Are you watching season 2 of Big Little Lies? I enjoyed the first season but didn’t need a second season. The premiere seemed forced (like the hokey nightmares sequences). That cast can sell those characters, absolutely, I just don’t know if the storyline will support the talent. (Why don’t any of these people move? Or at the very least, switch schools?)
But that doesn’t mean BLL’s second season isn’t deserved. It was a hit in every way a show can be: ratings, awards, social media adoration. And the A-list cast, led by producer Reese Witherspoon, fully embraced the audience’s enthusiasm. It is a hit, full stop.
Reese’s latest project, Little Fires Everywhere, has started shooting and I’m curious as to how it will separate itself from the inevitable comparisons. I loved the book (by Celeste Ng), which deals in complex and interwoven themes centering around women who stifle their ambition (also explored in Ng’s other excellent book, All of the Things I Never Told You). There’s a lot to unpack in the novel: transracial adoption, post-partum depression, socioeconomic privilege, artistic merit, and the oppression and comfort of growing up in a nuclear family in the suburbs.
It may be unfair to compare it to Big Little Lies, but with Reese behind the development of both projects, it feels like she’s building her own little universe, like Marvel. Instead of comic books, she’s adapting work like Daisy Jones and the Six and League of Wives.
But while Big Little Lies subverts the “mean chic mommy” stereotypes, Little Fires Everywhere drills down to a difficult question: what makes a mother? A womb? A sacrifice? In the book, the answer is murky and open-ended. There’s no group hug on the beach.
Just look at this energy.
Kerry Washington is playing Mia Warren, a gifted artist and single mother who moves to Shaker Heights and upends Elena’s (Reese Witherspoon’s) ordered world. The casting could not be more perfect on both sides. Everything about this is making me excited: Elena’s uptight fit-and-flare dress, Mia’s cool all-black outfit, the plaid curtains and copper pots that scream “upmarket home décor catalogue.” Even the polite-but-adversarial pose feels right. And the series isn’t due until 2020, which will give it some space from Big Little Lies.
Attached- Reese out in LA the other day with her family.