The official news is that Meryl Streep is joining the cast of Big Little Lies but we all know what that really means. Season two won’t air until next year so they should just go ahead and put Meryl’s name on the 2020 Emmy ballot. #Meryl2020
Let’s back it up. Meryl Streep is going to be on the next season of Big Little Lies. This is not a drill. At first, I was confused. Why? When we were emailing about this, Duana pointed out that Big Little Lies doesn’t need Meryl Streep. Meryl Streep doesn’t need the show either. And not because Meryl doesn’t need to be doing TV right now – in fact, this move is just another affirmation that we are at the peak of Peak TV. If the most Oscar-nominated and revered movie actor in the world is doing television, the conversation about whether TV is a notch below movies in the Hollywood hierarchy is clearly obsolete. Maybe Meryl read the Ellen Pompeo THR op-ed? Meryl has already won three Emmys (one for the HBO mini-series Angels in America) so it’s not like she’s a stranger to TV. The news may have made me scratch my head for a second but it actually makes sense and after reading the character description, I’m EXCITED.
According to THR, Meryl Steep is playing Mary Louise Wright, mother of creepy, controlling, f-cked, up piece of sh-t, Perry Wright. Good riddance. Alexander Skarsgard is rumoured to be back for season 2 in some capacity but now that we’ve got Mary Louise, what’s the point?
Mary Louise Wright is described as a woman who is concerned for the well-being of her grandchildren following her son Perry's death. She arrives in Monterey searching for answers.
So, she’s going to be a rich, passive aggressive, overprotective grandmother. Mary Louise sounds like the most similar character to Miranda Priestly Meryl has played since The Devil Wears Prada. Imagine Miranda Priestly in Monterey? I’m already terrified of her.
A reader named Victoria sent us this tweet.
Just got off the phone with Liane Moriarty. She says she developed the character Mary Louise Wright specifically for Meryl Streep. (Fun fact: Mary Louise is actually Streep's birth name.) #BigLittleLies— Broede Carmody (@BroedeCarmody) January 25, 2018
First of all, that’s BADASS of Liane Moriarty to write something specifically for Meryl Streep with the confidence that she’d say yes to the role. People have been worried about Big Little Lies season 2 because the source material is finished. I’ve had my doubts too. Well, Liane Moriarty is like, bitches, I’m your source material and I just got Meryl F-cking Streep. YES, LIANE.
Even before learning that little name tidbit, I loved that Meryl’s character is called Mary Louise. Mary Louise is the perfect old rich white lady name. Of course, Mary Louise is a Monster in Law. Mary Louise is going to f-ck up Celeste Wright with snide comments and not-so-subtle parenting tips. Mary Louise is going to go toe-to-toe with Madeline Martha McKenzie. Oh my god, I can’t wait for Mary Louise and Renata Klein to run into each other at Tom’s coffee shop or at the kid’s school play or WHEREVER.
Sure, Meryl Steep joining this cast in particular is a little unfair. It’s like Big Little Lies is the Golden State Warriors of television. (That reference didn’t go over well in our group thread because sports.) The cast was already STACKED. There was already enough star power in season one that all five female leads were already basically household names. But I’m OK with stacking the deck on a show dominated by women and the stories of mothers. I’m OK with bringing even more attention to a season of television directed by a woman and produced by women.
They just better still do right by Bonnie because she deserves more in season two. I’m all in for Mary Louise but only as long as she’s not hijacking Bonnie’s screen time.