Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Big Little Lies (HBO) Serious Mothering

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This week shows again that Big Little Lies is off to a great start. The show delves more into the personal life of our three protagonists- Madeline, Jane and Celeste. And by doing so we see what drives these people- good and bad. We get a lot of insight into Madeline in this one, and like the Madeline of the book she's frank, loyal and thrives on challenging authority. Or what she sees as the "morally superior of this town." She's also not intimidated in the slightest by Renata, and the central conflict of the story is laid down here as both of them draw their lines in the sand.

Renata makes a point of inviting everyone in her daughters class to her birthday party, with the exception of Ziggy. The point is not just to exclude him because he supposedly choked Amabelle, but to do in a way that was unmistakable to all the kids. Madeline takes exception to that, and when her daughter Chloe tries to bring Ziggy and Amabelle together to straighten the air, it only makes a bad situation even worse. And sparks really fly when Renata and Madeline have it out at a local hotspot.

Can I just say Madeline was on fire in this one? From telling the woman behind her to "Get laid, bitch" when she honks at her, to giving her yoga instructor the double middle finger, Madeline is take no prisoners. And I love that- just like in the book. Reese Witherspoon nails Madeline to a tee. But she's also loyal AF when she sees something she doesn't like, and here Jane and Ziggy are going to take the heat now that Renata senses blood in the water. Madeline tells her husband Ed "The war is on."

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We also learn more about Celeste and it's rather disturbing. Perry is rough with her but then they have sex, and it's clear this is not unusual. She tells Madeline "Sometimes I think that he likes to fight because it leads to sex. Sometimes I think I like it too." Madeline says that sounds a little twisted but kinda great too- not realizing that Celeste is talking about actual fighting, not just arguing.

They continue to nail the feel of the show, with the scenery and music coming together to set a certain tone. I like how they cut in and out with the police interviews, giving us an opinion of someone right after we see a pivotal scene. Often the view is clearly skewed, which just adds to the drama. "Renata was sending a message," we hear at one point after the birthday fiasco erupts. We see less of Jane but we know her backstory is coming. I feel really bad for Jane- if you've read the book you know where the story is going- and you can really feel for her as she tries to hold it together for Ziggy.

Random Thoughts

"I need to swap out my family for some vodka," Madeline tells Celeste after she has a fight with Ed. 

Did Bonny seriously take Abigail to Planned Parenthood- to get the pill- and not tell Madeline? Hoo boy. 

Ed and Nathan meet- Madeline's current and ex. That doesn't go well. 

Laura Dern as Renata is almost over the top- when she freaks out I was like taken aback. That's the risk of taking a character from the novel and giving her a perspective- I'm not sure it's entirely working, but we'll see where it goes. 

Speaking of Renata, when she tells Madeline not to "fuck with" her daughters birthday party, Madeline calls her out right there and says "why don't you get fucked?" Yeah this'll get out of hand a bit. 


  1. I loved this episode too!! Madeline is amazing and I love Reese as her. I really have high hopes for the rest of the episodes - I am not sure how many there are though.

  2. I never saw this show, but maybe I should.

  3. I have this on the DVR, and now I'm super excited to watch after this review. I remember the characters vaguely (it's been some time since I've read the book) but any show with heaps of drama and intrigue and mystery is in my wheelhouse :) Thanks for sharing!

  4. Ah, haven't seen this yet but it sounds so great so I'm hoping to catch up soon!

  5. I haven't seen this, but you got me intrigued! Might have to check it out.... - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

  6. The more you write about this show the more convinced I am that I need to read the book (don't worry, I haven't spoiled myself on anything!). Just impatiently waiting for my library hold on this one to become available!

  7. Hm... don't get HBO so perhaps when there is more under the belt and we get a free preview I can binge. :)

  8. I finally tried the first episode but I couldn't connect...

  9. This is based on the book right? I need to read the book first I feel before I try the show, but meh the show always comes out a bit different. I might give it a shot, it seems... interesting

  10. This sounds great.I loved the book, and I am glad the show is hopping.

  11. I'm not sure how I missed this series but it sounds like it is very entertaining! I'll look into it more. ;)

  12. I haven't had a chance to watch this yet, but it sounds like it is following the book pretty well. Love the cast.