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Series / Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin

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"Welcome to Millwood."Characters 

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin is the sequel and reboot of Pretty Little Liars.

Over twenty years ago, a series of tragic events almost ripped Millwood apart. Now, in the present day, a brand-new set of Little Liars — Imogen (Bailee Madison), Tabby (Chandler Kinney), Faran (Zaria), Mouse (Malia Pyles), and Noa (Maia Reficco) — finds themselves tormented by an unknown assailant.

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin premiered on HBO Max on July 28, 2022 and finished its run on August 18, 2022, consisting of ten episodes released two to three at a time over consecutive weeks. On September 7, 2022, it was announced that the series was renewed for a second season, retitled as Pretty Little Liars: Summer School.

Previews: Official Teaser, Official Trailer

This series provides examples of:

  • Asshole Victim: Some of the characters who happen to be complete jerks.
    • Karen for being the resident stuck up Alpha Bitch, for slut shaming Imogen, being homophobic to Mouse, and being racist to Faran. She was horrible to the rest of the Liars, so it's hard to show sympathy for her when she's humiliated by all of them. However, her death is a different story, as none of the Liars believed she deserved to die despite her asshole traits.
    • Also, Tyler for being sexist. Just like Karen, nobody except his friends are going to feel bad for him when he gets murdered by A. However, Tyler does have a loving father who angrily yells at Tabby and her mother as Tabby punched Tyler.
    • Defied by the Liars. The girls are given a Secret Test of Character by A to inflict physical pain on their "bullies" (Davie's corpse for Imogen, Chip for Tabby, Madame Giry for Faran, Steve for Mouse, and Marjorie's drug dealer for Noa). The girls refuse to do it.
    • Tom Beasley, an abusive father, rapist, and bully who was about to commit Pater Familicide is killed by A before he escapes the hospital.
    • Chip, who raped Imogen and Tabby, is on bail for the holidays when A knocks on his door and attacks him, killing him according to Word of God.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: A, who's targeting the Liars for their mothers' sins over twenty years ago, and Sheriff Beasley, who blames the girls for Karen's death and tries to get revenge on them to the fullest extent of the law. Then it's revealed that A is working with his father, Principal Clanton.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Beasleys are the dysfunctional ones, so first is Karen the bullying Alpha Bitch of the school, the mother Martha who seems to be mentally unstable, Sheriff Beasley, the domineering patriarch who seems to be a closeted gay/bisexual man after all and Kelly, she seems to be the only relatively normal person in the family. It gets worse with Karen's death — Sheriff Beasley tries to expel and arrest the Liars in revenge, Martha angrily confronts Imogen at the funeral and tells her she hopes that she'll burn in hell and lose her child too, and Kelly in spite of it all still goes to school and feels guilty over her twin's death.
    Faran: Damn... I didn't think the Beasleys could be more dysfunctional.
  • Broken Bird: Martha Beasley is clearly worn down from being abused by her husband for so many years, as she's reduced to being a timid weak-willed woman. She immediately pulls herself out of this when she hears her husband declaring his intent to commit Pater Familicide, and doesn't hesitate to stab him twice to protect her only surviving baby girl.
  • Casting Gag: Minnie "Mouse" Honrada's name stems from her family's obsession with Disney and wanting her to be a little girl forever. Her mother Elodie is played by Lea Salonga, known for being the singing voice of two Disney Princesses and was made a Disney Legend in 2011.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The name of the patient whose meds Marjorie stole is "Caleb Rivers".
    • Imogen and Tabby go to Rosewood to learn more about Rose Waters, who stayed in Radley Sanitarium. They stay at The Radley.
    • Tabby goes into a bookstore in Rosewood called "Ezra's Books".
    • Imogen and Tabby speak to Eddie Lamb about Rose Waters.
    • Imogen plans on giving her baby to a couple in Rosewood who are both writers — Aria and Ezra.
  • Darker and Edgier: Bailee Madison and the writers stated that the series, inspired by the horror/slasher genre, is this compared to its predecessor with this A being much more ruthless and violent.
  • Dark Secret: A returning staple of the original, with most major characters having one:
    Eric Johnson: You can't have Pretty Little Liars without ugly, big secrets.
  • Dramatic Irony:
  • Driving Question:
    • Who is A? note 
    • Why did Angela Waters kill herself? note 
  • Everytown, America: Millwood, is a small, blue-collar town in Pennsylvania.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even among assholes, there still are some standards they don't cross.
    • Despite being nearly a Hate Sink, Karen realizes that Imogen's look of horror when she spots her in the rafters right as Imogen is crowned spirit queen means something is very wrong, and immediately takes her seriously. She may be all for petty revenge, but immediately believes her ex-friend's wordless warning without hesitation.
    • Shawn claims that none of the athletes in the school (even Tyler), would ever rape girls, despite their misogynistic behaviors, but Noa doesn't think so. Shawn was right.
