Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Big Little Lies

We recently watched Big Little Lies, an HBO series starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley.

Set in Monterey, California (with lots of beautiful Pacific Ocean scenery), the story follows five wealthy families brought together by their children's attendance in the same 1st grade classroom.

There's a Greek chorus of secondary characters (including the school principal) who gossip about the main characters, and there's an emphasis on (1) gender roles and (2) the depressing generational aspect of domestic violence and bullying.

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Reece Witherspoon's character was the most fascinating to me, perhaps because she reminded me of aspects of people I've known, or perhaps because she is a contemporary and I've watched her change and evolve (from Election through Legally Blonde and Walk the Line) while I've done the same.

I was engaged by this show, but not fully drawn in the way I've been with other recent series (Sneaky Pete; The Night Manager). Most of the plot and thematic elements have been explored elsewhere -- and to greater effect.

Nevertheless, it was interesting to watch the particular social dynamics within and among the families, particularly with the overlay of child dynamics that are relevant to our own lives just now.


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