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14 January 2016 @ 06:04 am
Pretty Little Liars: "Of Late I Think Of Rosewood" Episode Review  
Pretty Little Liars 6.11 "Of Late I Think Of Rosewood"

After the mid-season finale, the show fast forwards five years where the girls, now in their early twenties, have finished college and gone in their separate career paths and living their lives without any threat of "A". They have been called back to Rosewood, by Alison, who wants Charlotte released from the psychiatric hospital and all their testimonies would make it possible. Which means lying to the court regardless of their true feelings. The girls aren't happy with this request, but they give their testimonies, and Charlotte is released. But the next day Charlotte is found dead, and now the girls are trapped in Rosewood as a murder investigation is now going to take place.


Five Years Forward: Nothing Has Changed

I have to say, this mid-season premiere was quite underwhelming and predictable.

Alison asks the girls to lie, they reluctantly do so, Charlotte gets released, something horrible happens to her, another murder happens in Rosewood with the another predator out to destroy the girls. It's pretty much the same-old situation, just with the girls now being young adults rather than teenagers.

When the concept was announced that the show would be moving five years into the future mid-season I was originally excited. I wanted to know where they the girls would be psychologically, how they would have changed, how they would deal with their everyday lives after all that has happened to them. But then the disappointing mid-season finale happened, and reading up on what we have to look forward to for the remainder of S6B, my excitement has been dwindling away. While I'm sure we'll be getting flashbacks to fill in those spaces of what happened with the girls during those last five years we never saw, as to coincide with their current state of minds, this mid-season winter premiere just didn't have the right tone for the show as it came back. Instead of feeling impressed or intrigued, I just felt bored.


Things I liked about the episode:

++ I did, however, like that they haven't forgotten about the girls' PTSD (for now, at least) and are continuing showing how what happened to them, what Charlotte did to them especially in that dollhouse, deeply affected them and still lingers even after years later. Aria breaking and just letting out her feelings about what happened, telling the truth for once, was such a relief. She couldn't allow herself to lie when she is still scared, when she still has flashbacks, when her PTSD and anxiety still run her life. This is something I'm hoping we get more with the other girls, as well. Emily is also showing signs of this, though this could be more to her father dying than anything else, but it certainly contributes to her PTSD.

++ I understood where Alison was coming from, with her attempts of getting Charlotte released. She emphasizes with her because she was also horrible to people. Perhaps not to the extremes that Charlotte did, but Alison did some pretty reprehensible things during her youth, especially her manipulation of her friends, and was given a chance to change and reform and become a better person. She probably sees that Charlotte deserves a second chance, as well. Granted she did gather up the girls in pleading for them to lie for her in order to get Charlotte released because she wanted a family (thus making it about her and not taking into consideration what her friends went through), which is not okay, though I do understand where Alison's mind went in terms of wanting Charlotte to be home with her family. Similar with Mona who, even though she could have gone through with crucifying Charlotte with everything that was done to her, she declined, knowing that she also was responsible for the things she committed while under the guise of "A". Sometimes forgiveness is the first step of moving forward. It still doesn't negate the feelings of the others who felt uncomfortable and unsafe with Charlotte out from confinement, of course.

++ Spencer looks amazing with bangs, and Hanna looks absolutely gorgeous.

++ Emily/Alison moment. ♥ (Are we ever going to resolve their sexual tension from last season, or is Marlene still thinking that Alison is straight because lol nope she isn't Emily and Alison had sex okay and there was something there and they just abandoned it.)


Things I didn't like:

++ Killing Charlotte. It was predictable, and in a bad way. They introduced a transgender character (albeit in a rushed and poorly executed fashion) only to kill her off an episode later. While I'm betting that we'll be seeing flashbacks of her, I am just infuriated by this decision.

++ Sarah Harvey. Such an irrelevant planted "plot device" character who should have disappeared entirely.

++ They killed Emily's father. Fucking what? One of the only good fathers on this show and they killed him off? I knew the character had heart problems, but we didn't even see him for a last time. Ugh.

++ Not sure how I feel about their new texting feature...

