The hiatus between Season 4 and Season 5 of Pretty Little Liars gives us a lot of time to think about what we want from this show moving forward — and that includes a possible end date. As the Liars theoretically move towards high school graduation and the Pretty Little Liars Powers That Be continue to string us along regarding the “A” game, we can’t help but wonder: How much longer should Pretty Little Liars last?
Through Season 5. Pretty Little Liars has already begun filming on a fifth season, which means we will definitely get to see our Liars for at least another 25 episodes. However, there is nothing guaranteed beyond that, though executive producer Marlene King said in June that she was up for: “At least five. I hope more.” There’s a sizable part of us that hopes Pretty Little Liars ends after its fifth season. Not because we wouldn’t miss it, but because we’d rather the show go out while at the top (or middle) of its game, rather than carry on without any semblance of coherence. And, let’s face it, the murder mystery conspiracy drama is one of the hardest genres to sustain in TV. It relies on suspense, on that precarious balance between questions and answers. Right now, we think Pretty Little Liars could keep our interest without infuriating us with further obtuseness through another season, but that may be it.
Through Season 6. On the other hand, we never thought Pretty Little Liars would be able to keep our interest this long, and it has. We think Pretty Little Liars could continue to compel through Season 6, but only if it allows itself to change, to switch up the some of the constants that have been integral to the show from the start. For example, the Liars need to graduate high school. It’s starting to get a little ridiculous that they are perpetual seniors. The jump to college can be a deathstroke for a high school series — or it can be a chance to revitalize a tired formula. We’d love to follow Aria, Emily, Spencer, and Hanna at their respective colleges (or life experiences), as “A” or another version of the masked villain continues to haunt them and as they deal with life outside of high school. Or the show could embrace another format, perhaps following the Liars on a short-term reunion from school that sees them terrorized by “A” on spring break or their summer abroad. We’re not picky. We just love the idea of Pretty Little Liars embracing a sixth season as an opportunity to try new things.
As long as the ratings support it. Speaking of trying new things, Pretty Little Liars would have to get super creative if it continued past Season 6, as it’s hard to imagine that the show would be able to hold onto its core four actresses for that long. As much as Ash, Troian, Shay, and Lucy seem to love Pretty Little Liars, these are all burgeoning stars who seem very interested in exploring other creative projects. Therefore, if Pretty Little Liars continued on past Season, we imagine that it would have to look completely different. Perhaps, the show could do a sort of reboot, following another group of young people as they deal with their own “A”-like scenario. This could be cool with the potential to get us hooked on an entire new mystery, but it’s hard to imagine the show recapturing the chemistry it has found with its four stars.
How long do you think Pretty Little Liars should last? Sound off in the comments below!
Catch the next episode of Pretty Little Liars on June 10, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.