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Hayley Erin, Kelly Rutherford, Graeme Thomas King, Janel Parrish, Sasha Pieterse, Sofia Carson, Eli Brown, and Sydney Park in 'Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists' (Freeform/Kurt Iswarienko)

Lock It In Your Pocket: 8 Takeaways From ‘The Perfectionists’ Premiere

The new spin-off/sequel series to Freeform’s long-running hit Pretty Little Liars makes its long-awaited debut tonight at 8pm ET. Needless to say, OG PLL fans are likely to be this show’s core audience, so we found one and got her (spoiler-free) thoughts on the premiere.

  1. Based on this first episode, ‘The Perfectionists’ looks like it’s going to be just as enticing and suspenseful as its forebear, but with a collegiate twist: Alison (Sasha Pieterse) is a teacher now at the university, and there’s something her students are hiding. The local security system also seems to be somewhat excessively invasive.
  2. Television is no longer reluctant to portray LGBTQ characters, and that’s a good thing! Lesbianism was explored in ‘Pretty Little Liars’ and this time we’ve got a bi-sexual male and other gay students. It’s nice to see writers leaning into what’s real and apparent in society.
  3. Though ‘Pretty Little Liars’ and ‘The Perfectionists’ were written as separate stories by author Sara Sheppard, it was a canny move to bring a couple carryovers over from the original show. I’m not sure how likely I would have been to watch this new series without that connection, especially since I never read the books.
  4. Keeping (and spilling) secrets is going to be just as big a piece in this spin-off as it used to be. We’re already got us a murder mystery! Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead, right?
  5. For a television show generally aimed towards a younger audience, the scenes are still pretty creepy; I jumped within the first five minutes of this premiere, and had chills by the end of the episode. Characters seem to show up out of nowhere just as much as they used to.
  6. The creepy music behind the scenes can make anything feel nightmarish, including Mona simply cutting into a pie… though I suppose Mona (Janel Parrish) with a knife isn’t exactly a settling thought.
  7. The once-mysterious Alison truly seems to be trying to better herself in the new show. It will be interesting to watch her play the comrade, rather than a shadow in the dark. I wonder if she’ll go back to her old high school mean girl ways, or if she’ll continue trying to help those around her.
  8. “Is it okay to murder a murderer?” The question of the day, and maybe even the season. I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

New episodes of Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists premiere at 8pm ET Wednesdays on Freeform, and Thursdays on demand.