Fans were so devastated when Freeform's hit drama, Pretty Little Liars ended, creator I. Marlene King started working on the next chapter before the series even ended. When the spinoff was announced, we fell in love with the concept, and now it's finally happening!
Moving away from the lives of Aria, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily (for the most part), King has chosen two Pretty Little Liars side characters to embark on this new journey with us, and we have to say, her choices are already getting us hyped for this show to air.
Here's everything we know about the upcoming show.
Is The Perfectionists based on the books by Sara Shepard?
As with Pretty Little Liars, the new series is adapted from the books, but this adaption is even looser than PLL. Three of the five protagonists in the book series are being replaced by Alison, Mona, and a new character named Dylan — there isn't actually a male perfectionist in the books. So while this series may be inspired by the novels, it strays off course in a few key ways. Here's to our theories driving us crazy again!
Who are the new characters?
Joining Pieterse and Parrish are Sofia Carson (The Descendants), Sydney Park (The Walking Dead), Kelly Rutherford (Gossip Girl), and newcomer Eli Brown. The four will play Ava Jalili, Caitlin Martell-Lewis, Claire Hotchkiss, and Dylan, respectively.
Chris Mason will also appear as Nolan Hotchkiss, the son of Claire. Nolan plays an interesting role in The Perfectionists book series. Will he stay true to his book counterpart?
In a recent interview with Galore magazine, Sydney Park described her character, Caitlin, as "driven, sporty, and incredibly smart. She’s the type of girl who excels at everything she puts her mind to and knows she’s the bomb!"
Sydney adds, "Caitlin is sort of a mix between Spencer and Emily from the previous series. I really think the fans are going to be able to relate to Caitlin and be intrigued by her storyline."
What is the series about?
The description released by Freeform reads: "Everything about the town of Beacon Heights seems perfect, from their top-tier college to their overachieving residents. But nothing in Beacon Heights is as it appears to be. The stress of needing to be perfect leads to the town’s first murder. Behind every Perfectionist is a secret, a lie and a needed alibi."
Meanwhile, the description of the books is as follows: "In Beacon Heights, Washington, five girls—Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie, and Parker—know that you don’t have to be good to be perfect. At first the girls think they have nothing in common, until they realize that they all hate Nolan Hotchkiss, who’s done terrible things to each of them. They come up with the perfect way to kill him—a hypothetical murder, of course. It’s just a joke…until Nolan turns up dead, in exactly the way they planned. Only, they didn’t do it. And unless they find the real killer, their perfect lives will come crashing down around them."
Which two original PLL cast members will make their way to Beacon Heights?
As the promos indicate, Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse) and Mona Vanderwaal (Janel Parrish) are headed to Beacon Heights and will become entangled in yet another mystery. Apparently these girls haven't had enough drama in their lives.
While it's unclear how the girls get wrapped up in everything (or even get to the new town), in an interview with ET, King assured fans that all will be revealed.
"[Alison] and Mona have a conversation about that and we understand why she's making this journey," she explained. "It's a personal journey for her and there's something that she has to accomplish, I think, for her own sense of self. You'll hear about that right away in the pilot story."
What does this mean for Alison and Emily, who were engaged with children when we last saw them? We have no clue, and King isn't giving out any spoilers.
"As the creator of this new show, [the challenge] was to honor Emison's relationship and continue to honor it as we launch this new story," King said.
"I hope we've done the best job possible of honoring what we know is their truth," she added.
King divulged she would've been willing to bring back the stars of PLL, but they were ready to go off in their own directions. However, that doesn't mean they won't be making appearances. Lucy Hale recently shared she would be willing to appear and Ashley Benson will make her directorial debut during the series' first season.
Additionally, last we saw Mona, she was in Paris with her new beau while Alex and Mary Drake were her "prisoners." How did Mona return to the country and pursue a new life in Beacon Heights? According to King, "You definitely will get that answer in a very cheeky Mona way."
We're hyped for a dynamic between Mona and Alison that we didn't see enough of in Pretty Little Liars. Could these two finally move past being frenemies? "Mona is Mona. You never really know whether you can trust her or not, and that continues to be her truth in this new story," King said.
When does The Perfectionists air?
While no premiere date has been announced, it's believed the series will debut in the spring of 2019. The 10-episode season began filming in October — this lines up with Freeform's shooting-to-air schedule, which we've seen with The Bold Type and Siren.
Where is The Perfectionists filming?
Unlike PLL, which was filmed on The WB's backlot, The Perfectionists is on location and will shoot in and around Portland, Oregon. Beacon Heights is a town in the Pacific Northwest, so the scenery will surely contribute to the beautiful, dark tone of the show.
The Perfectionists is expected to get even darker than Pretty Little Liars. How is that possible? I guess we'll find out in 2019.