Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies

I am a sucker for a mystery and Big Little Lies is right up my alley.  Based on the novel by Liane Moriarty it stars Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, and a host of other familiar Hollywood faces. It opens like many other US melodramas of late; Californian elite with nice cars, nice clothes and pretty (white) families; think Desperate Housewives by the sea.  However, the contrast between that and the dark and twisty rot underneath is fascinating.  This whodunit includes the question of ‘who was done?’.  We know someone was killed at a school fundraiser, but that is all that we have to go on.  There are several narratives that have the potential for violence, or actual violence and they get more sinister with each episode.  The queen bee mothers of the first grade and their little darlings all have dark secrets. Though the violence that the women experience in various ways is always problematic for me, the characters are drawn in a more complex way than I expected; the gloss and pettiness is giving way to more grit and agency. I love the juxtaposition between panoramic vistas and high-ceilinged houses all glass and white furniture, and the snippets of snarky interviews in claustrophobic police rooms. It hints at the venom that is boiling underneath the façade of the pretty Californian town of Monterey.

Sky Atlantic Mondays 9pm