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Big Little Lies

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Tue May 02, 2017 8:11 pm
niteowl says...

So I recently watched the HBO adaptation of "Big Little Lies", based off the book by Liane Moriarty that I read a while back. To be honest, I enjoyed the book (even though it's not my normal fare at all--I don't even remember why I got it), but I don't recall thinking "OMG this has to be a movie/TV show!". Then again, I usually think that more when I read fantasy or stories with a lot of action (which I have trouble visualizing, so I'm always like "Man, it would be cool to actually see this").

Anyway, back to the book/show at hand. Disclaimer: the book and show are 18+ for language, sexual content, rape, and domestic violence. On to the review.

A brief summary: The plot centers around parents at a rich elementary school (in Australia in the book, in Monterrey, California in the show). Someone is murdered at a school fundraiser, and the story shows the events leading up to this through the lives of three mothers at the school: Madeline (a divorced stay at home mom with issues with her ex and his new wife Bonnie...and a lot of other people :P), Celeste (an older mother who seems to have the perfect life from the outside), and Jane (a young single mother who faces immediate mistrust from many of the other parents, but is befriended by Madeline and Celeste).

Overall, I thought the show was well done and largely faithful to the book. At least what I remember about the book. I remembered some of the major plot points, but managed to forget some, and there were some subplots that I honestly can't remember if they were in the book or not (largely the one with Madeleine and the play). Some random thoughts (I'll enspoiler anything that actually spoils the plot):

-I feel like Renata's character was more fleshed out than in the book. Again, this might be my fuzzy memory talking, but I feel like she was more of a one-dimensional "career mommy" and her nanny was more involved in the book, whereas in the show she has more dimension and personality. This was a good choice.

-Chloe is ridiculously precocious for a six-year-old.

-The soundtrack to the TV show is pretty awesome.

-The ending was nice and not too far off from the book in terms of "what happens", but it felt annoyingly vague. Like if I hadn't read the book and remembered the final scene, I would have been very confused as to the why. I feel like they did this on purpose to set up the possibility of a sequel, which I have mixed feelings about. Like the story is pretty self-contained, and there is no book sequel, but there's still rumblings about it maybe happening. I'm not sure how compelling a sequel immediately following the events of the show would really be. However (and this might just be me being weird), one of the key messages of the show is how all this drama among the parents affects their children. Wouldn't it be interesting to see how they're affected by all this 10-15 years later, as they start to really grasp a lot of details they probably don't as six-year-olds?

-This rambling is very spoiler-y, so read at your own risk:
Spoiler! :
So I somehow totally managed to forget the "Perry is Jane's rapist" twist. But after watching the show, I wonder how realistic the way it plays out is in the age of social media. Think about it: Perry is an abuser. He's a narcissist, meaning he probably wants to show off his life on social media. He's also controlling, meaning he would want to know what Celeste is up to and who she's hanging out with. So even if he never met Jane before the fateful trivia night, he'd probably want to "friend" her on social media. Of course, she might not have it since she's pretty private, but I still think that one of them would have seen the other on the Internet well before meeting in person and put two and two together. It's kind of interesting to think how technology would change that whole scenario.

So those are my thoughts for now. Overall, I think this is a compelling story that does a good job covering the serious issues it does. Did anyone else watch it? What do you think?
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci


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Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:22 pm
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Dreamy says...

I'm just seeing this. I have to visit this section of the forum often, seeing it's where the party comes alive. :P

I did not read the book and I saw the series only because Nicole Kidman was in it. I love her, she's just <3. But I agree, the series should have been a limited one with just one season. Meryl Streep is in it now and I'm just wondering, is it really necessary? Because we all know that Perry deserved what he got and when you have such a powerful actress playing a role that could probably mean she will defend her son: it just muddles the beautifully laid path. We just know that the writers are going to make us sympathise with Meryl's character and mourn with her on her loss. Or maybe I'm wrong. I haven't watched season two yet but I think I'll watch it just to see if I was right or wrong.

And yes, if technology played a role in the story it would have definitely be a different story altogether. The kids were amazing and I DID NOT see the twist. Like, AT all. Especially the bully part. That was the twist of all TWISTS.

And I liked how you put it, children affected by their parents' doing. And yes, 15 years from now, the children reminiscing their past would have made a better season two.
If any person raises his hand to strike down another on the ground of religion, I shall fight him till the last breath of my life, both as the head of the Government and from outside- Jawaharlal Nehru.

Ghosts, demons, and ghouls cannot scare the cat's underling.
— TheMulticoloredCyr