No, I’m just kidding. Sort of. The world is a straight up wreck right now, you guys. But we still have TV. So, you know, it could be worse.
Way back when the world made sense, I read a little book called Little Fires Everywhere and I loved it. So much. Like, I think I was borderline annoying about it. I also remember thinking, I would totes watch that show. AND NOW I CAN BECAUSE HULU MADE IT HAPPEN. They dropped three episodes in the first week. And I watched all of them, jonesing for more.
Here’s the trailer.
1997. Shaker Heights.
So, here’s the deal. Elena Richardson (Reese Witherspoon) is a mother, a part time journalist, and a full time busy body. She is up in everyone’s biz. EVERY. ONE. She’s married to a pretty standard dude (Joshua Jackson) and has four children, Lexi, Trip, Moody, and Izzy. Their life is perfection. Everyone is on exactly the right path. The path Elena carefully mapped out for them with color-coded Post-Its. Well, everyone except Izzy. More on her later.
Then there’s Mia Warren (Kerry Washington). Mother, artist, insanely good dresser. She and her daughter Pearl move around a lot, going where the art takes them. It seems rad, but Pearl would like a more stable existence. They land in Shaker Heights and rent a small place from, you guessed it, Elena Richardson.
What could possibly go wrong?
So, Moody instantly develops a crush on Pearl. She’s a doll, so I don’t blame him. She develops a crush on Trip. And they all watch Ricky Lake and Real World Boston together. Y’all, it brought me back. And those kids are absolutely right. Real World San Francisco was a stronger season. They Puck and Pedro. It’s a hard combo to beat.
So, the kiddos get along swimmingly. The adults? Not so much. There have never been two people less alike than Elena and Mia. Elena, bless her, does that thing where white people insist on proving they aren’t racist that they overcompensate and it often comes across as racist. She means well, it just doesn’t always read that way. What Elena doesn’t seem to fully comprehend is class. Mia is a struggling single mother. Elena has never been in her position and can’t seem to fathom how anyone could be. Hence the meticulous planning of her children’s lives. She, like a lot of people, operate under the assumption that, if you have a plan, life will give a shit and not throw a wrench in your whole gig. Almost like, if you’re life is hard, it must be because you’ve done something to deserve it. Elena is not a bad person. She’s a privileged person. A privileged person who doesn’t always recognize her own privilege.
And that leads us to Izzy. The only Richardson child who isn’t living up to Elena’s plan for her. The only Richardson who dares question her mother and, therefore, she receives the brunt of Elena’s frustrations. Always.
Little Fires Everywhere is complex, so I’m not even going to bother with a plot summary. You really should just watch it. And then scrub your brain clean with Moonshiners. Or literal moonshine. I’m not your mom.
Okay, Lynx & LeRouxnatics, stay healthy, stay happy, and stay the hell away from me.