Pretty Little Liars was pretty popular in its day. It ran for 7 (full-length) seasons on ABC Family/Freeform and ended in 2017 with a surprising series finale. The premise of the show was that four/five teen girls were stalked and harassed by three anonymous creeps with various grudges. Because everything old is new again and shows like You are big hits, Pretty Little Liars is getting its second sequel/spinoff. This show is Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin and will begin airing on HBO Max in July.
MArk your cAlendArs — Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin will premiere Thursday, July 28 on HBO Max.
Three episodes will drop on premiere day, followed by two episodes on Aug. 4 and 11, and the final three on Aug. 18. HBO Max’s announcement was accompanied by the chilling minute-long teaser above, which suggests a pretty grim future for another group of small town teens.
In a nutshell, here’s what this Pretty Little Liars follow-up is all about: “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 ‘A’ssailant and made to pay for the secret sin their parents committed two decades ago… as well as their own.”
Although Original Sin hasn’t exhibited any direct connections to the original series (yet), its official logline confirms that the story takes place “within the existing Pretty Little Liars universe,” so overlaps are always possible. After all, Millwood is described as being “miles away from Rosewood.” That could be 500 miles… or five.
The new group of Liars includes Bailee Madison as Imogen, a “true survivor”; Chandler Kinney as Tabby, an aspiring director and horror movie buff; Maia Reficco as Noa, a track star freshly sprung from a juvenile detention center; Zaria as Faran, a “posed, disciplined ballerina” with big dreams; and Malia Pyles as Minnie, who avoids her childhood trauma by escaping to virtual worlds. Additional stars include Mallory Bechtel, Sharon Leal, Elena Goode, Lea Salonga, Eric Johnson, and Alex Aiono.
The first spinoff was Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists on Freeform in 2019. It was canceled after one short season and didn’t really work, I think, because it focused on less-interesting secondary original characters and new ones and was set at a fictional college across the country from the original series. This one will probably do better because it’s a more straightforward recreation of the original story. It’s even set in a similarly-named town “miles” away from the original series town. But it seems like they did take pains to update the story. The first series main cast was pretty white aside from Shay Mitchell (I know about Troian Bellisario, but she was cast as white) and all the Black female supporting characters were killed off. This cast of young women is more diverse and I chuckled that they pointed out the new town is “blue-collar” after the the wealthy original setting. I wonder how this show being on HBO Max will affect the storyline. There were always predatory men and inappropriate relationships in the original series, but it did get a lot sexier once they were freed from the ABC Family banner, so I wonder if this one will be like that from the beginning. Showing more sex on the new Gossip Girl on HBO Max is not working and kind of cringe, so hopefully the PLL people took notes.