    • The Liars were somewhat okay with humiliating Karen as payback for her treatment of them, but none of them believed she deserved to die for it. Later, they're given the chance by A to exact revenge on the people who wronged them. They can't bring themselves to do so, as they're not as malicious as A is, though this was a Secret Test of Character, and them doing this meant that they passed the test.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Principal Clanton saying Like Mother, Like Daughter when telling Imogen that she'll become Spirit Queen like her mother is interesting considered Davie was a mean girl in high school while Imogen is very much not so. He's revealed to be A's father and leading him to avenge his daughter Angela Water's death, and plans on "sacrificing" Imogen to pay for the sins of her mother Davie because she can't herself due to committing suicide.
    • For a film class project dealing with personal issues as a theme, Tabby decides to do hers on sexual assault but is forced to change the topic by her teacher. Principal Clanton seems sympathetic to Tabby but has to comply to the school rules. His sympathy for her plight makes sense when you realize his daughter, Angela Waters, was sexually assaulted as well.
    • A has a lair within Millwood High, is able to hear what the Liars say in school, and the girls are targeted in school — Faran has a message and her medical file left in her locker and Imogen's infant simulator is stolen. It makes a lot of sense when you learn that A is working with the school's principal.
    • A's suitcase chest that is opened during Imogen's Halloween party has a picture of a young boy and girl. He's Archie Waters, Angela Waters's twin brother.
    • While with Imogen at a medical checkup, Chip quickly pretends to be the father of Imogen’s baby, supposedly to keep Imogen’s modesty. It’s revealed late in the first season, he is actually the father of Imogen’s baby—through rape.
  • Frame-Up: A frames the Liars when they ruin Karen's Spirit Queen posters (Imogen and Tabby), put a dead rat in Karen's backpack (Mouse), switch the drug test with urine with cannabis (Noa), put a razor blade in Karen's ballet shoes (Faran). This ends up having the Liars assume it was Karen, who was actually innocent, who did it.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • Angela's body falling to the ground when committing suicide at the rave has the screen black out and a splatter sound effect.
    • When A kills the high school janitor, with only his screams heard from outside A's hideout.
    • Karen's body hitting the ground after getting pushed by A has the same blacked out screen and splatter sound effect as Angela's death.
  • Halloween Episode: Episode Five takes place during Halloween, with Imogen throwing a party to raise the money to keep her mom's house and Mouse trick-or-treating with a stranger she met online while pretending to be his missing daughter.
  • High-School Dance: The Spirit Week Dance has Imogen crowned Spirit Queen, with Karen about to prank her in revenge for leaking the video of her until she gets pushed to her death from the rafters by A.
  • Letter Motif: To emphasize how interconnected they are with each other, "A", AngelA WAters, the BeAsleys, and the Liars and their moms' surnames (AdAms, HAyworth, BryAnt, HonrAdA, and OlivAr) all share the same letter.
  • LOL, 69: Imogen is able to guess Tyler's phone password because he's a douchebag who'd have it be 69-69.
  • Makeover Montage: In Episode 2 when the Liars do their makeup and wear their dresses for the Spirit Week dance, to the sound of Bet You Wanna by BLACKPINK.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Sheriff Beasley blames the Liars for Karen's death when thinking it was a suicide, fully intending to punish them as much as possible by having them expelled from school and jailed, not knowing that not only was Karen up on the ceiling beams intentionally but A pushed her to her death.
  • More Diverse Sequel: The original Pretty Little Liars had the five Liars comprised of three White women, one white-passing/playing Black biracial woman, and one Eurasian woman. The titular Liars in Original Sin include one White woman (Imogen), two Black women (Tabby and Faran), one Eurasian woman (Mouse), and a Latina (Noa). According to a behind the scenes clip, the writers wanted a diverse group of Little Liars from different backgrounds.
  • Not Me This Time: The girls all assume Karen is behind things like putting glass shards in her own shoes and messing up her own posters until a drunken Karen denies knowing what they're talking about. It's after her murder that the girls realize someone was setting her up.
  • Obliviously Evil: "Evil" is way too much to describe Wes. However, he seems to genuinely not understand that his romantic interest in Tabby is inappropriate and predatory. He views his romantic interest in her like a normal romance, and doesn't extort his connections to NYU to get her to date him. Even when he asks her over for dinner in exchange for the flash drive, he's not that upset over her ditching him. He even openly admits to Tabby's mother Sidney that he made a move on her, and is genuinely shocked at her mother's reaction.
  • Parents as People: The Liars learn that their mothers whom they love are hiding secrets about being responsible for the death of a girl when they were in high school. Imogen discovers the truth that she didn't know her mom, who she saw as an amazing, loving mother when she was alive, wasn't who she thought she was in the past.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse:
    • Imogen sees Angela Waters's corpse on a bed in the Waters house while running away from and hiding from Crazy Joe trying to kill her.
