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.
The 5 Best and the 5 Worst of 2021 TV, So Far
The 5 Best of 2021 TV:
Even with the pandemic shutting down the production of many current shows, 2021 still managed to pull off some darn good TV. Give it up for streaming services that totally blew cable television out of the water.
Here are 5 TV shows you NEED to add to your watchlist.
1. Hacks (HBO Max)
HBO Max’s Hacks deserved every Emmy it received and every Emmy it didn’t receive. The talented Jean Smart stars as Deborah Vance a fading comedian who teams up with canceled comedy writer Ava (Hannah Einbinder). An unlikely pairing eventually finds their connection and their way in this hilarious series.
The show manages to be everything and more even though the concept is pretty basic. So, despite what you might think from the trailer, you won’t be disappointed.
2. Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
It’s been forever since Steve Martin and Martin Short teamed up together to bring quality entertainment. And this time they’ve teamed up with Selena Gomez on Only Murders in the Building! Truly an unusual group, but one that works surprisingly well.
In this comedic mystery, the three come together to create a podcast in which they work to solve a murder in their building. When they dig deeper, stories are unraveled, and trust wavers. Although, the one thing that stays constant is the humor and overabundance of Steve Martin’s dad jokes.
3. Mare of Easttown (HBO Max)
Kate Winslet. Need I say more?
In this murder mystery, Mare is the police officer tasked with solving a murder in her small Pennsylvanian town. The twist at the end will leave you speechless, and reeling in awe. Mare of Easttown has A+ acting and a storyline that will have you coming back for more.
4. Squid Game (Netflix)
You’ll have to put subtitles on for this one unless you speak Korean, but I promise it’s more than worth it. Squid Game received widespread recognition over Tik Tok and is now No. 1 on Netflix’s trending list and potentially its biggest show ever.
It is gory and well-produced. And you’ll want to binge it all at once! A group of people who are in debt fight to stay alive and to win the grand prize of ₩4.5 billion. Who will prevail and who will die?
5. Firefly Lane (Netflix)
This one might be an unpopular opinion since Rotten Tomatoes didn’t like it, but I did. Two best friends Kate and Tully have known each other since high school. Kate has lived in the shadow of Tully their entire friendship but is living the life Tully ultimately wants.
Drama ensues throwing a wrench into their decades-long friendship. Firefly Lane is an easy watch and verges on cheesy, yet it’s entertaining and you’ll be left wanting a season 2 to answer important questions.
The 5 Worst of 2021 TV:
And while there is good TV, there is certainly bad TV. Many of these either had unbearable plots, endings that tanked the entire show, or were downright boring.
Here’s a list of 5 shows you should avoid at all costs.
1. Nine Perfect Strangers (Hulu)
Ouch, even Nicole Kidman couldn’t save this show. Nine Perfect Strangers is based on the book of the same name, but in order to provide a fresh and new perspective, it refrains from repeating the novel’s storyline.
Each episode dragged a bit, and while the characters were interesting and given depth, the plot and resolution failed. And sorry, but Nicole Kidman’s attempt at a Russian accent made everything a bit tacky. In short, it’s about a healing retreat that strives to help a group of visitors heal from their past traumas.
2. Cruel Summer (Freeform)
Initially, this show had great potential. However, its ending completely ruined everything it was doing right. Cruel Summer is a thriller about a young girl who goes missing and the nuances within her abduction.
It plays into some obvious tropes and many of its twists are predictable. Watch at your own risk!
3. Genera(t)ion (HBO Max)
There were some good characters and decent storylines, but altogether this show just didn’t work. A majority of the characters were unlikable and it tried too hard to push the boundaries.
Genera(+)ion brings to life a group of high schoolers, some of whom are figuring out their gender and sexual identities. It attempts to dig deeper into the lives and minds of Gen Zers and how the internet affects and shapes their adolescence.
4. Gossip Girl 2021 (HBO Max)
Let’s just say the original Gossip Girl deserved to stay untouched. The Gossip Girl 2021 reboot was terrible and so obviously created by an out-of-touch group of adults that were trying to appeal to Gen Z.
