Pop Culture Fix: “Pretty Little Liars” Is Spinning Off With Ali and Mona

This is your weekly Pop Culture Fix, the best place to read about the gay things happening in the better world that unfolds behind screens.


+ Well. Pretty Little Liars is spinning off with a new series about Alison DiLaurentis and Mona Vanderwaal, a concept that would have killed me dead in glory if I’d heard about it sometime before season four of Pretty Little Liars ended. Now, well. You know. This new thing is called Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, and it’s based on the Sara Shepherd books of the same name, and it’s being adapted by Marlene King. Freeform describes it thus: “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.” Where do Ali’s wife Emily and their twin babies fit into this brave new world? May the goddesses protect us, I honestly have no idea. Hopefully they’re just perpetually Out of Town and not dead, but don’t bet on it. My main wish is for the whole series to take place inside the Ali’s Christmas dream when Mona was a ghost, and also that they make out.

+ Shonda Rhimes wants TV to do better with LGBTQ representation. Obviously. She has done more on broadcast network TV than anyone, including the gay showrunners we’ve hailed as revolutionaries. I really do believe whatever she does with Netflix is going to be gayer than our wildest imaginings.

+ Sexual harasser and domestic abuser Bill O’Reilly returned to Fox News to guest star on Sean Hannity’s relocated show last night. He referred to Rachel Maddow, whose consistent destruction of Fox News in ratings prompted the network to move Sean Hannity to 9pm, as “that woman” and insisted that Hannity would “slaughter her.” Metaphorically, one assumes, but who can be sure of anything these days? One Fox exec told The Daily Beast that “They’re thinking that selling what’s left of their souls is worth it to try to generate ratings to beat Maddow.” So funny that anyone thinks either of these guys has even a sliver of soul left in tact.

+ The trailer for BBC America’s Queers is here. The eight-episode series will air on October 11, which is National Coming Out Day.

+ ICYMI in this week’s Sunday Funday, Samira Wiley has a new comedy on the way!

+ Hem hem.

+ IndieWire speculates on the hows and whens and wheres of the Sense8 series finale.

+ If I ever need to conjure a Patronus I will close my eyes and remember the transcendent faces Jane Fonda made at Megyn Kelly this morning.

+ Alex is going to “confess a secret to Maggie” in the Supergirl premiere that “involves their impending nuptials” and probably will be the reason Maggie ultimately jets out of town.

Conny Perrin and Tara Moore are in love and serving for the win.

+ The Lynx and Sparks are now tied at one game each in the WNBA Finals. It was another nail-biter last night. The Sparks stayed in the locker room for the National Anthem.

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle managing editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 835 articles for us.

28 Comments

    • I live in the UK so have already seen Queers and I found it to be really beautiful – as far as I know the monologues are written by LGBT people and quite a few of the actors are LGBT too, so it felt so truthful, realistic and nuanced in a way that LGBT media written by straight people doesn’t so much.

  1. Heather, I’ve been waiting to see you thoughts on this PLL spinoff. I too do not understand how this will fit in to Ali and Mona’s post-PLL life, though I’ve seen some people theorize it occurs during the 5 year time jump when they’re in college?

    • So I was kind of excited when I first heard about it? I know, I know that PLL burned us. But Mona was and is my forever favorite (Ali once was also high on that list) and I have this need to follow her into whatever burning pit this show will be?

      (I also definitely didn’t remember until Heather said it that Ali is now married to Emily and that they have twins. That’s how little impact the final season left on me.)

      • @c-p if it were just Mona I’d probably feel the same way, but the show destroyed Ali’s character a long time ago. Though I sort of hate that my friends and I are probably all going to watch it, the same way we watched the lat 2 seasons of PLL.

  2. “Where do Ali’s wife Emily and their twin babies fit into this”, what are you talking about Heather, Emily rode her bike with Paige into the Stanford/Pepperdine sunset, well at least that’s where I ended their storyline. Married to Alison and babies…NOPE NOPE NOPE.

    “Shonda Rhimes wants TV to do better with LGBTQ representation” oh really Shonda, do you? Then why did you ruin the best same sex couple on TV? Why placate with “I hope they find their way back to each other” when you know damn well you can write it to be so.

  3. The BBC need to take “LGBT” out of their mouths on this one. It’s a series about the cis gay male experience in the UK with one token queer afab person, as far as I can tell written by seven cis gay men and one token queer afab person. I mean, yeah technically all their writers are LGBT, but they don’t even represent all four letters. “From some of the best LGBT writers in the UK” should really be “some of the best GB writers in the UK.”

    All that said it looks really good and I want to watch it.

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