Saying Goodbye

I’m not good with goodbyes. In fact, I avoid them at all costs. I always run away right before the end. This is going to sound dramatic. But Pretty Little Liars changed my life. When I first saw the books in my local Target, I avoided them, The premise seemed interesting but in the moment I was turned off by the covers with the dolls (which I now have grown to love). I couldn’t tell who they were meant for. But when I was nineteen, life got derailed a little bit. I came home from college after being severely bullied to the point of suicidal thoughts. My parents were divorcing, I quit my job but it felt like I lost it, and I was lonely and bitter and tired. I bought the first book, even though I was trying to stretch my money. The books was impossible to put down. The narration was impeccable, fast paced, hooking. The characters were like celebrities. They truly came alive on the page. I went back to the store and bought the rest of the available books in the series. After that , I preordered every book as they came out.

My grandmother was also my savior at that time (and always). I stayed with her for days and weeks, and at night I would turn in early to read my beloved books. Not since Harry Potter had I been so enthralled with a series. I am a lover of all books, not a chooser of favorites. When I found out PLL was going to be a show I was worried. How would they manage to convey these characters I loved so much, and the plot I held so dear? I tuned into the pilot and I haven’t tuned out since.

The show has been equally paradise and hell for me. One thing they certainly did get right was keeping the essence of the characters while adapting and growing them for the show. The TV plots weaved between from-the-book and brand new, the twists and turns were shocking. Could they do this on ABC Family? Could they do that?

Characters lived longer on the show than in the books. New characters were introduced. It all felt canon. It all felt right.

And then there were the disappointments. Sometimes the show dangled too many questions and gave no answers. The mystery, having been extended over more than 100 episodes, was getting more tangled and harder to figure out. Plot holes were around every corner. Yet so many of us stuck with it.

I discovered the tumblr community. The theories, the youtube videos. I had discussions with friends, taking notes as I watched each episode for future talking points.

2 weeks from today it is all over. There are 3 hours left, and one special. I am ready. I am not ready. I am ready to cry. In fact, I cried twice this morning. I’m an emotional gal. I cannot wait for the end. But mostly I am grateful for netflix and hulu – as long as they host the show, I can rewatch it, over and over. To comfort me when I’m in pain,

the end as i know it

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.