-traveled.” The outlet notes, “He is very open-minded in his art and his sexuality. As he does in the comic books, Clay will have an impactful friendship with fellow queer character Kevin Keller.”

What Will Riverdale Season 7 Episode 1 Be About?

Aguirre-Sacasa told EW that the first episode is Jughead’s story. “It’s him asking, ‘What do I do with the fact that I’m the only one who remembers our lives before the comet hit?’ And that gets resolved at the end of episode 1. But you get to see Cole playing the Jughead we’ve known, and then you get to see Cole putting on a 1950s persona.”

The show runner also teased “something very, very dark happens at the end of episode 2.”

Will There Be a Villain in Riverdale Season 7?

Riverdale is known for its villains—Hiram Lodge, TBK, Gargoyle King, the list goes on—but Aguirre Sacasa notes there won’t be one villain this season, per se. Instead, the decade seems to be the villain as he notes the character must find “their way in the constricting, dark realities of the 1950s, trying to discover themselves in a really repressive, conformist, homophobic, racist world.”

The biggest struggle is our characters trying to live authentic individualistic lives during a time period where that was really hard to do,” he adds.

When Will Riverdale Season 7 Premiere?

The CW announced that Riverdale’s final season will kickoff on Wednesday, March 29 at 9/8c. It will consist of 20 episodes that will conclude on Wednesday, Aug. 23.

Is There a Riverdale Season 7 Synopsis?

Yes!

“Picking up where last season ended, Jughead Jones finds himself trapped in the 1950s. He has no idea how he got there, nor how to get back to the present. His friends are no help, as they are living seemingly authentic lives, similar to their classic Archie Comics counterparts, unaware that they’ve ever been anywhere but the 1950’s.

Archie Andrews is the classic all-American teen, coming of age, getting into trouble, and learning life-lessons; Betty Cooper is the girl next door, starting to question everything about her perfect life — including her controlling mother Alice; Veronica Lodge is a Hollywood starlet who moved to Riverdale under mysterious circumstances; Cheryl Blossom is the Queen Bee with a withering wit and a secret longing; Toni Topaz is an activist fighting for the Black students of recently integrated Riverdale High; Kevin Keller is a ‘square’ crooner wrestling with his sexual identity; Reggie Mantle is a basketball star from farm country; and Fangs Fogarty is a greaser who’s destined to be an Elvis-type star. It isn’t until Jughead is visited by Tabitha Tate — Riverdale’s Guardian Angel — that he learns the cosmic truth about their predicament. Will Jughead and the gang be able to return to the present? Or will our characters be trapped in the 1950’s forever? And, if so…is that such a bad thing?”

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