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Sara Shepard Reveals How Alison, Mona Fit In


Fans didn’t know what to do with themselves when Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars” came to a conclusion after seven seasons in June, but then the network announced a spinoff series in September and all seemed right again.

Not only will lovers of the original series, adapted from the Sara Shepard novels, get to see two fan-favorite characters – Ali ( Sasha Pieterse) and Mona (Janel Parrish) – in the spinoff, but they’ll also get to see a whole new world in the “Pretty Little Liars” universe.

Marlene King, who spearheaded the original series, will be back as showrunner, working with Shepard to bring her “PLL” spinoff novel series, “The Perfectionists,” to the small screen.

While much about the new show is being kept under wraps, for now, Shepard spoke with Epic Reads to discuss a little of what viewers can expect from the new series and how it relates to “Pretty Little Liars.”

“I have a feeling ‘The Perfectionists’ as a TV show will be just as twisty as ‘PLL,’ especially because Marlene King is the mastermind behind the pilot,” Shepard told Epic Reads. “Plus the book series is full of secrets, lies, and scary stuff happening…and a huge twist at the end. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.”

A “Pretty Little Liars” spinoff is coming to Freeform. Photo: Freeform

Though even Shepard isn’t quite clear yet on how the show will progress compared to her novel version, she does have some insight into how Ali and Mona will be involved, even though they weren’t characters in the book.

“I have read the pilot, and I love how Ali is written into the story,” she said. “Not to give away too much, but she plays a big part at the school, though she isn’t one of the characters from the book. Mona is a little bit more nebulous. She comes in at the end, but I have a feeling she’s going to be a major linchpin to the series. That stuff we saw with Mona at the end of PLL, when she was in Paris? I think that connects to this story somehow. But I’m not sure quite how yet.”

The exact way “Pretty Little Liars” fits into “The Perfectionists” is still a secret, but Freeform isn’t shy about what the overall storyline of the show will be.

“Everything about the town of Beacon Heights seems perfect, from their top-tier college to their overachieving residents,” Freeform described the series in a press release. “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.”

Along with the plot and two familiar faces signed on to star, there are a couple more Freeform alums ready to make the trek to Beacon Heights.

“Perfect,” actor Kyle Harris tweeted in September about the “Pretty Little Liars” spinoff news. “I need a job. And surely one of them needs a nerdy boyfriend.”

An idea which star Parrish agreed with: “I’m here for this,” Parrish wrote in response.

That’s when another “Stitchers” alum, Ritesh Rajan, jumped in with his desire to be on the series saying, “If this happens I’m going to be jealous. Third wheel anyone?”

While the rest of the cast has yet to be announced, at least Shepard and King know that they for sure have two male actors ready for parts.



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