Open Letter to Marlene King
I don’t know if Marlene will ever read this but I wanted to just post and air out some of my feelings after watching PLL last night.
I know you are a busy woman but I would really appreciate if you would take the time to read this. My name is Brittany, I’m 23 years old and have been a long time fan of the show. I have been here since the pilot season one episode one. PLL was a show that got me through some pretty rough times. The show began when I was around 15 years old and honestly that year was one of the roughest of my life. I lost my grandfather, I lost several friends that just grew apart, and it was high school as if that wasn’t stressful enough. PLL was an outlet it was a show that I could turn on and forget about my problems whatever they may be.
It was a show that gave me courage to embrace my quirks. I was the nerdy girl who always loved a good book and who loved school. I was deemed as odd for it but seeing characters like Mona Vanderwaal and Spencer Hastings made me realize that it was okay to be like that. That I wasn’t an oddity that there were strong women characters who were like that in the world.
As I said previously I was around 15 when the show started and had never been apart of any fandom, didn’t know what a ship really fully was. None of it I was clueless but PLL made me experience that for the first time. During the first half of season 1 Spencer and Mona grew to become my favorite characters but just loving two characters changed after one episode in 1B. That episode was 113. The scene where Spencer followed Toby into the ally and watched him cry, in THAT moment I knew that there was something there and I fell head over heels for what would become known as Spoby and they became one of the first ships that I ever loved. I remember after 113 aired saying that I thought they were a good match and people telling me no you are insane they won’t ever be together, then 119 happened. After that I was a goner. I had found my PLL ship. The one that I would be ride or die with until the very end.
I loved the pureness of them, the fact that they were so deep and complicated. I remember during 2B when you used to give fans tidbits and how you basically told us about the 225 kiss outside of the police station before it even happened just to reassure us Spoby shippers that they would be fine. I remember how during 3B after Toby’s A reveal (that literally had me in so much shock that I about threw my remote at the TV) all of us spoby fans would as you if you could give us ANYTHING at all and you telling us to wait for it. Did I mention that I’m an eternal optimist? I didn’t? Well I am, so during this time I garnered the nickname of Spoby Cheerleader of the fandom because when everyone else was so down I would say, we always have hope, Marlene told us to wait for it and I trust her. Spoby is her baby creation she’ll not do us wrong. And the waiting paid off 324 happened and you gave us two amazing parallels with the hands touching with the coffee mug like in 117 with the snow globe and the call back to the motel in 119. That was the moment that I felt like I let the final guard down and fully trusted you as a writer Marlene.
I know for storyline purposes sometimes you have to mislead. I understand that. That’s why when 324 happened I was like okay see this proves my point Marlene won’t betray us. Season 4 was a great season with little to minimal drama and it was nice for a change to be the ship that didn’t have constant drama, but then season 5 happened. The season that I like to pretend doesn’t exist. I understand that couples need to have conflict but having Spencer kiss Colin and Johnny two characters who were in 4 episodes or less just because she was having problems with Toby wasn’t my idea of a great season. But I stuck through it and we got 524, wasn’t happy that Spoby didn’t talk about their problems but I was just happy that they were back together.
Then 6A, the last time we truly saw our ship together. 609 that scene Spencer telling Toby that her speech was about him.. was such a great moment then to come back in 6B and know that they had been ripped apart was pretty heart breaking to say the least. I understand that it was realistic for one of the couples to break up during the jump, I didn’t imagine it would be all 3 of the main couples. I honestly thought that one of them would make it through. Then Yvonne happened.. I loved Yvonne as a character, I love Kara who plays her, but you all as a writing team really did Yvonne and Kara a disservice. Then on top of that Caleb happened.
Before the jump Spencer and Caleb was one of my favorite friendships on this show. Now I can’t stand watching any of their scenes. What was the point in making Spaleb happen? Just to create more drama? Because between that and Yvonne it made a lot of people mad. And all of us spoby shippers had to go through 6B and all of 7A with nothing. Then 710 happened. And I thought there it is, there is hope. There is hope that Spoby will be endgame that they won’t be rushed but boy was I wrong.
Killing Yvonne was wrong on so many levels and I think you and the other writers realize it. I didn’t WANT Yvonne to die just so Spoby could get back together. After the accident I was fearful that’s what would happen, but then Kara told us she filmed for 713 and I thought okay maybe that’s her last episode and she leaves town. It literally hurt my soul watching her die RIGHT after marrying Toby. Because Yvonne deserved better than that. Kara deserved better than that. But after that all of us spoby fans thought okay so this is their way of making the way for their endgame we’ll take it even though it sucks.
