5 Changes ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Should Make After the Time Jump to Improve
We’re very excited to see Pretty Little Liars get a fresh start with its five-year time jump, but a time jump alone does not a fresh start make. Here are five other changes we’d like to see PLL make to improve the show.
Fewer New, Short-Lived Characters
We know it would be impossible and weird if PLL didn’t add new characters after the time jump. The Liars are bound to have made lots of new friends since we last checked in with them. However, we really hope PLL resists trying to expand the cast too much and, when it does, we hope they commit to these new characters in meaningful ways. This show has a history of bringing in characters we don’t care about and not keeping them around long enough for us to start caring about them. We’re talking about the Johnnys and Talias of this fictional world, and we really hope PLL practices an economy of character moving forward.
Check in With Old Characters
Somewhat related to our last point, we’d really like a chance to check in with the characters we do care about. Sentiment isn’t something that should be wasted, especially on a show this far into its run. We grew to care about characters like Jenna, Lucas, Noel, etc. early on in this shows run. Even if we didn’t necessarily like them, we were interested in what happened to them. It’s been awhile since we’ve checked in with these characters in any meaningful way. We hope we get to this winter season.
Give the Moms More Screen Time
We think we can all agree that the penultimate episode of the summer was an absolute joy to watch — mostly thanks to the novelty of seeing the Rosewood moms on screen together, being hilarious. We’d love to find out that, five years later, these Rosewood residents have grown closer, bonded by what happened to their daughters and sticking together even after Aria, Emily, Spencer, and Hanna have left town. Wine for everyone!
Bring in more Real World Context
Though PLL tends to eschew real world complications for snakes and finger bone corsets, it’s no stranger to addressing tougher, more nuanced real world issues. PLL did an amazing job with Emily’s coming out story in Season 1. We loved when Hanna confronted her dad about not being there for her emotionally or financially last season. And the Hastings family is full of juicy and complicated familial dynamics. We want to see PLL bring in more real-world context after the time jump. Are all of the Liars employed? Are they struggling with student loan debt? PLL brilliantly uses misogyny as an underlying theme of this world structure, but how does that manifest now that the Liars are 20-somethings? We’d love to see PLL get more ambitious when it comes to answering these questions.
Tension Between the Liars
The relationships between the Liars is the heart of this show, and something PLL has done consistently well, even when other aspects of their storytelling has been lacking. Heading into the post-time jump narrative, we’d love to see PLL take some chances with their friendships. It is often the nature of high school friendships to grow apart during and after college. It would be natural for Aria, Spencer, Emily, and Hanna to have grown apart a bit — or for some of them to be in better contact than others. It would be interesting to see PLL play with that tension and show these four friends coming back together after a small to major rift during the time jump. We’ve only ever really seen these four friends as one, solid family unit. What does this show look like when that unit is compromised?
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