“Did you ever fight it?
All of the pain, so much power
Running through my veins
Bleeding, I’m bleeding
My cold little heart
Oh I, I can’t stand myself”
The moment you plug in the very first episode of HBO drama, Big Little Lies, Michael Kiwanuka’s Cold Little Heart coupled with Yves Belanger’s terrific cinematography haunts you enough for you to declare the show a winner. The landscape of the fictional Monterey, the beats of the song, the illustrious star cast teasing the viewers with sneak peeks all through the title credits; Big Little Lies tells you exactly how a show could entice you.
Roughly, the story is about five women in the affluent town of Monterey, California. All varied, all powerful. The lives of Renata, Celeste, Madeline, Bonnie, and Jane are intertwined predominantly through their kids who go to the same kindergarten, but a small town like Monterey- who can stay out of the crosshairs of each other?
This is the interesting bit of this show, it takes a very simple premise and turns it into such an intelligent narrative, and you are left wondering how even the most obvious story around women can be turned into a feminist discourse, an empathetic note, and an empowering lesson. The cast of the show is indubitably stellar.
From Reese Whiterspoon’s effervescent and headstrong Madeline, to Nicole Kidman’s soft and gritty Celeste, to Zoe Kravitz’s kind and eclectic Bonnie – the men in the show provide performative support but this is a story about women. More or less.
Big Little Lies opens up the conversation about the overt and covert issues that are women centric and have dealt with stereotypical or normative representation, thus far. Tackling ambition, abuse, infidelity, jealousy, rape, love, and loss these women forge ahead with the support of one another, which is the highlight of the show.
Men, here are just spectators, women band together in an army of unflinching support and love for each other.
Aside from the women, however, the super-hero of this show is the soundtrack. From Leon Bridges’ nostalgic blues to Agnes Obel’s pacey subtle tunes that add a sense of intrigue to the show’s plot. The music so carefully adds texture to every story line, it is impeccable. The music, often curated from the vantage point of Madeline’s younger daughter Chloe runs home the point on how music can always transport you to another place seamlessly, so much so that a particular track becomes synonymous to a myriad of feelings that you go through even when removed from the show.
So, are we excited for the second season of the show that is an iconic maverick in the world of television that Jean Marc Vallee, bestowed us with? Well, of course, especially because the President of all things performing arts, Meryl Streep, is added to the ensemble cast. From the looks of it, the intrigue stays intact, but oh boy does everything look that extra more mysterious and dare, we say, insidious(?). Season 2 picks up after the “Monterey 5” are questioned about the infamous Season 1 finale death, and how that moniker is troublesome for the five ladies who are embroiled in a lie so addictive.
Big Little Lies teaches you things about a variety of subjects. It is like a beginners course to everything. From telling you how film-making can be powerful, to how gender binaries can be liberated, to how performances can have a wide enough spectrum as a Shailene Woodley to an Adam Scott to a Laura Dern.
The second season premieres on 9th June, and from what we can tell from the teaser, it is going to take a lot more from us the second time around. We can’t possibly wait for all the scandals, banter, and reflective portrayals!
Watch the Season 2 Teaser here: