Friends Don't Let Friends Miss 'PLL'

by Shay Mathews

A full twelve weeks have passed since ABC Family’s teen soap Pretty Little Liars ended its fourth season. There is so much ground to cover in the show’s new premiere. Is Alison’s mom really dead? Who does Ezra think A is?

The series always ups the drama and action in the first couple of episodes and it doesn’t look like this season will be any different. During a recent interview with IBTimes, showrunner I. Marlene King compared the upcoming PLL season to "a freight train that is just heading down a course."

For that reason alone, and so many others, I am prepared to go full-on fangirl Tuesday night when the show premieres at 8 PM on ABC Family. I will be there, in front of the screen, distractions kept at bay, with the lighting turned low and my phone on mute — and I will not miss a single scene. But maybe you're not so lucky. Maybe your boss really needs you to stay late or you've got a hot date with a guy you're not ready to divulge your Pretty Little secret to just yet. Of course, doing anything other than watching live is grounds for having your fan-club membership permanently revoked, but if you absolutely cannot make it, then you have to have a good back-up plan.

Go Directly to the Source, Hanna-Style: ABCFamily.com

ABCFamily’s website allows you to watch shows live from their website. So if you won’t be at home, but will be near a computer and away from the prying eyes of co-workers and others, then you don’t have an excuse to miss the show. The only caveat is that you will need to be able to authenticate your cable subscription. An awesome internet connection will also probably help since the website’s bandwidth will probably be tested during the premiere.

Of course, you can also wait a day and watch the video on the website (with your cable subscription info handy).

Go Alternative on Hulu, The Jenna Of Streaming Sites

Hulu will have the episodes available approximately one day after the premiere. But they too will only be available through a verified cable subscription. Also, since the company doesn’t have rights to the show, this is one time where Hulu Plus won’t do you much good. The show will only be available for streaming via your computer.

Evoke Your Inner Spencer With On Demand

ABCFamily is fairly consistent about making the episodes from the series available the next day via On Demand. And they usually keep the episodes there for a good while. But don’t chance it. Make this show a priority within 2-3 days after it airs so that you aren’t in for a nasty surprise when you go to look and find the episodes have already been deleted.

Think Like Alison & Own It

Apple, Amazon and Google will have the episodes from PLL’s Season 5 available for purchase. The season pass will cost $39.99 via iTunes and Google Play. And on the upside, you officially own the episodes once they are done and are free to watch them over and over again on just about any platform.

Go The Emily Route: Find a Friend

It’s good to have friends. It’s awesome to have friends who have cable and cohabitants who’ll let you come over to watch Pretty Little Liars. If you don’t have this one person in your life and you don’t have cable, fix this ASAP. Actually, if this show has taught us anything you should probably take another friend with you, sit with your back to a wall, and know where they keep their shovels.

Get a Freaking DVR Already

There is a good chance you don’t fall into PLL’s target demographic and have actual things to do that prevent you from being around when the show airs tonight. And there may not be a great danger of someone spilling the deets during a work conference call, but a DVR eliminates all the guesswork. It is the back-up plan. You can get one through your cable company, and if you opt to pick it up yourself you could get it today and with proper motivation have it installed in time for the show. Also, TiVo is still a thing.

If none of those options work, just know that the girls and I are very disappointed in you.

Images: ABCFamily, AllZeeGifs/Tumblr, PrettyLittleLiarsABC/Tumblr, PrettyLittleLiars Wikia, HollisCollegeSecrets/Tumblr, PLLiChats/Tumblr, MyPrettyLittleTheories/Tumblr