After a huge win for Big Little Lies during the Golden Globes and a few of my friends telling me to check out the HBO success, I gave in and watched all seven episodes in one day.
*SPOILERS AHEAD* With a star-studded cast, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern carry the show as they all play seemingly happy mothers all doing the 9 to 5 while taking care of their first graders. However, dark secrets from their past start to surface in Monteray Bay, California.
By the end of the first episode, we have three questions: Who’s the bully? Who’s the murderer? And who was killed?
The show benefits from an impressive cast. Nicole Kidman steals the show as she portrays the character with the biggest gap between the perception of others and what is really happening with her abusive husband played by Alexander Skarsgård. His portrayal of Perry is so good, you actually feel scared when he enters a scene. Kidman and Skarsgård both play off each other well, and that’s probably why they both were awarded Gloden Globes.
Reese Witherspoon and Adam Scott play the central couple going through their fair share of issues, but they also serve as the glue that links everyone together. Shailene Woodley gives a quiet performance as she plays a single mother battling her past as another question raises: Who was her rapist? Laura Dern gives a great performance as she plays a frustrated mother battling the three mothers throughout the series to protect her own daughter.
The show also benefits from a lot of small elements that make the mini-series so special. The soundtrack is fabulous with a killer theme song that I never skipped over once. The female relationships in the show are really strong especially between Jane and Madeline. The prospects for a season 2 also make up for the lack of resolution between Madeline and basically her whole family.
Now let’s get into the real spoilers, so if you do not want to find out what happened in the finale, do not read on.
The first reveal was that Max, one of Celeste and Perry’s twins, was actually the one bullying Amabelle, and not Ziggy. My sick head thought it might have been an adult, and I thought making it one of the twins would have been almost too obvious. But I was definitely wrong about that one and it makes a ton seeing how Celeste’s therapist says a few times in the series “What if the kids find out?”
So after finding out that Perry was both the rapist and the person being killed, I instantly felt dumb for not realizing it seeing how aggressive he was with Celeste. Hearing Jane say to Celeste that she has to accept her son might have violent tendencies clearly has a double meaning, and it’s great foreshadowing. I had an inkling that her rapist would be someone from the main cast, but for some reason I thought it could be Nathan or Ed. Celeste and Perry’s storyline was so separate from the rest that I didn’t think the stories would cross wires.
The last episode was definitely the strongest with reveals coming out slowly and then leading to the scene where Perry meets the women by the stairs. Zoe Kravitz’s character Bonnie being the murderer was unexpected, but it was awesome seeing all five women in one scene battle it out. I love the moment that Jane has her realization and it almost seemed like Madeline and Celeste read her mind instantly and knew what needed to happen. The beach scene was heartwarming, and to be honest, I can see a second season of the show coming about with all the women being questioned by the main detective.
Also, one last thought, how cute was Tom? He was adorable in that last episode. Let me know what you thought of the mini-series!