Pretty Little Liars is one of those shows that really have created something special. Be it the bond of their cast that translate to their social media or simply the story itself being able to run this long while keeping A in the dark and constantly making us follow the girls as they track down and figure out who she is. Season 6 is the big moment. A huge moment where our answer is here. Everyone knew about it jumping into this one. Season 6 is more known as 6A and 6B because 6A is the midseason finale where we get our reveal. 6B continues but is set five years later. I’m going to say right away that while I will try to shy away from spoilers, it is inevitable if you are not at least done with Season 5 (or possibly 6) and it may be confusing. Also, my focus will be more on 6B because I took a break between 6A and 6B and I have more opinions about how they chose to continue 5 years later.
Let’s check it out!
Creator: I. Marlene King
Cast: Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Troian Bellisario, Shay Mitchell, Sasha Pieterse, Ian Harding, Janel Parrish, Tyler Blackburn, Keegan Allen, Laura Leighton
Four friends band together against an anonymous foe who threatens to reveal their darkest secrets, while unraveling the mystery of the murder of their best friend. – IMDB
Season 6 of Pretty Little Liars in itself is a discussion piece. It carries to important plots in A and B. The first question being whether the reveal of A made sense in the midseason finale and the second being how they picked up things in B from a five years later standpoint where we haven’t seen and get the bits and pieces that the producers of the show can play around with and reveal. Simply put, I can’t say overall that I’m a huge fan of Season 6 in comparison, however, there are a bunch of solid moments that still build up on the tension and really plays that well which is an incredible compliment in itself especially after six seasons of stringing the audience along and messing with everyone’s mind on who A is and what and why, etc. Alison is back and she’s not dead but just running. The girls are back together and rebuilding their friendship. There are secrets and lies and intertwined are those fantastic boyfriends that pop up and help out.
Season 6A was the journey of sweat and tears as the girls (all five along with Alison) are pulling closer to figuring out who A is. The big reveal that we’ve been waiting for. The plan is an elaborate one and the journey there, not counting the 5 seasons before also a pretty impressively tense one. Although it has been a while since I had watched the midseason finale, I still remember the disappointment. I felt like it was lackluster and far-fetched and just not what I had expected. Every step closer felt like it was trying to build something so unimaginable that perhaps my 30 year old mind was getting too mature to comprehend. I love Pretty Little Liars and I’m never ashamed to admit it because this show has done many great things and created a teen show with not only great friendships and memorable ships but also built up an effective mystery and suspense. That ending just didn’t work for me. I guess if you toss your brain out, it kind of works together in an odd way. I just can’t seem to be convinced. Perhaps its because of that reason, I lost a little faith in continuing 6B until last week. Somehow, setting the show five years later felt like it was also forced. Remember what happened with Glee? Well, the fear of the loss of friction and capability to keep this mystery it had after the big reveal, felt hard to go on, even if I was a fan of the resolution.
I think whats important to grasped here for the producers at least is that while they have moved the show forward 5 years in the setting and all the characters are five years older and have experienced their A-free lives, we haven’t. If we were catching this on TV, it may be a few weeks break and if it was like myself, catching it on Netflix, even shorter (even if I took a break). Our love for their teen characters and their relationships haven’t changed. However, the creators have done exactly that. The girls are distant and don’t communicate as much. Their relationships have all shattered. Every single one of the ships we knew are gone and in their place, we quickly realize that some may go back in a more mature way and others might not. And yet, some things never change, like lying to get A out of the psych ward because Alison wants to reunite with her family. *That’s a spoiler I can’t avoid and can only assume if you’re reading here that you have finished Season 6A, at least.* What is Pretty Little Liars without a few lies, right? While I’m not against change and its truly inevitable and believable that after five years, especially with everything they’ve been trapped in in Rosewood, that they would have hiccups in their relationships, it felt a little drastic that these five years brought on so much change. However, aside from those choices which I have my issues with and will elaborate on next, Season 6B still manages to keep up the suspense as B or Uber A (whatever you choose) wreaks havoc and even raises the stakes more, not to mention the way they ended Season 6 was a total WTF moment that made me want to just buy Season 7 so I could continue,
When it dawned that all those ships have sailed separate ways in Season 6B, I was okay with it. Maybe a little heartbroken and curious, but still, its a fresh start. But then, it seems that these guys that the girls have been with through tragedy is also something they can’t quite let go. A lot of them actually haven’t really let go and we can see right through them, even if they have tried or are moving on with someone else. Relationships are complicated and hard to define sometimes but somehow, their relationships never seem to mature and its for this reason that while I’m the biggest supporter of Caleb and Hanna (aka Tyler Blackburn and Ashley Benson respectively) and their relationship in the first few seasons, I started really feeling like their relationship was broken up for the sake of breaking up. They separated in thoughts and their world. Funny part is that A didn’t break them apart and it only took a different world and career goals while somehow [spoiler alert] he connected with Spencer. It isn’t hard to imagine him and Spencer as we had slight hints and while its not a bad thing and they work together, there is obviously still unfinished business and it feels like it is there to simply create drama and not quite as natural. With that said, this 6B has really made me cheer for the Ezra and Aria (aka Ian Harding and Lucy Hale) angle because it seems they have matured in their own ways and now they are legit and legal and truly good for each other.
Overall, Season 6 did have a lot of great moments but also a good few forced ones that I didn’t enjoy the decisions for. Its easy to still like the characters and their arcs, regardless of what happens and that still remains the strength of Pretty Little Liars. I just hope that with Season 7 being its final season that it’ll turn things over and truly give redemption to some of these characters. After 7 years of hell, I think its important to see them find some sort of resolve and happiness. Of course, life isn’t that clean cut but with Uber A in the horizon jumping into Season 7 and one of the girls’ life already in danger, everyone needs to step up to the plate and own up to what they’ve done. Who knows what will happen but the stage is set and regardless of how flawed Season 6 was, I’m still pretty excited to see what Season 7 brings.