Big Little Lies Season 1 Episode 1: Somebody’s Dead Review

Yesterday, a new show was aired on HBO called Big Little Lies. The synopsis says “The tale of three mothers of first graders, whose apparently perfect lives unravel to the point of murder.”

The story is about three moms who all live in Monterey, California and their kids are in the same age. Jane (Shailene Woodley), who only moved to town recently with her son Ziggy, Madeline (Reese Witherspoon), who has two daughters and an ex-husband Nathan (James Tupper), and Celeste (Nicole Kidman), who raises her twin boys with her husband Perry (Alexander Skarsgard), who might be abusive. It is orientation day at school and while the kids sit in first grade, Madeline and Celeste quickly befriends the newcomer Jane. When they go to pick up the kids, Jane’s boy, Ziggy is accused of choking a little girl but he denies it and there are no witnesses. We also learn that Ziggy suffers from sleepwalking and everyone else has their own problems in the seemingly perfect town. There is also a second plot that is shown through multiple flash-forwards during the episode and it shows that someone will be murdered in the future.

There is one thing you should know before we go any further. I had no idea that the show is based on a book. This has actually happened before with The Expanse and A Series of Unfortunate Events (maybe I should read more) but the point is that I won’t compare the show to the book.

First, the characters. I generally like the three moms because they all have a different personality. They are well-written and you can feel that the writers actually took their time to make them interesting and real. Madeline is a good example, who must deal with the fear of losing her daughters with the fact that his ex-husband lives happily with a new wife named Bonnie (Zoe Kravitz) and the girls like her a lot. She has a confident attitude and stands up for herself and for what she believes in but she also has some softer moments when she needs to express her feelings.

But the characters also need a good story to move them. Even though the first episode mostly focuses on introducing the people of Monterey a mysterious plot is also unfolding in the background. Right now, we do not really have a hint about the person who was murdered or who the murder might be. But we learn a lot of information about the three women from the people who are questioned by the police. Mysteriously, none of the three moms were shown in the flash-forwards, can that mean anything? Also, Jane’s boy, Ziggy has been acting weirdly. I do not want to say that he might be involved in the murder but is very strange. However, I am not sure about one thing, did Jane put a revolver under her pillow when she went to sleep? And if she did, do you have any idea why? (without spoilers)

Overall, it’s not bad, not at all. I feel like I am not the targeted audience of this show but I can safely say that you should give it a try if you like non-fantasy dramas. I generally think that the show was made for women in the first place because they can easier identify with main characters of the show. However, it won’t discourage me from continuing the show.

Score: 7/10

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One thought on “Big Little Lies Season 1 Episode 1: Somebody’s Dead Review

  1. I think the show is aimed at someone like me (51 and a mom.) You mentioned the three main moms, but the fourth is Laura Dern, the mother of the injured girl. I don’t live in California, but I very much recognized these types of women, and the politics played through children. I’m really intrigued, and it has a FANTASTIC cast – Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley alone, and then Adam Scott and Alexander Skaarsgaard play two of the husbands. I’m really excited about this show.

    I do think it was a revolver Shailene puts under her pillow. She has purposefully moved to a “safe” model community “for the schools”, so what is she afraid of? That is just one of the mysteries.

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