Dear Pretty Little Liars,
You have cost me seven years of my life in this penultimate anticipation for the big “A” reveal. You have kept me off of my seat consistently with every cliffhanger and your artful way of story telling. At face value, you may have just been a show about five teenage girls suffering from high school and social media problems, but you have touched the hearts of many.
The night Allison Dilaurentis disappeared on my television set was the day I disappeared into your world, vicariously living through it from Emily, Hannah, Aria, Spencer’s eyes. Never in my life have I seen four such powerful and unique girls taking center stage on my TV. With no man at first?! The thought of this was truly revolutionary for me at that time. Not only did you put them all in a troublesome situation, but you have also let me grow with them.
I remember when Emily was just an ambitious swimmer with the discipline to succeed in her respective sport. Now, Emily is finally with the women she was always meant to be with. She explored her sexuality and graced us all when she finally came out to her once conservative mother. As a woman with discipline, we have seen her vulnerable countless times as she lost many of her loved ones. Emily pushed through regardless, and she continues to stay strong during the lowest points in her life.
Hannah does not fall too behind in this. Hannah’s humor and charm brought life to the show. Her one-liners kept me laughing when I should have actually been holding onto my seat tightly. With her in this dynamic group, there was not a moment of rest, as if your antagonist was not enough. Though Hannah has gone through many hairstyles and image issues, she finally reached a sense of solace in her direction. She eventually found grounding in a career that she has always wanted and even in her love life with Caleb.
When you think about Aria, you cannot leave out her first audacious move with Ezra at the bar. Thanks for this; I mean it in the most sarcastic way. There was no way I would every be comfortable with her relationship with Ezra, we have been able to see a promising life for her. Nothing was easy for Aria given her shared history with Allison, but she had a way of keeping her temperament (almost…) till the end. Though we saw her violent side in the recent episodes and when she found out Ezra’s book, you have still somehow made Aria the most fashionable character on the show. For that, I thank you.
Spencer was the truly a plot twist for me. Though I had always a twin would be the antagonist of this show, Spencer took me by surprise. I guess that is what happens when you are just too smart. Having one Spencer was daunting enough, but two really made for a finale. Regardless of the hell that she goes through, there was a reason why she was chosen as a central character when the series progressed. There was always trouble brewing in the Hastings family, which Spencer had no control over. Regardless of her familial misfortune, I began to see through Spencer’s tough and witty exterior. You have made me experience her insecurities and her type-A personality began to dissipate, revealing her truer side.
Finally, I have honorary mentions for Allison Dilaurentis, Mona Van Der Waal, Jenna Marshall, and Cece Drake. There is no way the “A” team would have existed without these badass and absolutely insane women. Allison created the story that Mona finished off. What was once Allie’s power crown finally became Mona’s. Her story was truly my favorite, and in a way was like a "rags to riches" arc consisting of conniving, treacherous, and duplicitous moments. She was once nothing and finally was remembered for something.
For Jenna Marshall, although you were blind throughout most of the show, you were the most clairvoyant in every regard. It was a bit creepy that she knew all of the characters more than they knew themselves, but every character in this type of show needs an oracle, and she was the perfect addition.
While CeCe never got her fairytale ending, you still managed to give her a relationship filled with love for her sister for some time. Although she had a twisted way of showing her affection, she truly showed me the power family and love has over someone psychology. She may have been the mastermind behind this, but she consistently conveyed the importance of family, which is why exposed all of the secrets and mistrust that goes on within one.
Before I fully find closure to this chapter of my life, I would like to thank you for seven years of intrigue, heartbreak, triumph, love, and loss. All of the plot twist and the intricacies within your show have created a piece of art. There is not a moment when I do not think about what I post online or what I say to people. You came at the right time in my life educating me about the implications of cyber bullying, sexuality, and the girl world.
I hope this letter will be our little secret as I bid you farewell. Shhhh…