So Big Little Lies technically wrapped up April 2nd, but I needed some time to gather my thoughts on the series. I also had planned for the Amazon Prime review to come out before this, but that’s a planning issue on me.
Back to the good stuff; the seven episode limited series is officially over, and fans of it will have to get their kicks by rewatching past episodes as HBO has announced that they will not be renewing it. I have mixed feelings about this, because I do really like the characters and am totally interested in what becomes of them after the murder. However, the ending was so astounding and did an excellent job of wrapping up the series that any second season would feel out of place.
Big Little Lies follows five mothers of first graders in the upper-class school district of Monterey, California over the course of several weeks as they strive to discover the truth about an incident between their children and themselves. While characters Madeline (Reese Witherspoon), Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and Jane (Shailene Woodley) are at the center of the drama and all the promotion, Bonnie (Zoë Kravitz) and Renata (Laura Dern) are critical to the relationships and events throughout the mini-series.
These interpersonal relationships between the mothers as they define their identity in the community is probably the best and most accurate female relationships I’ve seen in television. The women are autonomous beings, their identity is not tied up solely in their children, husbands, and sex lives (though with HBO you KNOW there will be sex). Instead they have those elusive lives-of-their-own rarely seen on television, or if seen is only in the context of an extramarital affair. Which there is one, but five female characters that don’t just talk about their kids or men! It’s like a miracle, and it isn’t Christmas.
The entire series is well acted and well cast. Every performance is entirely believable and at times haunting. Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgård, True Blood) is the most intimidating villain I’ve seen on television since David Tenant’s Kilgrave. Even though he has limited time on screen, his presence can be felt in unexpected moments. And the scene in the last episode where he is threatening his wife while tenderly tending to his child? Chill inducing.
I highly recommend the series, it’s all so well done. And I’m willing to bet someone will be nominated for something because of it.