++ What is with the fashion on this show lately? It seems to have regressed overtime since the first season when everything was so stylish and fashionable. Granted, some characters are on point, but the others, especially Alison? I don't buy. The girls are in their early twenties, and yet the show is having them dress like they're much older than that. Hell, I'm in my late twenties and I still dress like they did in the first season.

++ The fact that the main couples on the show aren't together anymore. I understand that five years have passed and that it's realistic that some couples do tend to drift apart and go their separate ways of what they want to do with their lives, and perhaps we'll see some flashbacks or get more info as the second half of the season plays out, but just the way it was introduced to us doesn't sit right with me. I mean, obviously they're gonna get back together at some point because, well, they are the beloved couples of the show and the fact that they setup this whole thing where most of the girls are romantically involved with random ass dudes means that shit is going to be corrected somehow. I am just glad that Emily doesn't seem to be romantically involved with anyone; she has her own issues to deal with. However, I am just not here for the implications that Spencer and Caleb are going to have a fling with each other (which I heard was rumored, not clarified yet, but this premiere certainly leads me to thinking it might be semi-true); look, I am a multi-shipper and most of these lovely character are shippable with each other, but don't turn this into Gossip Girl where everyone is having sex with everyone just to create unnecessary ~drama just because you've run out of ideas. Just saying.

++ Are we ever going to find out the unanswered mysteries from previously? Like who was in the barrel? Who killed Jessica DiLaurentis? How did the girls' mothers get out from the locked basement? Where the hell is Jenna and Lucas and all the other characters that seemingly had a hand in some of the events from previous seasons? Probably not, it'll just be added the the pilot of unresolved mysteries and major plot holes of the show.


Overall: While not horrible, I wasn't impressed. The disappointment from the mid-season finale has unfortunately bled through my viewing of this premiere. I am still going to see it through to at least the end of the season, but alas, I'm afraid my previous enthusiasm for Pretty Little Liars is fading. I might stop after this season if things don't significantly improve or doesn't pique my interest with anything, because as much as I love these characters and the actresses, it honestly feels like it has run its course. It had potential with several things in previous seasons, but they kept wasting it, and this premiere demonstrates that they are basically running on fumes to keep things interesting. I personally preferred the show to have remained with the girls as teenagers in high school, only lasting four or five seasons, with a possible special episode or mini-series with them as adults confronting a new and final mystery.
 
 
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Julie: AoT ★ the martyr is almost not hereragnarok_08 on January 14th, 2016 06:41 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I wasn't really impressed either, and the show definitely feels like it ran its course.
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Hanna.rogueslayer452 on January 15th, 2016 12:34 am (UTC)
I don't know what it is, but I think six seasons of any show is bound to make me feel a bit tired. It doesn't help when most of the time it's due to the writers running out of ideas and just running on fumes to get ratings.
Chelsea: Winter → Snowy Sunsetsictransits on January 14th, 2016 11:57 pm (UTC)
I was surprised they killed Charlotte off so soon. Then again, they never showed her face... But it felt like all this build up and then they just killed her off. Sara Harvey is the most pointless character ever. I feel like they're going to try to make her 'important' now so it doesn't seem totally stupid and random that she was Red Coat but no, I won't accept it.

I think they could've left at least one of the couples together. It is realistic that they wouldn't last once the girls went off to college but it would've been nice if one of them had stayed together.
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Spencer Hastings.rogueslayer452 on January 15th, 2016 12:30 am (UTC)
Then again, they never showed her face...

Well, they did show her in the casket at the funeral, and Toby even says during the crime scene that he saw her face after they covered her with the sheet. But then again, this show loves doing the "this character is dead...psych, they're totally still alive" card a lot. I hate that they killed her off to further a plot, which is sloppy writing imho, but I would also hate it if they pulled that again. Like, get some new material show.

Ugh, Sarah is the worst character. I would have been more interested had they developed her better when they first introduced her, but nope. She is insufferable and I can't believe they're trying to make her relevant.

I think they could've left at least one of the couples together. It is realistic that they wouldn't last once the girls went off to college but it would've been nice if one of them had stayed together.

