“5 women commit a murder. They try to cover it up.” Now that is a very common crime mystery. But, add some useless and annoying husbands, 7 year old kids, personal and traumatic events from the past, a house with a beach view, really huge sunglasses and you get Big Little Lies. HBO’s Big Little Lies is a remarkable show when it comes to powerful and really badass women delivering impeccable lines and mind blowing acting (looking at you Laura Dern). Solidarity and sisterhood are the two pillars of this show. However, that doesn’t apply to season 1 of the show. Women- The Monterey 5 -are pitted against each other, they constantly hate each other and can’t stand them. It’s a man’s world where that happens. The 2nd season showed progress. They had each other’s backs, put aside their differences and made sure everyone was safe, while still loosing their cool sometimes, Renata Klein level.
The show aptly portrays how women are so different from each other and are dealing with their personal issues. From Bonnie’s abusive childhood to Jane’s single motherhood, the show was realistic in everything. The show exactly depicted what every women around the world go through.
The show’s way of dealing with abusive characters is very genuine. Perry is that guy who conveniently convinces everyone that he’s the perfect father, husband and man. I’m sure pretty much all of us have met a guy similar to him in our lives. Abusers make sure they isolate their victim from everyone else into their personal world. The scene in season 2 where Perry is (literally) enquiring Celeste about her family is just the beginning of his psychotic, evil, and well executed plan.
The abuser ensures their victim is an easy target, that no complications follow when the victim realises what they’ve fallen into. The abuser’s life is a facade. A facade of flattering their victims with gifts and compliments. A facade of going to couples therapy and acting like they’re willing to fix everything. They live a double life. What’s more dangerous is that they’re aware of it. This step by step way of showing the psychology of an abuser by the show was art.
Nature vs Nurture is a recurring subject of matter in the show. Ziggy, a child conceived by rape and Josh, a child who’s father is naturally abusive are two conflicting characters in the show. It’s very common to blame children’s wrongdoing in the name of their parents. However, people need to understand that it’s an inappropriate way of blaming people. The comparison could be triggering and scarring for some.
Mary Louise appeared on screen and effortlessly made everyone hate her together. Well, it’s easy to find loopholes and blame a woman for a man’s actions. Consciously, I was trying not to hate her, but it’s even harder than the Avengers teaming up to kill Thanos and Mary Louise doesn’t let you love her. She is a cynical, manipulative, narcissistic and hateful woman. She is the living embodiment of the phrase- the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Her constant efforts to find out how Perry died and separate the kids from Celeste boils the audience’s blood.
The therapist is an interesting character in
Big Little Lies. She broke her ethical rules of therapy and went out of her way to make Celeste understand how she was a victim of physical and sexual abuse. Convincing a victim that they’re a victim is the hardest part of most psychologists’ job as they are deeply blinded due to the abuser’s manipulation. The therapist’s way of breaking down things and making Celeste understand them wasn’t just a patient doctor treatment, but a woman’s effort to help another woman see the truth and reality. The solidarity shown between them without any prior relationship to them is the most heartwarming part of the show.
Big Little Lies never glorified abuse, rape, trauma, but showed the necessary and ugly side of it, and it’s impact on the victims. Its brutally honest portrayal of such sensitive topics was not sabotaged in any way. Just watching women in action is my good place and to see actresses like Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Zoë Kravitz, and Laura Dern TOGETHER is the cherry on the top.