Now all of us spoby fans waited.. and waited.. and waited.. Then we got the promo for 718 and we thought FINALLY we are getting our reunion it may be with only 3 episodes left but its better late than never. Then it ends up being a one night stand that obviously never gets talked about. Or so we thought. So we were like okay, well the promo in 720 there is Spoby stuff and we know that Keegan and Troian filmed together so they have to be together right? Boy were we wrong..
I can say honestly that the only good thing to come out of Spencer having a twin was that Troian got to show off her acting chops. I remember a year ago when the twin theories began popping up. I thought cool idea, but I doubt the show will go there and it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense. I was someone who thought that it was Wren and Melissa. When Torrey was revealed to be filming for the finale I thought it had to be true. Then to find out she filmed the scene at the stables then just filmed those two black hoodie scenes so that way Mona could peel off a mask of her face.. Just.. wow. In my opinion the finale was a mess. The pacing was so fast that it was hard to tell how much time had passed, the scenes jump all over the place that my mother who is a casual watcher mentioned noticing it.
I can tell you that I had only 3 requests of this finale. I didn’t have to have all 3 but I wanted to have at least 2. I walked away with one and a half. Those requests were that AD make sense (did not care if it shocked me or not), that spoby was endgame and we saw them reunite on screen, and lastly that Mona got the endgame she deserved, that she got to have a happy ever after and not die. Ironically enough I thought that the last one was the one that I would walk away without.
This is my main gripe about Alex being AD why? I know in the finale it was explained as her being mad about Cece’s death and wanting revenge. Now to start off 6B it seemed like that was what AD wanted but it seemed as season 7 progressed that became less and less the motivation. By the end of 719 last week I had gathered that whoever AD was had strung the girls along saying they would win once AD knew who killed Cece and that would be that. Then why did AD set them up to where they would get caught with Rollins’ body by Tanner and go after them now a year later and not go after Mona? Mona is the one who killed Cece even if it was an accident, so why would Alex hire Mona on as a helper if that’s the person who killed her sister that she was so hell bent on getting revenge for? It doesn’t add up. The girls had nothing to do with Cece’s death. I would have honestly been fine with there being this many plot holes with the twin thing had you not involved Toby. What was the point of that? Having him basically be raped again without him knowing it. And tainting basically half of the spoby scenes we’ve had in 7B to boot. This is my question on some of the scenes where it was supposedly Alex instead of Spencer, how did Alex know about certain things. Like how did she know that Toby invited Spencer to the cabin if it was Spencer in the scene with him at the radley at the beginning of 718? How did Alex know that Toby said something about wanting to try horseback riding with Spencer when it was Spencer in that scene?
Only two scenes saved the final 10 minutes, Toby being able to figure out the correct Spencer and seeing what Mona did with Alex and Mary. I believe it was Keegan who said something about there being one final scene that he filmed with Troian on his last day that was super emotional and that it was just the two of them.. What happened to that scene? Was it cut for time purposes? Instead of doing the final scene as a backdoor pilot type situation for the Perfectionists couldn’t you have given Spoby fans a reunion of sorts? I didn’t have to be long it could have been a minute. Just of them saying they love each other one last time. Instead of that in the last scene of the girls we get one mention of Toby and that yeah they are sorta dating again. And what happened to the Toby script tease you posted about Toby saying “I used to know a girl that says hope breeds eternal misery” was that in the Spoby scene that was probably cut?
I’m normally not a bitter person. I’m usually an optimist, but I can say I honestly I’m mad, I’m sad, and I’m tired. Knowing that I was a long time fan of this show for 7 years and the one ship that I love got the complete shaft in the end. The one that you have claimed for years is like your child. I said above that I had begun to really trust you back in season 3 Marlene but now I feel like I’ve been kinda stabbed in the back. Honestly I wouldn’t be quite so mad if every other ship hadn’t have gotten a little bit of everything that we didn’t. Haleb got engaged before the last jump as well as married and are pregnant, Emison got two beautiful little girls (through unconventional and horrible means I do admit) and an engagement which they rightfully deserved, and Ezrians got an engagement way before anyone else did plus a wedding. While spoby shippers get a hey sorry that half the scenes that you thought were Spencer in season 7 were actually Alex and oh yeah spoby are basically back together mentioned in an off hand comment. I mean if you didn’t want to do a scene then why not have had Spoby sit next to each other at Ezria’s redo wedding, just showing them holding hands or something would have been enough for me at this point.
I hope you and the other writers read this and take it into consideration. And don’t get me wrong I don’t mind open ended endings, I was a fan of the Lost series finale and that is the most open ended finale ever. But after being loyal to a ship for 7 years it would have been nice to walk away knowing that they got to be happy and seeing it too.
Hopefully you all will do a spin off or a revival movie a few years down the road where Spoby can be explored a little more or if there are some deleted scenes you can put them on the DVD. Because we the fans deserve that after this finale.
A Spoby fan