Big Little Lies Review

By: Hannah Hawkins

Hello all, it’s your campus tv show binge watcher here.  I just finished watching HBO’s newest miniseries Big Little Lies, based off of Liane Moriarty’s book of the same name.  I didn’t read the book, but the series was powerful in and of itself.  With an all-star cast starring Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Nicole Kidman, and Laura Dern, just to name a few, it’s hard for this show to not be popular.  There are some scenes that display domestic abuse, so viewer discretion is advised. The plot revolves around three mothers who live in a wealthy Californian coastline city, and they might be involved in a murder that happened at their children’s fundraiser.  The show features flashbacks of the night of the murder and interviews with locals who think that one of the mothers had something to do with it, as well as the events leading up to the murder. And in the end, we do find out who died and who killed who.

Jane Chapman, played by Shailene Woodley, has just moved to Monterey, California with her son Ziggy who will be going into the first grade.  She then runs into Madeline Martha McKenzie, who also has a daughter going into the first grade at the same school. The two become close friends, and meet up with Madeline’s friend Celeste Wright and her twin boys, who also go to the same first grade. All of these families seem perfect and picturesque, but sometimes living in a wealthy part of town, rivalries will come up.  Laura Dern’s character, Renata Klein, is focused on her and her family’s image and making sure that everything is perfect.  When Renata’s daughter accuses Jane’s son of choking her in school one day, tensions began to flare and that is when people began to point fingers. Renata, believing that her daughter’s accusation is true, begins to look toward Jane and Ziggy in a negative way, making Jane unsure if their move to Monterey was such a good idea. Some people think this show depicts what the “American Dream” looks like on the inside. On the outside, these people seem happy to live in their million dollar mansions on the bay, but on the inside, there are emotional problems, a case of domestic abuse, and juggling all of these terrible and draining problems all the while trying to maintain their image.

The locations where the show is shot are absolutely gorgeous. There are many shots of a woman, who is later revealed to be Jane, running along these scenic coastlines. The houses in which the characters live are beautiful too. These locations include Monterey, where the show takes place, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, and Carmel Highlands, all in sunny California. I, personally, love architecture, so seeing these wild and crazy expensive homes featured in the show is jaw-dropping. If you guys are looking for a dark-humor show to watch when taking a break from your studies, I highly suggest HBO’s Big Little Lies.

Hannah Hawkins, from Illiopolis, Illinois is a Junior here at Illinois College and is majoring in Communication and Rhetorical Studies and minoring in Theatre.  She is a Contributing Writer and the Web Designer for the Illinois College Newspaper, The Rambler.  Hannah is a very active member in the theatre department and loves her dog more than most people.


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