I had the chance to watch the first few episodes of the new HBO show Big Little Lies at a recent event hosted by stars Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. And let me tell you, I cannot wait to see what happens next with this wicked web of stories.
When Nicole Kidman walks into a room you can’t help but sit up and take notice. Yes she is tall (hurray for tall ladies!) but more than that she was warm, and genuinely seemed excited to meet me when we talked. She was and is one of my favorite actresses and I adore her even more when she told me this event was her idea. She understands the power women have when it comes to the success of a show and is smart for getting us on board.
And can we talk about how Reese Witherspoon lights up a room? She walked in and even with her tiny stature she managed to fill up the space with her smile and energy. She also talked to me about the importance of supporting projects starring women. The central characters in this show are all women and Reese said they want women to get behind this show to prove there is an audience for these types of shows. I couldn’t agree more.
Big Little Lies is a limited series based on the best-selling novel by Liane Moriarty and tells the story of the seemingly perfect life of families in an affluent seaside town. From the opening scene you can tell this isn’t going to be your typical show about women and moms. It has mystery, intrigue and a dark cloud hanging over the picturesque town of Monterey where it’s set.
Big Little Lies paints a picture of a town fueled by rumors where the people are divided into the haves and have-nots. It’s a subversive, dark comedy that weaves in a tale of murder and mystery. Bet you didn’t see that coming?
I love that HBO isn’t afraid to go there when it comes to the darker side of story telling. Game of Thrones, Shameless and True Blood are just a couple of examples that come to mind. Big Little Lies isn’t quite as dark but there is definitely something shady going on in Monterey.
Reese (Exec. Producer) plays “Madeline Mackenzie”, a perky yet deeply flawed mom trying to live up to her perfect image. Nicole (Exec. Producer) plays “Celeste Wright”, a woman who appears to have it all but as we know, appearances don’t mean squat. Shailene Woodly is “Jane” a single mom with a mysterious past who would do anything to protect her son. And Laura Dern is “Renata Klein” a powerful woman on and off the playground.
The dynamics set up by Executive Producer David E. Kelly (Boston Legal) are rife for drama and great television. Kelly also artfully adapted the show from the book. And the eerie yet familiar visuals can be credited to director Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club). He manages to capture the hauntingly beautiful side of a picture perfect town.
I really enjoyed the first two episodes and am looking forward to seeing the rest. But on a larger scale, I hope the success of this show spurs networks to create more content, comedy and drama, starring strong female characters.
Big Little Lies premieres on HBO on Feb. 19th.