Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Jane, Maddy, and Celeste take a break after dropping off the kids at school




Big Little Lies was made known to me through a friend. A conversation on Nicole Kidman, I believe, was the catalyst. There is just so much television content out there. So many good performances out there. Characters with layers unpeeled brilliantly. Stories hitting truths we are perhaps not comfortable with absorbing but nonetheless should. Plot developments with topical subject matter relevant or exciting, timely and profound. What goes on behind closed doors? What hides behind the curtain? What lies within the mind? It is all out there. Dysfunction, rage, fear, anxiety, chaos, exhilaration, friendship, peace, regret, sorrow, ache.... feelings and actions we all understand and experience. So I find a show that reaches into all that and even death and a potential murder investigation is thrown in to the mix for good measure.




You ever in the predicament of watching a show or movie and there is all these things you would like to say, with just finding some starting place elusive? I have watched about three and a half episodes of Big Little Lies and my mind was just digesting the content, absorbing it all, so exhilarated at the acting and plot development with that spark or flicker that soon burns a flame so bright it produces much. However, I am at odds at where to begin and end to be honest. I just know how my mind, this passion or compulsion for writing can be, and Big Little Lies warrants the all that I can give.

I’ll start with the accusation and try to work from there over the next week on and off. Single mom Jane arrives with her cute, likable son, Ziggy, to an affluent, picturesque beachfront community in Monterrey, California. She bonds with a chatty, confrontational, blunt force of nature named Madeleine with little patience for filtering what she says for the most part. She is a piece of work. While Jane is more introspective, calm, collected, and careful with her words, Madeleine almost always says what she thinks which can be more than a bit off-putting and even infuriating if you are Renata, a social butterfly workaholic with a heavy schedule (her finger is in a lot of pies in the community) who makes it her mission to be very out there in the public eye. To be seen and heard, acknowledged and aware to all in the community seems to be a goal many of the mommies strive for.

Ziggy is accused of choking Renata's daughter, Amabella. All the parents are gathered around with their children as the teacher tries to determine if there is a bully and who it is. Ziggy endures the whispers and suspicion as Amabella continues to suffer bullying. Ziggy swears he wasn't the one. When Amabella later is found by Renata to have a bite on her shoulder, Ziggy is the one considered the culprit. And this isn't what Jane needs in a new place, trying to start a new life. But this is just one of many unfolding subplots that build to the finale, hinted at with inserts of various adult locals in Monterrey, the custodians at the school, and gossiping busybodies offering their opinions to police detectives about the show's principles. A victim suffered a skull fracture and severe bleed in the brain...how this victim will tie to Maddy, Celeste, and Jane is the engine that drives the seven-episode "limited" series. This was supposed to be it, but the critical embrace has led to HBO greenlighting a second season. I still have my doubts Witherspoon, Kidman, and Woodley will return...this just seems like all the stars aligned perfectly and duplicating that again certainly would appear to be not too easy.

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