Convicted of a decade old crime of transporting drug money to an ex-girlfriend, normally law abiding Piper Chapman is sentenced to a year and a half behind bars to face the reality of how life changing prison can really be.
While Madeline and Celeste take new in town single mom Jane under their wing, none of them realises how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all. Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive. Written by
This really is the golden age of TV as proved by the fact that this mini-series stars three incredible actresses (two of them Oscar winners) giving some of their career best performances). Big Little Lies takes a hard look at the lives of women in the wealthy mostly white suburb of Monterey, where you're no one if you don't have a beach front property and where everyone hides their secrets so that they don't risk anyone seeing that their lives are a facade.
The three women at the centre of the story are Madeleine Mackenzie an A-type mostly stay at home mom on her second husband (Reese Witherspoon), her beautiful best friend Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and the town newcomer that Mackenzie adopts into their life, Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley), a 20-something young mom who moved to the town for the schools and doesn't really fit in. Each woman is hiding a huge secret, but eventually the secrets come out and the women find solace and comfort leaning on each other for support.
There is a lot more than that (the show opens with the bold claim that there was a murder, and most of the show is a flash backward showing how that murder came to be), but a lot of the central mysteries aren't mysteries at all. The editing, costuming and acting choices deeply hint at the answers to every mystery, so by the time the finale rolls around and everything is revealed it's not so much an "Ah ha!" moment as an "Ahhhhh" moment as you realize with satisfaction that the build up was good and everything makes sense.
The best part of this is seeing all the actors doing amazing work. Nicole Kidman walks away with the show giving a devastating performance. Laura Dern provides levity and Robin Weigert, as Celeste's therapist, may not be a "name" actress, but she brings so much to her scenes.
A wonderful show.
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