Exactly. I think Spencer and Toby growing apart made more sense because they were kind of already doing that before on the show, like they weren't on the same page and kept having arguments. But Hanna and Caleb? What happened there? They were perfect. They loved each other and they have always been there for one another, even if things got rocky they always found a way and they were happy and together when we last saw them and now, five years later, what happened? Why can't they just be together and be happy?

In general, I dislike it when shows constantly break couples up and put them back together as means of creating some unnecessary ~drama. You can have couples remain together and allow them to have a happy, healthy relationship and grow and people. It is possible. They can still have their ups and downs but they can do that while remaining together.
Chelsea: Winter → Snowy Roadsictransits on January 15th, 2016 02:22 am (UTC)
Well, they did show her in the casket at the funeral
Oh whoops! That's right, lol. But yeah very true, no one is truly dead o this show.

I agree, I think Hanna and Caleb breaking up made the least sense. They were great together and Caleb went to NY with Hanna, so it's not like they were separated for any amount of time.
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Hanna.rogueslayer452 on January 15th, 2016 05:14 am (UTC)
Yeah, I mean, Toby explained why he and Spencer separated and why they went on different paths, which we kind of saw coming based on what we saw previously that they were kind of going on their own different ways and not always being on the same page. But Hanna and Caleb were really clicking, they basically were getting closer from last season, and then suddenly they're not together anymore? I know a lot can happen in five years and things can change, but c'mon.

Also, it implies that something drastic has to be happening in their lives ("A"-wise) for these couples to remain together, and idk, it just rubs me the wrong way.
Naomi: PLL Allison in hospitalfrelling_tralk on January 15th, 2016 05:44 am (UTC)
Aww I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy it, I actually found that it worked pretty well for me, maybe because I'm a sucker for the nostalgia of flashing-forward to the future with characters reconciling with old friends and their past again. I liked that there was so much emphasis on their PTSD and on their characters in this one, rather than the mystery, and Aria's moment of admitting that she will always be afraid was a high point for me. I do agree that it's a shame that they killed Charlotte off so soon though, I guess they wanted to drop right into parallels with the funeral from the pilot episode, but I was looking forward to seeing more of Jason and Allison re-connecting with Charlotte. I guess that could possibly still happen with flashbacks though?

And yeah, the couples drama has always felt a bit pointless to me with PLL because the OTPs have all been so clearly telegraphed since season 1, we all know that those three couples will be reconciling eventually and the writers are just trying to come up with some drama for them in the meantime, it would have felt more realistic if they had at least kept Caleb and Hanna together. I know they hinted at Caleb and Spencer a little bit, but I would honestly be shocked if they actually went there, this is not a show that likes to mix up its set couples

Edited at 2016-01-15 05:46 am (UTC)
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Emily.rogueslayer452 on January 16th, 2016 06:22 am (UTC)
I feel like I would have liked it better if it felt more organic. I understand that five years have passed and things have changed (and other things haven't, like their traumatic experiences with "A" haven't gone away and still affect their everyday lives, which I do like that aspect very much), and obviously we're to learn more about what happened with them during those years, but something felt off about this premiere. I can't really explain it.

And, of course, my indifference also comes from my feelings about the mid-season finale, as well. So while not bad of a premiere, it overall just felt very meh.

I'm so upset about Charlotte. I mean, I saw it coming a mile away (because there has to be another mystery paralleling the same storyline they've been telling for six seasons), but it still doesn't make it right. The treatment of their first transgender character on the show has been downright reprehensible, imho, from Marlene King basically saying anyone who had issues with the mid-season finale (for whatever reason) were transphobic to basically killing off her character in the very next episode. Just, no.

In my opinion, this is what should have gone down: they should have had Sarah being killed after Charlotte gotten out, therefore she would be the main murder suspect, but she is actually innocent, and the rest of the season would be proving that Charlotte, while guilty of a lot of heinous things, wasn't guilty of this act. It would have given the girls something to mull over regarding their complicated feelings about Charlotte as a whole and dealing with their PTSD at the same time. It would be kind of like what Alison went through, a chance at redemption without being let off the hook, perhaps even wanting to properly pay penance for the things she did a.) admitting that what she did was wrong, something that we didn't hear Charlotte say in the mid-season finale and b.) that she is deeply sorry for the pain she caused.

