Thursday, June 13, 2019

What I’m Watching: Big Little Lies (Season Premiere)

Big Little Lies: Season 2, Episode 1 “What Have They Done?” (B)

I didn’t like the first season of this show nearly as much as most people did, and I realize I’m in the minority. As it expands upon what was written in the source material, I’m still watching, and even if I remain less than wowed, it continues to be watchable. I do like the interview format has been done away with, and instead we’re treated regularly to furious flashbacks featuring Perry that turn out to be Celeste’s dreams. I had read about the casting of Meryl Streep in this project, which was sure to be in a meaty role that would earn her countless accolades. She’s definitely well-cast as Mary Louise, the mother of the deceased, who makes a big impression with few curt but smartly-chosen words. Screaming in front of her children and then chewing Celeste out for not expressing her grief was just one of the intense moments in which she was featured, followed by her walking in on Celeste waking up from a violent nightmare and asking who she was planning to kill. Her interactions with Madeline were even more memorable, at first insulting her height and then calling her a wanter, apologizing to her later by explaining that she reminded her so much of a former college friend she truly hated. Bonnie spiraling following the events of the finale isn’t good for anyone, and Nathan is getting caught in a lot of the crossfire, with Bonnie, with Madeline’s college-averse aims, and by feuding with Ed when he didn’t want to get involved with talking to Bonnie. Jane being referred to as one of the “Monterey Five” suggests their worries are long from over, and that video footage of Madeline spinning her story being rewound over and over is bad news too. It was strange to hear “Mystery of Love” from “Call Me By Your Name” playing on Jane’s headphones as she was dancing on the beach, though it does have a haunting rhythm that worked for that scene.

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