Why #PLL is more than just a trend

‘Pretty Little Liars’ sparks a Twitter phenomenon.
‘Pretty Little Liars’ sparks a Twitter phenomenon.

Last Tuesday evening, I paced around my apartment in shock and ranted to my friends about how I couldn’t believe what just happened.

Why?

The summer finale of “Pretty Little Liars” was too much to handle. Perhaps that sounds melodramatic, but within the episode’s final five minutes, everything viewers thought they knew about the series was completely turned upside down.

The episode entitled “Lady Killer” featured death, gunshots, kidnapping, love and major betrayal.

I know what some people may be thinking — the ABC Family show is for high schoolers and very overrated — but allow me to defend it.

If you have Twitter, chances are your newsfeed was filled with less-than-140-character statements ending with the hashtag “PLL.”

This is because the season’s final episode made television history — generating the greatest Internet buzz for a single TV episode, accumulating 1.6 million comments on Facebook and Twitter, according to an article on Mashable. The show also broke Twitter records, averaging 36,000 tweets per minute.

Yes it’s a show about a group of high school friends, but it is no “Saved By The Bell.” For those of you who think it is just about pretty girls who tell lies, it is so much more.

Plots centered on murder and blackmail make it inevitably intense and spooky. Yet the adorable relationships among the main characters and their significant others simultaneously make hearts melt.

Though the plot sometimes verges on unrealistic, the show still manages to remain relatable to viewers. Topics like relationships, friendships, parental problems, sexuality and other typical high school travails make this show about the fictional town of Rosewood, Pa. seem not too far from home. (Ironically, if Rosewood High did exist, it might be somewhat close to Ewing. The show regularly references Bucks County and Philly.)

With cliffhangers concluding nearly every episode, it is practically impossible to watch only one episode and not crave more answers. The quest to understand what exactly is going on and who’s causing the commotion help retain viewers from week to week.

If you’re unfamiliar or confused by the show’s plot, here is a summary: Ali, the relentless ringleader of her friend group, was murdered in the first episode. After her death, Ali’s four closest friends — each girl with her own secrets that only Ali knew — begin being blackmailed by an entity known as “A.”

The mystery comes from the fact that viewers aren’t even entirely sure who A is. Last season ended with a character named Mona being caught as A and winding up in a mental institution, but as this season’s finale concluded, it is confirmed that there is an entire A team and no one is truly trustworthy in Rosewood.

The television series is based off of novels by Sarah Shepard. Some viewers were disappointed when the show seemingly followed the book’s plot, when Mona was revealed as A in the season two finale. However, the most recent episode even surprised the cast. Three alternative endings were filmed in order to prevent any secrets from being leaked.

If opportunity arises, sit down and watch a marathon on ABC Family. That way you’ll be all caught up to speed when the Halloween episode comes out in October. Give it a chance and you’ll be hooked in no time.