In this week's edition of my Pretty Little Liars Draft Diary (I'm experimenting with names; this one harkens back to Bill Simmons' epic NBA Draft Diary posts over on ESPN/Grantland/Wherever he'll write the next one, the format of which inspired my foray into "live blogging" PLL for you), I'm joined by my boyfriend*, my friend I'll call Seagull (a fellow tried and true PLL fan), and another friend I'll call Robespierre, who wanted to come over and watch even though when we lived together she hated watching Pretty Little Liars with me. Oh, and pasta. Pasta joined us tonight in the form of a delicious spaghetti dinner cooked up by my boyfriend.
*My boyfriend raised an objection to my post last week (and he voiced it in the comments section!), re: my referring to him as "my boyfriend" or "boyfriend." He wants a name. I was trying to protect his identity, but whatever. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. In keeping with the Bill Simmons-y theme of this week's post, I shall henceforth refer to him as SG, which is an homage to the name (the Sports Gal) Simmons uses for his wife in his writing (since he's the Sports Guy). Next week, maybe we'll try a new name, but this week — SG.
Reactions to the PLL premiere last week were mixed, though feelings about the #5YearsForward time jump and where it’s left our beloved liars were mostly positive. The negative reaction — with which I agree — focused on the show’s decision to kill off its transgender villain on her way to redemption so soon after her a) reveal to the public and b) newfound freedom within the show. For the foremost critique on the matter (at least, in my mind), I recommend you check our Heather Hogan’s PLL recap on AutoStraddle. There was also some outrage online about the teased possibility that Spencer and Caleb might hook up, or were already hooking up, or may have once upon a time thought about the slightest possibility they could hook up…which I don’t care about at all. I’m on board for any romantic mix-ups this show can throw at me (except a reunion of Ezra and Aria, which will almost definitely happen one day, and to which I just say GOD NO).
This week’s episode moved things along in #5YearsForward land, and since I watched with three people in the room, two of whom don’t follow the show, things were certainly interesting in my apartment. Plus, there was pasta.
8:00 PM We are busy talking about the weather during the “previously on…” recap — I guess I haven’t been paying attention to the weather report lately, but there’s a storm named Jonas heading for New York this weekend— and Robespierre’s work retreat this weekend and whether or not she’s going to get snowed in with her co-workers. SG asks Robespierre if she wants meatballs with her spaghetti. She does. I do not. Seagull is not eating with us, which kind of means it’s not a true pasta night, but whatever.
8:01 PM “Well, they all look GREAT.” - Robespierre is a fan of the liars’ #5YearsForward looks and of their funeral attire.
8:02 PM Aria is stressing about getting back to work and I can relate as I also work in book publishing. You really wouldn’t think it was so stressful, but sometimes people actually do act like instead of editing manuscripts we’re saving lives on the operating table. Hanna is throwing Aria shade for wanting to bounce straight outta Rosewood. I’ve never felt such solidarity with Aria. What is this witchcraft? (It’s the Coven of the Sacred Cocktails.)
8:02 PM Shower Harvey can’t use her hands. May i introduce you to the Bros’ latest theory?
8:02 PM Our pasta is ready! Sorry in advance to my keyboard, which will surely be covered in olive oil, garlic, and parsley soon. We just moved and don’t have bar stools yet for our kitchen counter, so all meals are to be eaten on the couch. Especially during PLL.
8:03 PM SG says something that’s loud and unfunny. I tell him that he can’t try too hard with the commentary. Therein lies the flaw in this exercise — if he knows I’m writing down everything he says, will he comment as well as he would if he thought it didn’t matter? Are the stakes killing him here? IF A TREE FALLS IN THE WOODS AND NO ONE IS AROUND, DOES IT MAKE A SOUND?
8:03 PM Everyone in my living room (except for me) is humming along to the Pretty Little Liars theme song.
8:04 PM SG asks what the chances are that Aria killed Charlotte? I say 0%. He is shocked by these odds. He is unfamiliar with the law in the liar universe that states that the liars are never the killers. Unless we’re talking about Cousin Nate or Shauna or…hmm, I guess sometimes a liar is a killer. Anyway, I still don’t think Aria did it.
8:05 PM LOL Caleb offered to commit voter fraud on behalf of Mrs. Hastings. Once a liar hacker, always a liar hacker.
8:05 PM “OOOOOOOH,” says Seagull when Caleb caresses Spencer’s arm. She is fully shipping this pair.
8:06 PM Robespierre has a lot of questions. “Am I going to be really annoying?” “No, I’m just writing down everything you say.”
8:08 PM I’m super relating to Emily right now on this headstone visiting thing. Robespierre doesn’t relate to Em because who washes their hair when it’s so obviously clean?
8:08 PM Hanna’s fiance is such a Ken doll. An Aussie Ken doll who bring her takeout from NYC.
8:11 PM “Jess, your favorite!” says Seagull when the first commercial during this break is for The Boy. I can’t wait for The Boy to come out so that the trailer can stop playing during PLL and before every movie I go to.
8:13 PM During the commercial break we catch Robespierre up on the miracle that is Shower Harvey and how Charlotte was released from the hospital and SG gets a notification that he now has 20k Instagram followers for his work account.
8:16 PM Okay, Aria’s publishing office looks nothing like mine. Solidarity over. I mean, we sit at cubicles but they aren’t as ugly as that. And I definitely don’t make out with my co-workers at work (uhh…or any other place/time). But Seagull did!
