I told myself I had to contain my enjoyment of Big Little Lies as I watched the season finale, but I’m sorry, this series is too fantastic not to rave about. Especially, its seventh and final installment, which is profoundly gripping, and arguably one of the most engrossing and uncomfortable TV episodes of this young year. The hour was designed to scare you, to gnaw at your emotions, to keep you in a heightened, tense state; after watching it, I was kind of emotionally spent.
The series, which is based on the same-titled best-seller by Liane Moriarty, a book I’m definitely going to get (Amazon, I’m heading your way), weaves a darkly comedic tale of murder and mischief in the tranquil beachfront town of Monterey, California. I call it Desperate Housewives on steroids, because it has everything Wisteria Lane had: doting moms, successful husbands, beautiful children, stunning homes, idyllic lives, all of this a smokescreen for the fractured relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, and friends and neighbors.
There was nothing the series didn’t go after, exploring society’s myths regarding perfection and its romanticization of marriage, sex, parenting and friendship. It also did an excellent job of probing the idea of abuse and its roots. It questions whether abusers and violent people are taught to be that way and constantly worries that it stems from something in our nature, something we’re born with.
I love how it ultimately became about one thing: five women bound by a murderous secret. And the women who played the characters were absolutely good. Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Zoey Kravitz… The entire cast deserves Emmy wins.
Big Little Lies starts right from the beginning to drive a central mystery of who killed who, and is the kind of satisfying entertainment that leaves its audience wanting more—even though you know it’s perfect just where it ended.
I hear Reese Witherspoon, in defiance to a sexist Hollywood who never seems to give women enough room to tell their stories, optioned the book and veered off into television. I say, you go girl! Option another one please. I love the magic y’all created on television.
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