Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley in Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies Season 1 (Television Review) – A Predictable but Stylish, Well-Acted Miniseries

Big Little Lies is an HBO drama miniseries created and written by David E. Kelley, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and stars Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Alexander Skarsgård, Adam Scott and Laura Dern. The show is based on the novel of the same name which was written by Liane Moriarty and the story is set in Monterey, California. The show focuses on Madeline (Witherspoon), Celeste (Kidman) and Jane (Woodley) who live seemingly perfect lives which, under the surface, are far from perfect. We gain insight into their lives while also having a murder mystery interwoven throughout this miniseries.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Big Little Lies

This was a show that came on my radar through, weirdly enough, Reese Witherspoon’s Snapchat and Instagram accounts. While filming Big Little Lies, she would post behind-the-scenes videos on the set of the show and it got me interested. Moreover, with a cast this good and with HBO behind the show, I would be foolish to not give Big Little Lies a try and see if it lived up to the hype.

Alexander Skarsgård and Nicole Kidman in Big Little Lies

My Thoughts on Big Little Lies

Overall, Big Little Lies is a good miniseries. I don’t think it’s as spectacular as a lot of people do but I was entertained and engaged through its 7-episode run. A big reason why this was the case was due to the calibre of the acting. I thought all of the cast were great, especially Reese Witherspoon who, in real life, comes across as a very likeable and genuine person. To me, this shows how great her performance was in Big Little Lies because her character in this show was a complete b***h. Funny at times, but a complete b***h.

Nicole Kidman probably gave the performance with the most depth as her arc in the show is pretty tragic, disturbing and quite difficult to watch at times. Yet, the themes that her arc dealt with such as abuse did make for some compelling television. Shailene Woodley was another whose arc was somewhat alarming yet she also added to Big Little Lies.

Shailene Woodley and Reese Witherspoon in Big Little Lies

Another aspect of Big Little Lies which impressed me was the cinematography. This is a beautifully shot show with the use of lighting being a big factor in how stunning Big Little Lies looks. I give credit to Jean-Marc Vallée and Yves Bélanger, the cinematographer, in giving this show a very stylish look.

A Predictable Story

There are a lot of great qualities in this TV show but, in the end, I also found the story to be quite predictable. As each episode went by, it was getting clearer and clearer where this story was heading which meant that I was not shocked by anything that happened in the finale of Big Little Lies. I knew who would be killed in the murder, I heavily suspected that the person who was killed had a “connection” with another character and none of it surprised me.

Maybe I have been conditioned through television shows such as Game of Thrones to expect shocking twists and events to happen in everything I watch! Still, despite the predictability, Big Little Lies is worth your time due to the calibre of acting, its stunning cinematography and a story which does deal with some important issues.

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