    • Imogen finds her mother's dug up corpse in the library as part of A's "trial" for the Liars in Millwood High.
  • Plot-Triggering Death:
    • Angela Waters. Her suicide at the rave is the reason for A's vendetta against the Liars because of their moms' responsibility for her death.
    • Davie Adams. Her death takes place in the very first episode, is the first of the string of deaths related to A, leaves Imogen orphaned and wanting answers, and a dark reminder for the Liars' mothers about their past with Angela Waters. Like Angela, she committed suicide.
    • Karen Beasley. Her murder by A at the Spirit Week Dance has the Liars searching for the answers and blamed for it when it's thought to be a suicide, and her father Sheriff Beasley wanting revenge on the girls.
  • Rape and Revenge: A's motive stems from Tom Beasley having raped Angela Waters, and Davie Adams, Tom's girlfriend at the time who took his side, making her friends and the school ignore Angela and the humiliation of it leading her to kill herself at the rave.
  • Rearrange the Song: As heard in the intro, the theme song is a remixed version of Secret, the theme of the original series.
  • The Reveal:
    • Chip is Imogen and Tabby's rapist.
    • A is Archie Waters, Angela's twin brother, and working with their father, Principal Clanton.
    • Angela Waters killed herself because, after being raped by Tom Beasley, Davie, Tom's girlfriend at the time, took his side and made her friends and the school turn Angela into a ghost, "erasing" her with one final humiliation of ignoring at the Y2K party.
  • Ruder and Cruder: The series takes advantage of being on HBO Max, and much of the dialogue includes lots of uses of "fuck".
  • Sequel Series: To Pretty Little Liars, set years after the story in a shared continuity but now following a new generation of Liars and A in a different town.
  • Shared Universe: With the mention of Sisters of Quiet Mercy group home from Riverdale in episode 6, is possible that this Soft Reboot is part of the Archieverse.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A's costume is a homage to Michael Myers.
    • One of A's mysterious texts to Tabby is "Do you like scary movies?"
    • Corey's law firm is "Laurie, Prescott, Ripley & Associates".
    • When talking about Imogen running against Kelly for Spirit Queen, Tabby tells her to "go Tracy Flick on this bitch!"
    • When Sidney asks her daughter if she trashed Karen's posters, Tabby says Karen probably did it, calling her a psycho and "full Jawbreaker".
    • Tabby calls Imogen's home an Amityville level of weird and says she's getting some serious Poltergeist vibes.
    • Tabby says the video of the mouse being mutilated is animal torture "Jeffrey Dahmer style".
    • Tabby calls Karen "female Patrick Bateman".
    • Karen and Kelly intend to pull a "Carrie" on Imogen for revenge by dumping a bucket of red paint on her.
    • After hearing about what Martha Beasley did to Imogen at Karen's funeral, Tabby calls it "Pet Sematary awful" and "Hereditary-level shit".
    • Noa’s track coach is named Desjardin, a possible reference to gym teacher Ms. Desjardin from Carrie.
    • Planning a roadtrip to Rosewood with Imogen, Tabby says they're going Thelma and Louise style.
    • Tabby tells Faran her performance in Swan Lake "put the entire cast of Center Stage in the shade".
    • Episode 7 is named "Carnival of Souls".
    • Tabby calls her and her mom spending mother-daughter time at the carnival "very Mermaids".
    • Tabby paraphrases Heathers when talking about A's body count.
    • Ash has the idea to "Parent Trap" Mouse's moms.
    • Imogen must have taken some inspiration from Beverly Marsh, ambushing and stabbing A, Archie Waters, from behind a shower curtain.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: A targets the Liars because of their mothers' responsibility for the death of Angela Waters over twenty years ago. A behind the scenes clip has the writers state that they wanted to tell a story about the sins of the mother visited on the child, and whether mother is like daughter and history repeats itself.
  • Soft Reboot: Of the original Pretty Little Liars, taking place in the same continuity but in the different town of Millwood with a new group of Little Liars and A.
  • Spotting the Thread: Played with. Faran becomes convinced Kelly is actually Karen because of how Kelly is suddenly much better at dancing and has scars on her foot like Karen had. However, it's pointed out by others that Kelly had a history of self-harming, wanting to emulate her twin and was always a good dancer, simply overshadowed by Karen. As of Episode 5, it's left ambiguous if she's right or not. Episode 6 confirms that it really is Kelly, not Karen.
  • Twin Switch:
    • Kelly poses as Karen for a meeting with the principal where she pretends remorse for framing the Liars for stuff she did.
    • Faran openly accuses Kelly of actually being Karen and they switched at the dance. It's up in the air whether or not Kelly is honest about being herself but telling even her mother calls her Karen. Kelly says it's her when A attacks her.
  • Vague Age: Wes's age is uncertain. He claims to Tabby that he's the same age as Ari Aster, meaning he would be 36, but later says to Sidney that he's in his 20s and Tabby doesn't contradict him on it, leaving his actual age questionable. For reference, his actor is 31.
  • Woken Up at an Ungodly Hour: In the penultimate episode of Season 1, Noa is woken up by creaking wood, and looks around to find that her boyfriend isn't in the bed with her. She freaks out until she finds him doing sit ups on the floor in front of the bed. She never looks at a clock but complains in terror to him that it's four in the morning.