Though the final 10 episodes of the series have yet to air until April, production on Pretty Little Liars has wrapped forever. The series has been ongoing since 2010 giving us twists, shocking deaths and reveals, and even gaping holes in the plot that we’re annoyed with, yet we never stop watching. Rosewood has become a home to all of us, and Shay Mitchell points that out, too.
As someone who’s watched Pretty Little Liars since the first episode premiered, the fact that the girls have stopped shooting and there won’t be another season to look forward to is heartbreaking.
Many of us have grown up with these girls; we’ve learned from them just as much as the actresses who play the characters have. Aria, Hanna, Spencer, Emily, and Alison have taught us about friendship, loyalty, luck, love, freedom, and even what not to do when you have to cover up a crime or bury a body.
I spent my traumatic years through high school with the PLLs, looking forward to every episode as an escape, and much more. Season 1 gave me Emily’s coming out story when I, too, was in the process of coming out to my friends and family after meeting someone that changed me forever. As Samara said so long ago, we all have a Maya.
Emily may be a fictional character, but she gave me and so many others the strength to be ourselves and stand up for ourselves, even when your world was falling apart around you.
We all may have ranted at times about the drawn out plot of the series, or the fact that -A just never seemed to die, or even how these girls learned nothing about covering their tracks amid seven seasons of their weaknesses being used against them, but we all rooted for them to overcome the constant torture that plagued them and be happy.
It’s with a heavy heart that we all have to say goodbye to these girls, these characters, and the PLL Family, but the story never really ends. We can look to these actresses and writers in the future endeavors, and we’ve each found the little bit of Aria, Hanna, Emily, Spencer, and Alison that is within each of us.
Rosewood will always be there to welcome you home, with a murder no less, and we can look to these characters as a symbol of strength and perseverance as many of us head into adulthood with both light and dark times ahead of us.
Goodbye, Pretty Little Liars. You will be missed. Also, if you watch Shay Mitchell’s video, be prepared to sob.