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Was it good or was I 13?

By Maddy Lockwood, Features Contributor

As a freshman still transitioning to college life, I have found myself to be nostalgic at times while looking back on things that remind me of home and my friends (mostly silly games and a total rewatch of some of my favorite movies and TV shows). Most of these shows had impacts on our whole generation, or at least most preteen girls. As I watched some of these shows, I discovered that some still hold up as comfort shows and others are now rendered unbearable. Over the next couple of weeks, I plan on rewatching a couple seasons of a series or a movie that I really enjoyed while I was younger to decide if they were worthy of my obsession, or if I was simply 13.

I decided to start with “Pretty Little Liars,” a show that began airing when I was around seven years old and ended before I even entered high school. Because of this, I was able to binge-watch the seasons as a preteen, but I had to wait week-by-week for the episodes of the final season of the show’s airing. I was also quite easily spooked as a preteen and had to watch certain episodes with the lights on and every door and window locked.

The show follows four best friends living in a small town of Rosewood, PA, who are torn apart after the disappearance of their friend Alison. After the police find out what happened to Alison, the girls are brought back together by an anonymous stalker named “A.” A somehow knows everything, including secrets that will uproot the girls’ and their families’ lives if they were to get out. This makes each girl one of A’s new pawns.

The series has a total of seven seasons, some having more than 25 episodes, each with tons of complications. This show has had its fair share of problematic storylines that did not age well. The show opens with a 15-year-old girl entering in a relationship with her high school English teacher, and it is eventually revealed that Alison was in multiple relationships with men who were much too old for her. If you are able to get past the love stories of these girls, the show is worth the watch (even with the uneasy feeling you may get while watching). Aside from the problematic issues within the show, it is an extremely complicated and engaging mystery drama: the girls are continually making poor decisions for the sake of finding “A” and Alison’s killer, which always seem to land them on the police’s radar as suspects for multiple crimes. I did really enjoy rewatching this series, and it still kept me on the edge of my seat even though I’d seen it before.

Honestly, I don’t know how I watched this at 13 and kept up with all of the clues, suspects and relationships. If you walk away for a moment or are distracted while watching, it's easy to get confused in the details of their latest idea or adventure. This show includes a bunch of storylines that were made for the young girls in the audience to fall in love with, including all of the girls’ relationships.

I believe “Pretty Little Liars” has withstood the test of time and still stands as a good show, at least through the earlier seasons. I recommend watching the show from beginning to end if you want all of the mystery to be revealed, but prepare for some upsetting endings and poor writing in the later seasons.

The official decision: It was good!

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