Almost immediately after finishing Liane Moriarity’s Big Little Lies, I started watching its HBO mini series. Unfortunately, I do not have HBO, but I bought the first episode on iTunes and fortunately soon after, a family friend let me use their TV subscription so I could watch the show for free (my iTunes account is VERY thankful). In short, I loved the Big Little Lies miniseries and like many, I wouldn’t mind a second season, as the finale leaves a few unanswered questions. I’ll be getting into more specifics about the show below.
There are A LOT of differences between the book and the show. For starters, while the book takes place in coastal Australia, the show takes place in Monterey, California. The change in the setting didn’t have that much of an affect on the plot, other than that no one was speaking in Australian accents. We also experience more scenes focused on Bonnie and Renata, where in the books we only get point-of-views from Madeline, Jane, and Celeste. I liked how Ed had a bigger presence in the show, but I didn’t like a lot of the changes the show made about Madeline. Two of her more smaller and non-spoilery changes included that her and Ed’s son didn’t have a role in the show and instead of working in the town’s theater office, Madeline is currently running Monterey’s production of Avenue Q. It was also abundantly clear through each character’s car and house, with the exception of Jane, that nearly everyone was wealthy.
The cast was phenomenal. Each person fit his or her character perfectly, and my favorite had to be Reese Witherspoon as Madeline. She was just as I had imagined Madeline, and it was interesting to see her relationship with Chloe play out. She had the perfect reaction for when Bonnie and Nathan tell her about Chloe’s secret project. While I admit that I was nervous about Shailene Woodley playing Jane, I thought that she fit the role of the quiet, young mother quite well.
One of the hands-down best parts of the show is the music. I currently have the show’s soundtrack on repeat on Spotify, my favorite song by “The Wonder of You” by Villagers (I was 99% sure that it wasn’t Adam Scott actually singing this in the finale, but that 1% of me hoped he was). The songs in each episode perfectly corresponded to the plot, and I liked how the songs in Jane’s running scenes were almost always the songs she was actually listening to.
As mentioned, there’s room for a second season. The finale of the show leaves some unanswered aspects, especially since the murder investigation remains open. If you pay a bit close attention in the final scene (I didn’t catch it the first time), a detective views the women and kids on the beach through binoculars. We also leave the show with tension between Ed and Madeline, as Ed clearly suspects that Madeline had an affair. We’re also left to question Celeste and Jane’s relationship, as Perry has played a role in both of their lives. As much as I would love a second season, I’m a bit nervous about how much the plot would expand. How much would the characters change?
I realize that I’m a bit late to the Big Little Lies train, but hey, I loved it and I can’t be the only one! Have you watched Big Little Lies? Share in the comments!