I’m one episode in of Big Little Lies and I am intrigued.
I’m a big fan of Australia’s House Husbands. It is a light drama that follows the daily mischief of the dads and husbands of a tight suburb in Melbourne, whether it is creating a new business idea, the gossip at the school pick up or their involvement with school projects. Their wives or partners are the ones working and achieving career goals, and while they have their own challengers, and some with their partners, they are left to deal with the drama caused by the men. The guys always get through it together. It is a funny series that can get serious, but never dark. So, imagine all that, but instead, it is the rich mothers we are following and their daily struggles with their individual demons. They are also battling each others problems together. There is helicopter parenting and most obviously, the need to compete with other mothers from the school. This one is more dark. Oh, and don’t forget to add a murder.
That’s the intriguing bit. We are constantly thrown between the present and a near future, and maybe sometimes a past. We are given this light insight to these mother’s lives in the perspective of outsiders who are being interviewed by police. These sections of the show are stationed in a future we haven’t yet fulfilled. We get to know these women and all who are involved while actually witnessing these women’s lives unfold in the present. We are also taken to a police press conference where we meet the main investigating officer. We don’t know much about her in episode one and I don’t believe we will know much about her until we reach the murder itself. The present must be leading to this murder. But what keeps viewers watching is that it doesn’t seem that we will know who has been murdered, nor will we know who did it for a while. What we do know, is that our main characters are not being interviewed. So somehow, amongst all the dramas that have and will develop, one if not all these women are involved in this mysterious murder.
It is a stellar cast. Firstly we have Reese Witherspoon as Madeline. At this stage, she seems to be a very caring and friendly. She sees through the real bullies of the school. She takes new mum Jane (Shailene Woodley) under her wing and is there for her all the way. Her ex-husband Nathan (James Tupper) is now married to young, yoga loving Bonnie (Zoe Kravitz). She has gotten him into that “zen life”, too. Madeline and Nathan have a teenage daughter together who is just going through ordinary teenage things. Madeline also has another daughter with her now husband Ed (Adam Scott). Their daughter is a little socialite and acts mature for her age. She is constantly playing music from her iPhone. I think we will be hearing a lot of music throughout the series.
Nicole Kidman is Celeste. She is married to a somewhat younger man, Perry (Alexander Skarsgard). It is a very interesting relationship where sex is used to solve their drama. However, it is also an abusive relationship. Perry is possessive. Together, they have twin boys. All we know is that she was a very successful lawyer. I got a feeling that he would have made her give up that life to raise their kids and be a housewife. An abusive husband is usually one who has insecurities of his own, hence why they make their wives stay home so the world doesn’t get a taste of his property and that he has her only for himself. If we are going to talk about acting, I think Mr Tarzan, Skarsgard is taking the charge. He can really play an abusive husband.
Jane is the young single mum and the new kid on the block with her son Ziggy. We don’t know anything about her, and why she moved to Monterey. However, life starts quite tough for Jane and her son in their new town, when Ziggy is accused at school for hurting the daughter of Renata (Laura Dern). We don’t get a sense that this kid is violent. In fact, in episode one, when we see Madeline trip and roll her ankle, it is Ziggy who asks his mum if they should stop and help her as they are passing by. They do and that’s how Jane and Madeline meet. We notice Jane sleeps with a gun under her pillow. Could this be something to do with her past and possibly the past she is running away from?
I’ve never really been a fan of Dern. But, she isn’t very likable on the show anyway. She competes more than any of the other mothers for superior status. I think she’s more of the mean mum than any of the others. We don’t know much about her first up, but I assume there is more to her than what we know.
I’m one episode in and I am wrecking my brain trying to put it all together. HBO has another winner here. It all comes down to this murder. Everybody is so fractured and resented; it’s hard to really pinpoint who would have been murdered and who would have done it. I do have a feeling that not everything is what it seems, but… I just don’t know.