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‘Big Little Lies’ is worth the praise

HBO show pushes boundaries and makes a statement

Ella Andersen, Online Editor
Originally published March 30, 2018

“Big Little Lies” made waves during this past awards show season – and for good reason. The all-star cast of Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Zoe Kravitz drew enough attention alone. The fact that this many strong women can come together to make a show that is not only breathtaking to look at, but also holds an important message for all women, is amazing, and should frankly be done more often. These actresses feel that the time for women is now, and nothing should be kept hidden.

The show is set in Monterey, California, which is a perfect location, as it is home to startlingly blue water and rolling hills. The intro to every episode is the same. It shows landscape shots of Monterey, played over the ever most fitting tune “Cold Little Heart” by Michael Kiwanuka. Never has music fit so perfectly with video. The landscape is shown until it displays the names of the actors in the show, yet one can notice that it only shows clips of the female leads, and no one else.

This show is no doubt a call to action. During the “Time’s Up” movement and everything going on in Hollywood, this show is strikingly honest and displays a side of things that’s not often seen. Strong women being portrayed by well known actresses is what draws audience attention, but it’s the portrayals that keep them there.

Nicole Kidman plays Celeste Wright, a retired lawyer and mother of twin boys entering first grade. Her life is seemingly perfect at first, but that perspective is soon shattered. Celeste has deep troubles at home, and the season follows her building up the courage to face them. The way she dealt with these issues at first seemed counterintuitive and not very courageous, but it can be seen that it was a complicated situation, and though she should’ve dealt with it earlier, she eventually does, thanks to the help of her friends.

Reese Witherspoon is one of them. A remarried mother of a teenager and a first grader, who struggles with jealousy in a very relatable way. She also puts up a strong front in public, but her life isn’t perfect. It becomes quickly apparent that every character in this show is hiding their pain, even to some of their closest friends, and it makes for a nervous viewing. Eventually you’ll find yourself pleading them to confide in each other. It is a reminder to the audience that being vulnerable with others and voicing your struggles is important.

Shailene Woodley played the role of Jane Chapman, the outcast of the show. Jane, being a young single mother, just moved to Monterey so that her son could receive a better education. Everyone else is older and established, which makes her a very interesting character to watch as she grows and adapts to her surroundings. She’s there to exemplify that sometimes victims can be on the offense. She has a dark secret that is revealed and will blow you away.

There wasn’t an episode of the show that didn’t have a jaw-dropping moment. It’s turn after turn after turn, and though the episodes are long and at times seem a little slow, you’re always left on the edge of your seat.

I am so glad I watched “Big Little Lies” because I think it holds an important message for young women about empowering yourself, as well as empowering other women around you. It aligned well with current political issues. It should almost be required for young women to see, as it’s a very real depiction of women going through life with issues, and being afraid to deal with them. In the end, it’s all about having each other’s back and being there when someone needs a little push.

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‘Big Little Lies’ is worth the praise