Will The Pretty Little Liars Reboot Be Doomed Like Its Spin-offs?

A ‘Pretty Little Liars’ reboot is about to make its debut on HBO Max, following a brand-new set of liars and having a much darker tone compared to the original show. Developed by ‘Riverdale’ showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, ‘Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin’ is set within the same universe of the Freeform series, but will leave Rosewood and its residents behind, bringing the action to a different town and bearing no connection with the OG quartet. The original show ran for seven seasons, aired between 2010 and 2017, and starred Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Troian Bellisario and Shay Mitchell as the titular liars. Its creator I. Marlene King, who adapted the story for television from a novel by Sarah Shepard, attempted to recreate its effective formula of twists and cliffhangers in two spin-offs, both loosely connected to the first ‘PLL’. However, both series were canceled after just one season.


Given ‘Ravenswood’ and ‘The Perfectionists’ succumbed to the curse of the ‘Pretty Little Liars’ spin-off, will ‘Original Sin’ fare better than its predecessors?

Much like the ‘Gossip Girl’ reboot —a more inclusive spin on the original 2000s series — the reboot of ‘Pretty Little Liars’ might have a good chance at being renewed thanks to its scary plot and progressive themes.

Where You Can Watch ‘Pretty Little Liars: The Original Sin’?

HBO Max subscribers will be able to watch ‘Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin’ for free on the streamer starting July 28, 2022. Basic HBO Max plans are available for $10/month or $100/year, and ad-free packages are available for $15/month or $150/year.

Why Were ‘Ravenswood’ And ‘Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists’ Given The Ax?

Premiered in and respectively, ‘Ravenswood’ and ‘The Perfectionists’ failed to get the high ratings of ‘Pretty Little Liars’.

Both featured characters from the original show, but seemed to lack a gripping central mystery and character studies capable of gluing viewers to their couch.

Particularly, ‘Ravenswood’ (introduced with a backdoor pilot in season four of ‘Pretty Little Liars’) may have put off some of the staunchest fans with a decidedly supernatural plot, centered around an ancient curse plaguing the titular town. Despite starring OGs Benson and Tyler Blackburn reprising their roles as Hanna and Caleb, this ghost tale wasn’t renewed after the first ten-episode run.

Related: Life Of The ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Cast In 2022

As for ‘The Perfectionists,’ the series was set in a competitive college, trying to expand the scope of ‘Pretty Little Liars’ beyond privileged high schoolers.

The second spin-off followed a group of friends investigating the death of a popular student.

While the concept was more similar to ‘Pretty Little Liars’ (and it even starred Sasha Pieterse and Janel Parrish, returning as Alison and Mona), ‘The Perfectionists’ didn’t resonate with the fandom enough to get a season two order.

What Is ‘Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin’ About?

‘Original Sin’ exists within the same continuity of the other three shows, but it is set in the town of Millwood, where some tragic events took place 20 years prior.

The series centers around five young protagonists who find themselves tormented by an unknown assailant and made to pay for the secret sin their parents committed two decades ago.

This show’s liars are horror buff Tabby (played by Chandler Kinney), striving track star Noa (Maia Reficco), final girl Imogen (Bailee Madison), poised ballerina Faran (Zaria) and introvert Minnie (Malia Pyles). Related: Bianca Lawson Didn’t Think Her LGBT+ Character On ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Was Even Remotely Important

Showrunner Aguirre-Sacasa has teased the central mystery on Instagram, posting a picture of a house engulfed in flames, the same house where something terrible had happened to Angela and her mother Rose.

“Every small town has one. The creepy house at the end of the lane. Where the “weird” girl lives with her “crazy” family. In Millwood, this is that house. Where the Waters family once lived. Angela and her mother Rose. Until…something bad happened to Angela, and Rose…lost her mind, they said. What happened to Angela was unspeakable,” he wrote.

“But no one knows the real story. Not Angela’s classmates back in 1999. And not the daughters of her classmates, currently students at Millwood High. Sometimes, it takes a liar to uncover the truth. And sometimes, it takes FIVE liars…”

Darker ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Spin-off Has A Different Creative Team

The upcoming teen mystery drama may be the fourth series in the ‘Pretty Little Liars’ universe, but it’s the first where original showrunner King is not involved.

Since Aguirre-Sacasa is the mastermind behind horror-tinged ‘Riverdale’ and ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,’ ‘Original Sin’ is guaranteed to have a more disturbing vibe than the other three ‘PLL’ shows. Plus, the new spin-off is airing on HBO Max, notably more daring than cable channel Freeform, part of ABC Family Worldwide.

Related: What Keegan Allen Has Been Up To Since ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Ended

“We’re such huge fans of what I. Marlene King and her iconic cast created, we knew that we had to treat the original series as #CANON and do something different,” Aguirre-Sacasa and ‘CAOS’ producer Lindsay Bring said in a statement in 2020.

“So we’re leaning into the suspense and horror in this reboot, which hopefully will honor what the fans loved about the hit series, while weaving in new, unexpected elements.”

‘Original Sin’ Has The Scariest Villain Of All ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Series

The trailer for ‘Original Sin’ seems to confirm the horror hype, with a mysterious A figure that vaguely resembles villain Leatherface of classic slasher film ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’.

Aguirre-Sacasa revealed something more about A on Instagram, writing a detailed description of what appears to be his lair.

“Every high school has one. The creepy boiler room in the basement. You walk by the door probably…twenty times a day. Off-limits to the students. Forgotten by the staff. The janitors can’t even find a key for it. At Millwood High, that boiler room isn’t where the students go to make-out or smoke some weed. It’s where A dwells, making his plans, plotting his revenge across decades…”

What the showrunner has said about the series so far seems enough to pique our interest, and possibly that of fans of the original liars, too.

With episode titles such as “The (Fe)male Gaze” and “Final Girls,” ‘Original Sin’ seems to also offer a fresher, feminist perspective on the protagonists’ stories, one that will be interesting to see unfold, and perhaps continue beyond this first chapter.

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Next: The Real Reason Fans Hated The ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Finale

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