A is back and just getting started on “Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin.” The first three episodes of the HBO Max reboot for the beloved slasher horror drama is now streaming. And not to be biased, but mother-daughter duo Minnie “Mouse” and Elodie Honrada, played by Fil-Am actress Malia Pyles and Lea Salonga, are already our fave characters.
You don’t have to watch the original “Pretty Little Liars” series before getting into this new show. Like its predecessor, “Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin” follows a group of high school best friends trying to uncover the identity of an enemy called A who’s terrorizing them for something they’ve done in the past. Showrunners Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (“Riverdale,” “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”) and Lindsay Calhoon added an extra layer of mystery with A holding a grudge for something that goes way back this time around.
Enter Salonga’s Elodie, one of the moms of the “Little Liars” keeping a dark secret of their own. Elodie became extra protective of Pyles’ Mouse following a yet to be revealed traumatic event that occurred when she was just a little girl. From what we’ve seen so far, Elodie seems to be the most unassuming out of all the mom characters so we’re interested to find out how she got tangled up in a best friend’s mysterious death.
We’ve only gotten a peek at Elodie’s relationship with her wife Shirley, played by Asian-American actress Kim Berrios Lin. Mouse revealed in one of the scenes that her moms are Disney-obsessed, which explains her nickname. With Salonga and Berrios Lin both having theater backgrounds, we’re kind of hoping that we’ll get to hear them sing a Disney song together and be all lovey-dovey on the show. Yes, even for just a minute or two.
Local fans of the original series would remember that Shay Mitchell was one of the few Filipino faces on American TV when “PLL” first came out in 2010. As it happens, she has family ties to Salonga.
The Broadway star wrote a bit about this coincidence in her Philippine Daily Inquirer column. “The next person I called [after finding out that I got the part] was my cousin Lou Garcia. Here’s the reason why it had to be her,” Salonga said. “Shay [Mitchell] is the daughter of my first cousin Precious Mitchell who is Lou’s older sister, so to share the news that yet another member of our family would be part of the ‘PLL’ universe was something I needed to do.”
The Philippine Daily Inquirer also got to ask Salonga and Pyles what it was like working together in an interview. “I remember waiting in the Sprinter van that would take us from our trailers to the set and back, and I was just a ball of nerves. Then, Lea walked in with the biggest smile and immediately lunged to hug me. She had this beautiful warmth about her, and all my nerves instantly went away… Thereafter, we were thrown into a scene that I can’t spoil too much. But we had to perform at a level where there were heightened emotions,” said Pyles. “But it wasn’t always so serious on set. We also laughed a lot—like, we talked about K-pop—and she would make me listen to music. That was a lot of fun as well.”
Both actresses were excited to bring Filipino representation on the show. “There are four Filipinos in it—myself, Malia, Emily Bautista and Sharon Leal, whose mom is Filipino, though Sharon doesn’t play Filipino in it,” said Salonga. “I mean, ‘Pretty Little Liars’ came out 12 years ago, and the only person of color among the ‘Liars’ was Shay. But now, majority of the girls in the current series are actors of color. There’s already a marked difference!”
Will you tune in to see all this Pinay excellence?