The only thing I can applaud is the diversity within the casting. But other than that, the storyline about teachers creating a troll Instagram account to try and keep their students inline? Implausible and downright ridiculous.
5. Solos (Amazon Prime)
With big names like Anne Hathaway, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, and Constance Wu, you’d think this show would’ve done better. But, Solos goes to show that good actors can’t save bad writing.
Each episode of this seven-part series attempts to provide a groundbreaking meaning behind humanity. Almost like it tried to one-up Black Mirror, but got it all wrong. Since it was shot during COVID it kept every character isolated to one room, which was a cool concept in theory. However, the monologues were dry making the length of each episode excruciating to sit through.
Disney+ Announces ‘Hallowstream’ Lineup – See the Full List of Movies and Shows
Disney+ is getting ready for spooky season with a slate of shows and movies for audiences big and small.
The Halloween-themed content is hitting the streaming service on September 24 as part of their “Hallowstream.”
It will include new originals like LEGO Star Wars Terrifying Tales, eight-part anthology based on the stories of R.L. Stine titled Just Beyond, and Muppets Haunted Mansion. And yes, The Haunted Mansion will also be available.
But don’t worry, those beloved classics will take you back, including Hocus Pocus, Halloweentown, and James and the Giant Peach (cause you now you still have nightmares after watching that in second grade!)
I’m personally excited about this Disney Channel classic: Mom’s Got a Date With a Vampire!
OG Disney fans can even tap into Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, The Suite Life On Deck, and Twitches!
Movies and Series
LEGO® Star Wars Terrifying Tales (Friday, October 1)
Muppets Haunted Mansion (Friday, October 8)
Just Beyond (All Episodes Streaming Wednesday, October 13)
Bride of Boogedy
Can of Worms
Don’t Look Under the Bed
Girl vs. Monster
Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge
James and the Giant Peach
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Mom’s Got a Date With a Vampire
Phantom of the Megaplex
Return to Halloweentown
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
The Ghosts of Buxley Hall
The Haunted Mansion
The Scream Team
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
Wizards of Waverly Place
Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie
The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror (I – XXX) and The Simpsons Horror Collection
Shorts and Specials
Captain Sparky Vs. The Flying Saucers
Mater and the Ghostlight
The Legend of Mor’du
Toy Story of Terror!
Trick or Treat
Vampirina Ghoul Girls Rock!
WandaVision – “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!”
What If…? – “What If…Zombies?!”
The Muppet Show – “Vincent Price”
Behind The Attraction – “The Haunted Mansion”
The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse – “Houseghosts”
The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse – “Once Upon An Apple”
Prop Culture – “The Nightmare Before Christmas”
Earth To Ned – “Night of the Living Ned”
The Incredible Dr. Pol – “Pol-Tergeist”
America’s Funniest Home Videos – “Scared Silly, Trick or Treat, and a Home Wrecking Rodent”
America’s Funniest Home Videos – “Tricks & Treats, Costume Party and Baby Monsters”
America’s Funniest Home Videos – “Halloween Classics, Magic Mishaps, and Spiders”
America’s Funniest Home Videos – “Halloweenies and Creepy Crawlies”
America’s Funniest Home Videos – “Halloween, Instant Karma, and Scared Stupid”
America’s Funniest Home Videos – “Halloweenies 2012 and Second Guy Bites It”
Disney Channel Halloween Episodes
A.N.T Farm – “Mutant Farm”
Big City Greens – “Blood Moon Part 1 / Blood Moon Part 2”
Bunk’d – “Camp Kiki-slasher”
DuckTales (2017) – “Terror of the Terra-firmians!”
