Book: 5 Pretzels
Show: 4.5 Pretzels only because I will always rate books higher than television.
Because reading is what? FUNDAMENTAL
Haven’t a clue what a Pretzel rating is? Find out here.
So, I read Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty a few years ago. Drama and murder mysteries are two of my favorite things. I was instantly obsessed; I mean, I stayed late at work to finish it. And that’s a big deal because I barely go to work. Her writing style grabbed me from the very beginning and I’ve been a fan ever since, devouring all of her books. You can get the book, and you should, here.
Now, the show. When I heard HBO was doing an adaptation, I was stoked, even more so when I saw the cast. BLL was so well done that I was still like, “Oh, girl” when the end came. I’m not going to do a full recap because y’all are grown, but Perry was a legit dirt bag who beat his wife, Celeste, and raped her friend Jane (before they were friends, but still), Bonnie kills him at a school fundraiser, and all the women: Madeline, Celeste, Jane, Bonnie, and Renata, lie about what happened.
So, season 2 premieres with the same cast, minus one, but with the addition of the devil herself, Meryl Streep. She’s portraying Perry’s mother, there to help Celeste with the children and throw all the shade. At one point she clocks Madeline (played by Reese Witherspoon) for being short and then underhandedly calls her vapid. It is nothing but thinly veiled insults coming out of her mouth and I am here for it.
The theme of episode one is grief, guilt, and dammit you are going to college young lady. Celeste is in an interesting situation. She did lose her husband, but she also knew what he was. Her boys, however, do not. Neither does Mary Louise (Meryl Streep). So, she has to walk this line of ignoring her feelings of relief and display more “appropriate” feelings like sadness and anger. I do find it interesting that Mary Louise is ANGRY. Like, full on screaming at the dinner table angry that her son is gone and all these mediocre, middle-management jackholes are still around. She appears almost timid, but then destroys people with passive-aggressive insults and lashes out in burst of anger…much like Perry. Hmmm. Can we get an origin story, puhlease? I’m not saying it isn’t okay to be angry, it totally is; it’s her ability to switch back and forth on a dime that I find unsettling.
The women, with the exception of Bonnie, seem to have moved on with their lives. They’re convinced the police buy their story, or at least can’t dispute it, and they can get back to their normal, every day drama like being the best second grade mom and forcing their older child to go to college, that sort of thing. Bonnie, though, is unraveling. She’s maybe never killed anyone before, so she doesn’t know how to handle it. Right now, she’s mostly going for two-hour runs, but the episode ended with her standing outside the police station. So, this season is the unhinging of Bonnie. I like it. I’m ready for it. I also get it. Season 1 ended where the book ended, so they’re out of source material. I can only hope BLL doesn’t set the train on fire and drive straight up off the rails like another HBO show that just ended that I won’t mention. Except to say this: Bran? Really?