Geeks logo

Can 'Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists' Recapture the Magic?

by Em DiMonaco 2 years ago in tv

In the 'Pretty Little Liars' world, nothing is ever really dead.

From 2010 to 2017, Pretty Little Liars was the queen of teen television. The show popularized live-tweeting, influenced fashion trends, and kept a legion of devoted fans—both teens and adults—tuning in week after week to find out who the mysterious A was. Now, once again, some of TVs favorite liars are back on the small screen with the new spin-off Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists. While the spin-off features two fan favorite characters from the original, Alison and Mona, it remains to be seen whether or not Perfectionists can recapture the success of its mothership.

This spinoff bears many similarities with the original PLL. Both shows revolve around the murder of a young student, one who happens to be disliked by most of their peers, and a slew of other strange mysteries that arise alongside it. This new show has a unique twist, with the characters being students at a prestigious university, while the original show followed students at a more-or-less normal high school. The Perfectionists is based on a series of books by Sara Shepherd, the author behind the original Pretty Little Liars series, and features the same showrunner, Marlene King. While these two book series are completely unrelated, King makes the wise choice to transport two characters from PLL into this new show, encouraging fans of the original to tune in just for a chance to see their favorites back on TV.

Pretty Little Liars was notable throughout its seven seasons for its inclusion of LGBTQ characters in a way not often seen on teen dramas. While many fans complain that LGBTQ characters tended to be killed off on the show, the show was also praised for its treatment of Emily Fields, one of the four protagonists who came out as a lesbian in the show’s first season. After her coming out plotline, Emily’s sexual orientation was rarely again a plot point, with her relationships being treated the same as those of the show’s straight characters. By the show’s final season—spoiler alert—she was in a relationship with Alison DiLaurentis, and the two were married with twin daughters in the show’s finale. But while Alison is now Beacon Heights on The Perfectionists, Emily remains in Rosewood, much to the anger of “Emison” shippers who do not appreciate the couple being “on a break.”

Sasha Pieterse as Alison DiLaurentis

From 2010 to 2017, Pretty Little Liars was the queen of teen television. The show popularized live-tweeting, influenced fashion trends, and kept a legion of devoted fans—both teens and adults—tuning in week after week to find out who the mysterious A was. Now, once again, some of TVs favorite liars are back on the small screen with the new spin-off Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists. While the spin-off features two fan-favorite characters from the original, Alison and Mona, it remains to be seen whether or not Perfectionists can recapture the success of its mothership.

This spinoff bears many similarities with the original PLL. Both shows revolve around the murder of a young student, one who happens to be disliked by most of their peers, and a slew of other strange mysteries that arise alongside it. This new show has a unique twist, with the characters being students at a prestigious university, while the original show followed students at a more-or-less normal high school. The Perfectionists is based on a series of books by Sara Shepherd, the author behind the original Pretty Little Liars series, and features the same showrunner, Marlene King. While these two book series are completely unrelated, King makes the wise choice to transport two characters from PLL into this new show, encouraging fans of the original to tune in just for a chance to see their favorites back on TV.

Pretty Little Liars was notable throughout its seven seasons for its inclusion of LGBTQ characters in a way not often seen on teen dramas. While many fans complain that LGBTQ characters tended to be killed off on the show, the show was also praised for its treatment of Emily Fields, one of the four protagonists who came out as a lesbian in the show’s first season. After her coming out plotline, Emily’s sexual orientation was rarely again a plot point, with her relationships being treated the same as those of the show’s straight characters. By the show’s final season—spoiler alert—she was in a relationship with Alison DiLaurentis, and the two were married with twin daughters in the show’s finale. But while Alison is now Beacon Heights on The Perfectionists, Emily remains in Rosewood, much to the anger of “Emison” shippers who do not appreciate the couple being “on a break.”

On the other hand, The Perfectionists does feature a surprising amount of LGBTQ characters, and only two episodes in. In addition to Alison, an openly bisexual lead character, the show has Dylan, a cellist in a relationship with the cute and nerdy Andrew, and Caitlin, who struggles to accomplish enough for her two successful mothers. In the second episode, Alison even alludes to Mona’s possible bisexuality (which would certainly line up with her intense love for best friend Hanna on the original show). While Pretty Little Liars was certainly popular with LGBTQ fans, who enjoyed the representation it offered, it was equally controversial at times. Perhaps Perfectionists will succeed where PLL failed—but that remains to be seen.

Devoted fans of Pretty Little Liars are no doubt pleased to see this franchise living on, but can the show live up to expectations? The show was extremely popular, and that type of success is difficult to recreate, even with the reappearance of original characters. As well, many hardcore fans were vocally disappointed with the final season of PLL, with the show’s final absurd twist leaving a sour taste in their mouths. Perhaps some fans feel the show is better off dead. But of course, in the Pretty Little Liars world, there’s no guarantee that anything is ever really dead.

tv
Em DiMonaco
Em DiMonaco
Read next: Best Customizable Games
Em DiMonaco

Writing about whatever I want. Instagram: @basicnailgal

See all posts by Em DiMonaco

Find us on socal media

Miscellaneous links