8:19 PM Everyone (myself included) is hating on Hanna’s NY address, which I Googled after last week’s episode. West 50th Street and the West Side Highway. What? Why?
8:21 PM In trying to explain the history of Alison DiLaurentis to Robespierre, I use the word “capted” instead of captured or captor. Robespierre says that if I made up a word and used it like it was normal, she probably wouldn’t notice and would just think it was a word she didn’t know. This is oddly flattering and I can’t wait to test this out the next time I see her.
8:23 PM FOSTERS COMMERCIAL ALERT. I can’t deal with Brandon and Callie talking about “being in this together.” Kill me now.
8:25 PM This place is way too dark for a publishing company’s office. All those wooden blinds? Nah.
8:26 PM Emily is such a Hufflepuff, trying to protect her mom from worrying about anything else at the expense of her own health, happiness, etc.
8:27 PM I hope Ali’s about to go Warpath Ali on Aria’s butt.
8:28 PM SG asks is there’s any chance Ali killed Charlotte. Seagull and I agree that the chances are slim that any of the liars killed Charlotte. Like we said earlier. Ali is one of the liars, most of the time, so the law covers her.
8:30 PM “I barely see any of my friends from high school.” - Jordan, Hanna’s fiance. “I see all of my friends from high school, all the time.” - SG. It’s true.
8:32 PM Dude the adult liars drinks so much wine all the time. In my post-concussion state I can’t have any wine. I miss it. I want to drink wine and watch PLL. Doesn’t that sound dreamy?
8:34 PM During this commercial break, we discuss real estate brokers in New York City. Summary: they are THE WORST. We all recently moved or are about to move, so the broker pain is fresh in our minds (and our bank accounts). Ugh.
8:36 PM Spencer with bangs looks so much like my friend Carla that it’s distracting me.
8:38 PM Emily looks like she’s going to die during her coffee talk with her mom. She is the worst liar on a show that is literally about liars who lie on a near professional level ever.
8:38 PM “Damn, everyone is shady!” SG says as Aria sneaks up the stairs to Fitz’s place.
8:40 PM “Brooding Ezra is the most annoying Ezra,” says Seagull. I agree, wholeheartedly, though I also loathe Poetry Ezra and Advice-Giving Ezra and all versions of Ezra. Coincidentally, I made chickpeas tonight!
8:41 PM Oooh, it’s the Pride & Prejudice & Zombies trailer! I actually want to see it, which no one in this room can believe.
8:42 PM There is way less pushing of Freeform on us this week.
8:43 PM Okay, another commercial for The Boy. I just noticed that all the blogger reviews they quote during the commercial are solely in emoji. Like, one blogger said “[three purple devils]” about The Boy. Another one said, “[scared-looking scream face].” Is this seriously how we’re reviewing movies now??? I was a late emoji adopter and though I’ve embraced them since, I don’t think I’m on board with this movie review emoji quote madness.
8:48 PM There’s lots of funky editing in #5YearsForward. Swooping to Aria’s flashback and displaying of text messages text on the screens. It’s…new.
8:49 PM If Ezra killed Charlotte because, as he says, he can’t understand how Nicole is kidnapped/dead while Charlotte can walk free, I will blow a gasket. One thing has nothing to do with the other. And that is so Ezra to connect those unconnectable dots. And if it led him to kill Charlotte? Oy vey. It would be at once confirming and also denying exactly what this show is about. On one hand, PLL is about the dangers facing teenage girls (now, young adult women), particularly where the male gaze is concerned. It’s about a lot of other things, too, including how the way you perceive yourself and the way the world perceives you and how those two things can speak to one another, and mean girl-ing, and the philosophy of honesty vs. lies…I could probably write an academic paper about Pretty Little Liars. Anyway. It’s also about the triumph of these young girls over said male gaze, and torture, and cyber bullying, and loads of other crap thrown at them, mostly through their friendship and strength of self. Ezra having killed Charlotte would fit in with the “males are evil” thesis that PLL often puts forward…but — and I detest the character, so please don’t mistake this for sympathy for or a defense of him — is that really the message we want? Ezra’s straight white male privilege strikes again! Ugh. If this is where we’re going, you are all in for a rant and a half (but I don’t actually think this is where we’re going). I don't know who would be a satisfying answer to the "who killed Charlotte" question, but Ezra...because of some misguided anger about Nicole or an attempt to protect Aria...is not it. Though I guess in the world of PLL, it might make the most sense...and would maybe bring the hammer of justice down on one of the characters I like the least...
8:50 PM “Did Ezra edit Spencer’s murder paper?” - Seagull. A twist that might have to do with editing! How exciting!
8:52 PM We call 1-800-YAY-TACO thanks to this mysterious 1-800-YAY-TACO commercial. It’s an unavailable number.
8:54 PM Aw, man. Not an editing twist. I guess Aria’s burgeoning editorial career is all I got.
8:56 PM “Who goes to the cemetery at night? Just sayin.” Welcome to PLL, Robespierre.
8:58 PM Room consensus: Hanna’s nightgown looks like it’s from the set of Mad Men.
8:59 PM So who killed Charlotte? And who’s placing roses on her grave? We haven’t seen Jason in a while…dunh dunh dunh!
That's all, folks. The pasta is finished and the episode is over. See you next week for some Angry Ezra scream fits...can't wait for those [eye roll]!