'Pretty Little Liars' Secrets & Shockers Revealed On 'The Writers Room' Because Jim Rash Loves Us
The Writers Room on Sundance Channel is a fascinating look at the art of television through the eyes of the people who create it. Hosted by Oscar winning writer, and resident Greendale Dean on NBC's Community, Jim Rash, the show digs deep with everyone from the writers of New Girl to the team behind House of Cards. This week, Rash sat down with the writers of Pretty Little Liars , as well as two of its stars, Shay Mitchell (Emily) and Sasha Pieterse (Alison).
Now, we're big fans of the goings on of Ezra, Alison, and the the rest of the gang, and can't wait to see what they get up to next season, but how is the delightful guilty pleasure made? Well, it involves a lot of wild ideas, trying to stay true to the book, not upsetting fans, and staying loyal to the communities that have supported the series. Who knew creating your favorite dramatic televised mystery thriller was such a juggling act?
Mitchell and Pieterse shared the couch with writers I. Marlene King, Oliver Goldstein, and Joseph Dougherty and spilled some shocking details about the show.
1. Fans are really, really intense about PLL
Mitchell and Goldstein (who is openly gay) discuss their concerns with having Mitchell's queer character kiss a guy, and the inevitable fan fallout, especially from the LGBT community. Though they make the point that especially for characters as young as the Pretty Little Liars gang, a little experimentation or flip-flopping is not wholly unrealistic.
2. There's a "Spin-off" "In the works"
The writers mention soap opera staples like amnesia or strange couplings, like Ezra and Mrs. Montgomery hooking up, get tossed aside to a fictitious show they've jokingly dubbed "Strawberry Patch Lane." It's where all of their crazy ideas live, (though kind of want to see that come to life).
3. It's All About The Books, Baby
Before diving into the series, the writers made sure they were at least four books deep in the series, eventually deciding to pull the pilot from book one. They also expressed a lot of respect for the source material, saying "why the books continue to be successful is because they answer something... I think we pulled it off, that's why we're still here."
4. THE SHOW IS TOO HOT FOR COMICS
Comedian Michael Showalter of Wet Hot American Summer fame shared his take on Pretty Little Liars with Sundance and The Writers' Room. It comes in the form of text messages exchanged with his writing partner Christine Lee about just how "hot" this ABC Family series is. His consensus: Pretty Little Liars is too hot for ABC Family. (Though we're inclined to think it's just hot enough.)
Those are all the hottest details Rash was able to pull out of the cast and writers. If you want to get even deeper into the nuts and bolts of the show, Sundance's website also has a fascinating Pretty Little Liars edition of "Shit Rough Drafts" that follows the journey of the script from computer screen to television screen. Not too shabby of an interview from everyone's favorite ridiculously costumed TV personality. (OK yes, we know he's an Oscar-winning writer, but Rash will always be the Dean in our hearts. #RIPCommunity.)
Images: SundanceTV; Giphy (2)