A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
As is typical on soap opera, everyone's cheating on, hiding something from someone else. Though good deeds are not totally absent, positive messages are subverted by glossy bad choices. Bullying is central to plot, as characters are blackmailed by someone who knows their secrets. Iffy behavior like theft, extramarital or illicit affairs, manipulation is common, though much has consequences for those involved.
Positive Role Models
Characters are complicated, duplicitous; many can't be trusted and some are actually evil, like character who blackmails his peers into pretending to be his friends. Expect some to grow over the course of the series, others to be punished for their bad behavior. Alison is a tough, principled central character who has matured from unkind person she was in original series.
Violence & Scariness
Murder and suicide are central to plot. Expect to hear talk of violent deaths, to see occasional shocking sights like dead body of character we've gotten to know impaled on spiky fence with bloody shirt and open, staring eyes.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters are very concerned with romance; expect illicit and secret soap opera-type romances, including same- and opposite-sex kissing and bedroom scenes with no nudity but lots of bare skin.
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Language is infrequent but includes "damn," "hell," "a--hole," and "bitch," as well as vulgar language like "douche."
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Products & Purchases
Based on book series of same name by Sara Shepard.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Expect drinking at social events, dinners, parties, as well as complications caused by drinking, including questionable choices.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists is a mature soap opera centered around dark deeds at an upscale university. The show is a continuation of the original Pretty Little Liars, and ages the main characters up to college age, so expect content that's at least as mature as in the first series. Murder and suicide are central to the plot, and occasional shocking and horrifying developments are to be expected. Scenes may feature disturbing visuals, like one lengthy shot from the first episode that shows a character impaled on a pointy iron fence with the points protruding from his bloody T-shirt. Same- and opposite-sex kissing is common; characters are also shown before and after sex, in bed with sheets covering private parts but lots of bare skin. Iffy behavior like theft, illicit romances, bullying, coercion, and manipulation is also common, though characters often get comeuppance for their choices. Adults drink at dinners, parties, and other social events, and may make poor decisions while drinking. Language includes "damn," "hell," "a--hole," "bitch," and "douche." Characters are duplicitous; expect few role models.
Is It Any Good?
This revamp ably recaptures the glossy suspense soap opera tone of the original, linking the action to what's gone before while introducing a raft of compelling new characters. As in the first series, closet skeletons abound in Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists: secret romances, secret pasts, secret identities, secret plans. Plot developments generally occur when someone overhears something they shouldn't, or glimpses something mysterious out of a window. And there's no college get-together too casual for a skin-tight dress and a pair of five-inch heels.
But despite the lived-in genre conventions, there are smart storytellers spinning a web here. Whereas the mysteries of the first series mainly turned on the machinations of madly vengeful Mona, this follow-up sees your Mona and raises the stakes by revealing a strange surveillance system that's watching everyone and everything at Beacon University, manned by dark forces and intent on some dark business. Adding a Big Bad on top of the sordid things people do to each other on these types of teen soaps? Positively inspired. Guilty pleasure, here we come.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.