See? Wouldn't that be more compelling of a mid-seasonal arc?

but I would honestly be shocked if they actually went there, this is not a show that likes to mix up its set couples

It would definitely be a new low for them just to add unnecessary drama between the characters, and I can already see them using the "but anything can happen in five years" excuse. I'm just so over relationship drama that happens, because as you mentioned, it doesn't matter what they do these main couples always find their way back to each other eventually. So why bother? Why not have them remain together? It's something I hate in television where writers think that happy, healthy relationships are boring and there needs to be something to "get in between" them to create drama. That's just lazy writing, imo.

Edited at 2016-01-16 06:27 am (UTC)
Samarsakuraberries on January 18th, 2016 06:09 am (UTC)
In my opinion, this is what should have gone down: they should have had Sarah being killed after Charlotte gotten out, therefore she would be the main murder suspect, but she is actually innocent

If only!

I personally enjoyed the premiere if only for the nostalgia factor (I love these actresses, and the town, very much!), but I completely agree that it was predictable. I'm also not sure where they're going to go from this point? I don't read any spoilers or theories, but is this still the whole Big A/Uber A thing? It just seems that any reveal of any kind will feel kind of contrived and random and I don't see them coming up with any resolution that is satisfactory.

I'm also really frustrated by Hanna and Caleb's split-up; I really really hate when shows split up a couple only to have them get back together for unnecessary drama. I get why Spencer and Caleb drifted apart - I'm actually quite happy about that - but Hanna and Caleb? Why??

Oh and I completely agree with you regarding the outfits btw! Especially with Alison; those outfits are not doing her any favors. I have to disagree re: Troian with bangs, or maybe it's because she seems to have lost weight? Her cheeks seem very hollowed out.
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Spencer Hastings.rogueslayer452 on January 18th, 2016 11:34 am (UTC)
I don't read any spoilers or theories, but is this still the whole Big A/Uber A thing? It just seems that any reveal of any kind will feel kind of contrived and random and I don't see them coming up with any resolution that is satisfactory.

I believe so? I'm not entirely certain anymore.

But yeah, I agree that at this point it honestly doesn't matter what reveal they give, it won't ever live up the the expectations of fans, as evidenced from the mid-season finale which was so convoluted with its attempt at an exposition of explaining the entire show and everything that has happened with the girls, and that night especially, in less than an hour. You're better off with fan theories which are far more plausible than the show at this point.

Which is kind of sad because one of the things I legitimately enjoyed about Pretty Little Liars was following the mystery, piecing together the clues and trying to solve the puzzle, not to mention the suspense of what was happening. I could even forgive most of the noticeable plotholes and pointless dead-ends and red-herrings if only to continue this journey along with the girls to figure out who their anonymous predator was. Unfortunately, as the seasons continue on the more they attempt to make things more complicated and the plots and storylines more contrived, which led to the disappointment of the mid-season finale. And honestly, I would have been fascinated by the reveal (since it would have been interesting) if only it was executed and thought out better, a.k.a. planned the entire time instead of at the last minute and trying to shove six seasons worth of explanation into one hour. Now with all that potential having been wasted, any further expectations for future reveals have been lowered, and the initial fannish enthusiasm has waned significantly.

I'm also really frustrated by Hanna and Caleb's split-up; I really really hate when shows split up a couple only to have them get back together for unnecessary drama.

Seriously. And it seems like they may be trying for a triangle angle where Spencer and Caleb hooked up (or going to hook up) or something, which would be completely out of character for them, no matter how many years have passed. If that happens, I will be so angry.

I have to disagree re: Troian with bangs, or maybe it's because she seems to have lost weight? Her cheeks seem very hollowed out.

She looked fine to me? I don't know. It really depends on the make-up and the way the show styles and does the actors up. Sometimes they look good, other times something looks off. Overall, I personally think the bangs work for her.

