Saturday, April 25, 2020

What I’m Watching: Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere: Season 1, Episode 6 “The Uncanny” (B+)

It’s always a risky decision for shows to feature younger versions of their characters since they can come off as unconvincing or hokey, particularly if they’re played by the same performers. In this case, finding younger actresses to play Mia and Elena was absolutely a success. I’ve been impressed with AnnaSophia Robb since her lead role in “Sleepwalking,” and in addition to the truly uncanny physical similarity between her and Reese Witherspoon, she captured her essence perfectly. Tiffany Boone from “The Following” and “Hunters” was equally excellent as Mia, whose experience in New York during college was quite transformative in ways she didn’t at all expect. This episode was especially thought-provoking because it was Mia who elected to get pregnant so that she could make some desperately-needed money, while Elena felt stifled by another pregnancy she hadn’t planned which was going to set her career aspirations back considerably. It’s always hard to be taken out of the present since we didn’t see any of the other regular characters aside from Bill and Linda, but this background was highly informative and worthwhile. Mia returning home to be told by her mother that she couldn’t even attend her brother’s funeral because her parents didn’t want to have to explain why she was pregnant was heartbreaking, and the transition to the present with Pearl riding first in the backseat and then next to her was powerful. This hour definitely made Elena more sympathetic, and we’ll see how much that remains true when this show returns to the present for its final two installments.

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