Big Little Lies: ….now what?

Warning: Don’t read this until you have seen Big Little Lies season 2 finale.

First a nod to how fierce it was watching Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep facing off in the witness box in the finale of Big Little Lies.

If it was somewhat far-fetched, all is forgiven for the unfolding drama -and horrors- of a mother (Streep) interrogated about whether she was complicit in the death of her son. The storyline had been waiting for a chance for these two to square off, and Celeste (Kidman) certainly mined new lows in a desperate bid to win custody.

But it is that final scene that will have everybody talking, when the “Monterey 5” strode into the police department, clearly with a pact to confess all regarding the night of Perry’s (Alexander Skarsgard) death. Let’s conveniently overlook the likelihood that there would really have been more soul-searching before all 5 agreed to do that…

HBO boss Casey Bloys has previously said that a third season is unlikely but on the weekend Nicole Kidman gave the Sunday Telegraph a scoop when she said, “I think we would love to do a season three because there is certainly ideas,” adding “but we would not do it without all of the same people involved … even the kids.”

Season 2 did quite well given the storylines are beyond the life of Liane Moriarty’s book, although I missed the direction of Jean-Marc Vallée. It lacked the impact of making the kind of statements S1 did about domestic violence and shifted into a largely whodunnit tale (without Streep it would have been a fail).

Ironically in TV, time usually moves quite swiftly, but BLL could not shake off the memory of Perry’s death even 7 episodes later.

Big Little Lies was always about an outward female facade, the pursuit of perfect lives at Starbucks, Pilates and the 3pm pick-up….. all of which was masking deep, domestic trauma.

If it proceeds to another 7 episodes, will it get further distracted by all things crime & prosecution? And would we mind where the ensemble is so strong in an age of female empowerment?

Can’t answer that.

4 Comments:

  1. S2 was lacking in what made S1 special. For example, there really wasn’t any school pick ups which were so central to the first go round. And the women felt like they were less concerned with the way ppl perceived them like in S1. That’s only a few minor strands of its DNA that was missing in S2…

    I ultimately thought Reece Witherspoon and Zoe Kravitz were under-utilised and their characters amounted to very little in the overall arc… what was their purpose? Laura Dern will sweep the awards, she was amazing. Shailene Woodley’s character was boring… but Nicole and Meryl were on top of their games. It just all felt a little… soulless. However it was eminently watchable throughout! Go figure.

  2. daveinprogress

    I enjoyed s2 more but that is the Streep factor. For me it is just shy of 40 years since I first clapped eyes on her in the cinema and leaned across to my mate and said she would win an Oscar for it. And she did! Kramer V Kramer in late 79. So seeing her again in the witness box reminded me of how great she always has been and weirdly circular to where she will inevitably win another Emmy for TV. Also a big shutout for every award going for Laura Dern! She stole every scene, even from Streep. Incredible performance. There will be a 3rd series. Eventually.

  3. I agree that this season showed directorial/creative changes from season one. The final court room scenes were most definitely made for TV and I can’t imagine any judge allowing Celeste to lead the confrontation the way she did.
    The series did build toward that final scene, but as David points out, where was the discussion? It could have been left out for a satisfying conclusion to two seasons of wonderful television.

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