Even Stevens – “A Very Scary Story”
Girl Meets World – “Girl Meets World of Terror”
Good Luck Charlie – “Scary Had a Little Lamb”
Goof Troop – “Hallow-Weenies”
Gravity Falls – “Summerween”
Hannah Montana – “Torn Between Two Hannahs”
Jessie – “The Whining”
K.C. Undercover – “All Howls Eve”
Kim Possible – “October 31st”
Lab Rats – “Night of The Living Virus”
Liv and Maddie – “Haunt-A-Rooney”
Lizzie McGuire – “Night of the Day of the Dead”
Mickey Mouse (Shorts) – “Ghoul Friend”
Phil of the Future – “Halloween”
Phineas and Ferb – “Terrifying Tri-State Trilogy of Terror” (Part 1 and 2)
Raven’s Home – “Switch-or-Treat”
Recess – “Terrifying Tales of Recess”
Shake It Up – “Haunt It Up”
Sonny With A Chance – “A So Random Halloween Special”
Star vs. The Forces of Evil – “Hungry Larry/Spider with a Top Hat”
Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure – “The Wrath of Ruthless Ruth”
That’s So Raven – “Don’t Have a Cow”
The Proud Family – “A Hero for Halloween”
The Suite Life of Zack & Cody – “Ghost of 613”
The Suite Life On Deck – “Sea Monster Mash”
Wizards of Waverly Place – “Halloween”
Disney Junior Halloween Episodes
Doc McStuffins – “Boo-Hoo to You! / It’s Glow Time”
Doc McStuffins – “Hallie Halloween / Don’t Fence Me In”
Doc McStuffins “Mirror, Mirror on My Penguin / Hide and Eek!”
Fancy Nancy – “Nancy’s Costume Clash / Nancy’s Ghostly Halloween”
Goldie & Bear – “Witch Cat is Which? / Trick or Treat Trouble”
Handy Manny – “Halloween / Squeeze’s Magic Show”
Henry Hugglemonster – “Halloween Scramble / Scouts Night Out”
Henry Hugglemonster – “Huggleween Moon”
Imagination Movers – “A Monster Problem”
Imagination Movers – “Haunted Halloween”
Jake and the Never Land Pirates – “Escape from Ghost Island / The Island of Doctor Undergear”
Jake and the Never Land Pirates – “Night of the Golden Pumpkin / Trick or Treasure!”
Jake and the Never Land Pirates – “Phantoms of Never-Nether Land / Magical Mayhem”
Jake and the Never Land Pirates – “Pirate Ghost Story / Queen Izzybella”
Jake and the Never Land Pirates – “Tricks, Treats and Treasure! / Season of the Sea Witch”
Little Einsteins – “A Little Einsteins Halloween”
Mickey and the Roadster Racers – “Goof Mansion / A Doozy Night of Mystery”
Mickey and the Roadster Racers – “The Haunted Hot Rod / Pete’s Ghostly Gala”
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – “Mickey’s Monster Musical” (Part 1 and 2)
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – “Mickey’s Treat”
Miles from Tomorrowland – “Ghost Moon / Stormy Night in a Dark Nebula”
Muppet Babies – “Happy Hallowocka!/The Teeth-Chattering Tale of the Haunted Pancakes”
Out of the Box – “Trick or Treat”
Puppy Dog Pals – “Return to the Pumpkin Patch / Haunted Howl-oween”
Sheriff Callie’s Wild West – “The Great Hallow”
Sofia the First – “Cauldronation Day”
Sofia the First – “Ghostly Gala”
Sofia the First – “Princess Butterfly”
The Lion Guard – “Beware the Zimwi”
Vampirina – “Hauntleyween / Frankenflower”
WATCH: ‘Nancy Drew’ Season 3 Trailer Teases Nancy and Ace Romance
The season 3 trailer of Nancy Drew is finally here, and we’ve never been more excited for October 8!
In addition to a possible Nancy and Ace romance (there’s so much chemistry there, it’s insane), the trailer picks up a week after the Nancy Drew Season 2 finale.
Fans can expect plenty of new dark mysteries and murders to continue haunting Horeshoe Bay, along with a deadly new game brought upon by the spirit of Nancy’s relative Temperance Hudson, who is all too eager to cause mischief.
The rest of the Drew Crew — including Nancy’s biological father, Ryan Hudson, and her adoptive dad, Carson Drew — can expect to be dragged into the cursed world of the supernatural.
Watch the trailer below and get ready!
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