Pretty Little Liars has been finished since June 2017, but fans of Spencer, Hanna, Aria, and Emily can tune into the spin-off, The Perfectionists, which started airing in March 2019. There's no telling yet whether The Perfectionists is going to be on the air for seven seasons like its predecessor... or even if it will get a season two. In the meantime, there are ten episodes in the first season, so fans can definitely catch up. How does the new show stack up to the original that has been loved by fans for so many years? Here are five things The Perfectionists spinoff does better than Pretty Little Liars, and five things that are better in the original.
10 The Perfectionists Does Better: A Streamlined Storyline
If there is one thing that The Perfectionists has over the original show; the streamlined story that it is telling. It's not PLL's fault, of course. The general mystery about what happened to their Queen, Alison DiLaurentis, took a lot of various turns over the seven seasons of the show, and it was inevitable that it would have some confusing moments. The Perfectionists is about one storyline so far: the murder of Nolan Hotchkiss and the main characters' attempts to solve it. Sure, this may change if the show gets more seasons, but for now, it's simple to follow.
9 PLL Does Better: Clever Twists And Cliffhangers
On the other hand, Pretty Little Liars did one thing a lot better; having a lot of clever twists and cliffhangers. Who could forget the season four episode when it seemed like Aria's love Ezra was either A or on the A-Team? Or when it seemed like Toby was on the dark side, too, back in season three? What about every season finale, which featured a pretty crazy cliffhanger—like in the fifth season, when the girls are in the dollhouse that A created? It's safe to say that the spin-off hasn't reached these levels of intrigue yet.
8 The Perfectionists Does Better: A Creepy Yet Beautiful Setting
The PLL spin-off is set at a college called Beacon Heights, which is a creepy yet beautiful atmosphere for a series. It has all of the things that anyone would want in a campus; vast lawns, old-fashioned buildings, and serious-looking students walking to and from class. Yes, PLL was set in Rosewood, a fancy and pretty town, but the spin-off has a much better and more interesting setting. Since sometimes PLL would jump around and focus on the girls driving to a remote location to do some digging, or they would go to New York. It's nice that the spin-off focuses on a single location, and visually, it beats Rosewood.
7 PLL Does Better: Interesting Time Jumps
It's not always easy to have time jumps on a TV show, especially when a show is popular and fans aren't so sure about the idea. It can feel like the writers aren't sure what to do next and are simply throwing anything at the wall and hoping that it sticks. In the case of Pretty Little Liars, the show had really interesting time jumps and they were very well done. There was a smart one in the sixth season that was four years later. There is another time jump in the series finale, which is great since fans can see that the four main characters are doing so well now.
6 The Perfectionists Does Better: A Smart Change To The Source Material
Both Pretty Little Liars and The Perfectionists are based on book series by Sara Shepard. While PLL often seems similar to the books—the characters are the same for the most part, and some of the story decisions are too—The Perfectionists made one really smart change to the source material. Instead of being about high school students, the TV show tells the tale of college students, and it's nice to see characters who are this age on the small screen. There isn't a very long list of college shows.
5 PLL Does Better: Character Development
While the characters on The Perfectionists are interesting enough, the whole point of the show is that they feel pressure to be flawless, which can make everyone seem a bit one-note. It's tough to pinpoint everyone's exact, unique personality. That's not the case with Pretty Little Liars. The original show does character development much better than the spin-off. It's impossible not to feel like Aria, Hanna, Emily, and Spencer are good friends after watching even a few episodes. Each girl has their own vibe; Emily's the athlete, Spencer's the determined one, Hanna loves clothes, and Aria is a creative hippie. The same can't really be said for the gang on the new show.
4 The Perfectionists Does Better: Mona Feels Like A Real, Legit Person
On PLL, Mona was always tough to figure out. She was the bad guy a lot of the time, and then the liars grew to understand her and at least not dislike her so much. Since Mona has come back for the spin-off, her character gets fleshed out a bit more, which is a good thing. She feels like a real, legit person. She brings Alison pie, loves to investigate, and seems a lot nicer than she did on the original show. She's not the same as sweet Emily or Aria, of course, but she seems like a better character here.
3 PLL Does Better: A Sense Of Humor
It's true that PLL could be classified as a teen drama or a mystery, but between all of the creepy moments and concern that the girls aren't safe anywhere, there are a lot of funny lines of dialogue. Every liar has a great sense of humor, whether it's Spencer's sarcasm and biting wit or Hanna's ability to turn any conversation into the perfect time for an eye roll. When it comes to what PLL does better than the spin-off, it would have to be the sense of humor that the characters all have. The show has a lightness to it even though it's got a big mystery. and that's really cool.
2 The Perfectionists Does Better: Family Dynamics
Whenever the parents would pop up on Prety Little Liars, they would send a caring glance their teenage daughter's way or, when the moms got stuck in the basement, be played for laughs. The Perfectionists does another thing between than the original show: talk about family dynamics. It's true that both shows feature wealthy families and kids who want to measure up, but that theme is a lot more prominent on the spin-off. Viewers see Nolan's mom, Claire Hotchkiss, and how chilling and mean she is, which helps them to totally understand why the characters feel so much pressure. Ava also has basically no family at all, which is heartbreaking to watch.
1 PLL Does Better: Romance
No doubt about it, when it comes to something that Pretty Little Liars does better than it's spin-off, it's romance. Fans never stopped wanting Aria and Ezra, Spencer and Toby, Hanna and Caleb, and Emily and Ali to end up together. Each couple went through many crazy moments throughout the seasons, and fans were always kept on the edge of their seats, even though they guessed that everyone would have happily-ever-afters. It's too soon to tell if The Perfectionists will have love stories that carry the same weight, but as of right now, PLL was definitely better.