TV: Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies (TV)
Network: HBO
Airs: Sunday 9/8 central
Starring:   Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Reese Witherspoon, Alexander Skarsgard
Rating: TV-MA
Reviewer: Lori Twichell
FA Scorecard: A

Anyone who has been to public school knows that it can be hard. Really hard. Any mom who has dropped off their kid for the first day of Kindergarten or at a  new school knows that it’s heartbreaking, scary, and nerve wracking to watch your kid disappear into a building where you aren’t sure if they are going to have friends or not. Ratchet that up a level when you realize that your school is situated in one of the most elite areas in the country. Now it’s not just who is in your class, but what are they wearing, who do they know and what do their parents do. So for single mom Jane, who is dropping off her son, Ziggy for his first day, it’s far more stressful than the average ordinary day. Thankfully, she bonds with a couple of the ‘important’ moms in the group so she’s able to learn a little more about the area, the school, and the moms before she goes back to pick him up. Unfortunately, Ziggy’s first day doesn’t end well. Though he insists he’s done nothing wrong, another child accuses him of a horrifying act and thus the wheels start spinning.

But how does a first grader’s bad first day at a new school erupt into eventual murder at a school fundraiser? This is the mystery that we will be experiencing during this series. And it’s not only a whodunit – it’s a who was it. WHO was murdered? How? We don’t know yet.

The first episode (appropriately titled, Somebody’s Dead) unfolds in a manner that allows us to meet the key players, but also gives us those cringe worthy moments that we have all experienced at some point in our lives. The lush, gorgeous landscape with crashing waves and massive sprawling mansions runs in stark contrast to the life Jane has. Her tiny, cramped, one bedroom apartment is complete with thrift store specials and even a creaky old hideaway sofa.  We have yet to discover what would make Jane decide to move to this area. Is it the excellent schools or is there something more to the mystery?

Based on Liane Moriarty’s book, Big Little Lies, this limited run HBO series is jam packed with star power. Admittedly, I came across it because I may have a wee bit of a crush on Alexander Skarsgard, but when I realized it had such heavy hitters as Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern in it, I was hooked. And being an HBO production, you can rest assured that this series will have excellent production values.

I read the book recently (I am one of those geeks who likes to read the source material before I watch something) and I am really excited to see how closely they are following the story with this series. They’ve done a great job in keeping the story edgy with its twists and turns.

Big Little Lies promises scandal, murder, mayhem and chaos in the best way possible. If you love mysteries, this is definitely a series you’ll want to try.

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