Edited at 2016-01-18 11:39 am (UTC)
Danielabraverys on January 15th, 2016 11:21 am (UTC)
I agree with a lot of the things you said in your review. I was super excited about the time jump and kept thinking of all the possibilities we could see the girls go through now, but it just seemed predictable and not at all amazing like I had hoped. Of course I'll keep watching because I don't ever think I'll be able to quit this show. However, I really hope they find their ground and have the season get better soon.
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Spencer Hastings.rogueslayer452 on January 16th, 2016 07:22 am (UTC)
I would stick with this show until the end no matter what, but the way Marlene King keeps talking about how she wants more seasons of the show, I'm just kind of like, enough is enough already. Very rarely do shows that have extended seasons actually do well, direction and storytelling-wise, and it has been showing a lot lately with Pretty Little Liars that they are running out of ideas of keeping things afloat. I feel like they could have ended this show with a bang with only five seasons (taking out all the filler and pointless subplot episodes that amounted to nothing in the end), as it stands now it's just kind of repeating the same storyline, just with the girls as adults. And, idk, I guess I expected something more.
Mariashyngi on January 16th, 2016 09:09 am (UTC)
I was so excited about this episode after mid-season finale ended.

"I wanted to know where they the girls would be psychologically, how they would have changed, how they would deal with their everyday lives after all that has happened to them."

This is what I waited for from this episode!

I wasn't impressed either but I can agree with you on how amazing Spencer and Hanna looked. And also how sad I was that Emily's father had died.

I was also happily surprised that Aria and Mona didn't lie for Alison.

But I hope the story gets better and not just re-use the plot/story we've already seen.
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Secrets.rogueslayer452 on January 16th, 2016 11:50 am (UTC)
I can't believe they killed off Emily's father. He was the one father figure in the show that was actually decent. They might show him in flashbacks, but overall I still can't believe we never got a chance to see him again after his last episode he was in (that confirmed his heart condition, which is what I'm assuming he died from in the show).

I was also happily surprised by Aria and Mona. Aria I suspected would be the only one of the Liars who wouldn't lie for Alison, considering how she was already sort of unraveling as her friends were making their statements and then she got massive flashbacks and couldn't take it anymore. But then I was surprised by Mona, because she didn't give her testimony to accuse Charlotte nor was she doing it for Alison. She was doing it for herself. She knows precisely what it felt like, being in Radley, and she did horrible things to the girls too, being the first "A" they unveiled in the beginning of the show. It's probably the same mindset that Alison has, too, in regards of having a proper second chance.

Not to say that Charlotte didn't need to actually admit to what she did was wrong, because she hardly ever apologized for what she did to the girls, especially to their faces (since in her mind, if the girls weren't dead, what was the harm?), but if Alison and Mona, both who had done horrible things to people including the girls, could get a second chance, why not Charlotte?

Though I'm also pissed that they killed her off, in the end. I may not have liked how they executed the reveal, but she didn't need to die for things to move forward for the next mystery.

But I hope the story gets better and not just re-use the plot/story we've already seen.

I'm hoping for this too, but I'm not holding my breath.
Northern Wanderermidnightwhisper on January 16th, 2016 06:17 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure I only watch Pretty Little Liars for a few reasons. One? Ezra is played by the adorable Ian Harding. I just love his face. Two? The fashion. I usually love all the girls fashion even if it's just for one piece of their outfit from the episode. This episode I really had issues with Allison's outfit though. And finally the girls in general. I keep hoping that they all get their happy endings. Even Mona.
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Hanna.rogueslayer452 on January 17th, 2016 01:56 am (UTC)
This episode I really had issues with Allison's outfit though.

Same. I don't know what it is, but they have been placing her in the most unflattering outfits lately. Some try to say it's because Sasha has gained some weight over the years, but I strongly disagree since, you know, it shouldn't matter whether someone has gained a little weight or not to be looking amazing in clothes. Whoever has been in charge of the wardrobe department lately, or the last few seasons overall, has been really lazy and needs to step up.

Since the show constantly puts these girls through the wringer, all I want is for them to be happy, as well.

Edited at 2016-01-17 01:56 am (UTC)