Big Little Lies – (HBO-2017)


HBO’s 2017 Big Little Lies makes the morning school run look like a battlefield for ambitious successful Alpha women. It’s all things, Stepford Wives, Pleasantville and Desperate Housewives with darker themes of rape, domestic abuse, emotional manipulation and murder in a wealthy Californian seaside community with large modern glass mansions which over look the beach.

While very cinematic in both luxurious soundtrack, cinematography and Oscar winning actresses, its a highly stylised but addictive high end soap opera. A production for famed U.S television network HBO it is adapted from Liane Moriarty’s best seller of the same name a novel which examines adult female friendships, motherhood and spouse partnerships in an environment of immense wealth and social competition. It’s narrative premise is based around a potential murder of a character unknown.

With so many of these women’s lives interconnected by bitching, cheating, bad relationships with men and the local elementary school their children attend it’s hard to tell who actually dies and why so far. It adds to the suspense of the programme as the characters continue to behave as cliquey high school female students despite being mothers, wives and bosses. Perhaps this is to question if all us ever really grow out of school behaviour.

While the social themes of the show are familiar concerning wealth, competition, class and female tendency and behaviour it is important and still relevant to explore fiction wise. From Days of lives/The Bold and the beautiful, Dynasty to Desperate Housewives it explores adult women and how they manage their lives. Even with the best laid life plans things can go wrong and how we deal with such moments can affect our progress is the message of caution through exaggerated fiction.
It can take a while to see such well known cinema faces such as Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon on the television play roles which involve hidden domestic abuse and grudges held by bitter divorces. I don’t think it is a step down in choice of roles but even adds to their ability being able to play female roles in situations which happen to most women at some point. It’s a great television show so far episode 4 and while it carries the usual murder mystery the foundation of the moral message is about how these women dealing with unexpected life changing hurdles, giving it a reality core. I look forward to rest of season.




One comment

  1. I am currently hooked on it and can’t wait to see where it goes next.

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