for six years i have eagerly anticipated tuesday evenings on the on season. every tuesday night at 8 pm on abc family (now freeform) brought me the best part of my week, pretty little liars. and now the magic is coming to an end…
when i was about 19 and unemployed for the first time since i started working, i was in a really low place. my parents were divorcing, i had just come home from being in a really bad dorming situation at school, feeling like a failure who couldn’t handle college, and i really needed to get away from it all.
my grandmother’s apartment was my refuge. she lived in a three family house in queens, new york, that had been in my family for over a century. i spent many weeks there, living out of my backpack and her generosity, of which i cannot thank her enough, and i owe her more than the world for.
in that backpack was a set of four books i had bought at target with some of the little money i had left… sara shepard’s pretty little liars series. i devoured them. one a day. i had to get more. i think there are about 16-18 books in the series. after i ate up the first four, i went back out and got all that was available. they were dark, funny, mysterious, and a little scary. who was this night stalker? how did they know everyone’s secrets?
when i found out there was going to be a show, i bugged out in a good way. now i could see my beloved characters come to life (in the books, spencer and hanna were my favorites; i wasn’t crazy about emily or aria).
every tuesday rain or shine, work or not, school or not, i was watching my show. i laughed, cried, and felt every emotion in between. i rooted for spoby (until season 3!!!! now i am anti-spoby), worked out my feelings for ezria (uh… illegal/gross, romanticized… i like them now that they are both adults but also recognize the psychology still at play), and fell in love with haleb (uh caleb… you’re losing my trust rapidly!). i could go on for hours about theories, plot holes, and my feelings, both rational and irr-. but i will just say…
this show has been a friend to me when i had no one, when i had nothing, and when i was an unsure teenager. this show has continued to be a friend to me when i have gained and lost things and people. these girls are my friends. their story is my story. the metaphors for growing up and feeling under the public eye are all true.
today, pretty little liars enters its seventh and final season and it is the most bittersweet feeling i’ve had in a long while.
thank you sara shepard and marlene king.