TV Review: “Pretty Little Liars” Season 7 – Convoluted

Written by Sydney O'Keefe July 12, 2017

pretty little liars

After seven long years we finally have an answer about who A, and now A.D, is. There’s been mixed reviews from its long suffering and enduring fan base. Seven years in the making, and what do we have to show for it? Pretty Little Liars is known for its impossibly good looking cast and even more impossible storyline. Riddled with plot holes, red herrings, and mysterious characters that breeze in and out of the plot without any rhyme or reason. But hats off to the writer, Marlene King, for keeping me hooked from age 12 to 19.

Warning: spoilers are afoot

Season 7 starts several years after the girls’ graduation, with the return of the elusive Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse) and the reveal that A is Charles aka Charlotte DiLaurentis aka Cece Drake. Through several creepy doll houses, multiple false accusations and many, many similar looking blond girls we finally had our answer. Until…the girls are all brought back to Rosewood upon the release of Charlotte. But on her first night out of the nuthouse Charlotte plummets to her death from the town church. Charlotte’s death is ruled a murder which leads to a new game lead by a new A, affectionately known by the girls as A.D.

“I may not be able to see, but I can smell a bitch from a mile away.”

The girls play the same games they did in high school, and all somehow end up with their high school sweethearts. But a questionable decision stops the characters from experiencing any growth. The girls seem to be exactly where they were in high school. Except all these 23 year-olds want to do is get married and start a family. All in all the romantic relationships seemed forced and unrealistic and missed an opportunity to show the development from kids to young adults.

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS

Many also complain about the repetitive and overly dramatic long lost sister reveals in every season of Pretty Little Liars. Mary Drake, Charlotte DiLaurentis, and finally Alex Drake. And while I understand how people can find this plot twist repetitive, it’s also true to form. There’s a certain continuity to the parallel between the Drake and the DiLaurentis family, and how it ties in with the Hastings family. It’s truly Shakespearean. Our story also begins with two houses, Hasting and DiLaurentis, both alike in dignity.  With a grudge that makes civil hands unclean. Between the Hastings and the DiLaurentises there is an untold amount of murder and mayhem, often brought about in the name of vengeance. This culminates with the confrontation between the twins, one raised as a Hasting and the other as a Drake. This dynamic is made more tumultuous by Jason, their relation Hasting relation who was raised as a DiLaurentis. While the creators blame the lack of Jason’s appearance as conflicting schedules, I think if they had taken the time to include Jason it would have added depth to the conflict between these warring families.

“I don’t have it anymore. Somebody stole it from me. Someone’s always stealing the game from me.”

The war began within the Drake family and spread like a disease to the Hastings and the DiLaurentises. And while we heard about the original Drake twin’s volatile relationship there could have been so much more considering the hate between the two of them is the nucleolus for so much of what happens in Pretty Little Liars, mainly Charlotte’s and Alex’s A game. This game has been the driving plot for the past four seasons. The script could have been furthered by an exploration of the relationship between the Drake sisters that sent one of them to a psychiatric facility. Had their relationship been given more screen time it could of illuminated the parallels between the other sisters: Charlotte/Allison, Spencer/Melissa, and most notably Spencer/Alex. Especially the relationship between the Radley Sanitarium and the sisters.

pretty little liars

However, considering that Pretty Little Liars is, in its heart of hearts, a soap opera, I think it delivered what it promised overall and in its final season. Every episode was littered with intrigue; the twists were always more insane than we could have expected. The red herrings were plentiful and managed to fuel plausible and many completely insane theories about the identity of A. Pretty Little Liars could’ve benefited from some improvements in script and character development, but it still managed to entertain its audience.

My Rating: 6.5/10

pretty little liars

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