TV review: Big Little Lies – Season 2 disappoints
The second season of Big Little Lies was released in 2019 and we watched it live as it aired. Still: it took us till today to write an article on it. We hope that already illustrates how enthused we were about it. Still, it’s 2021 and we have had “write article on Big Little Lies” on our editorial planning for a long time now. So here we go!
First of all: we very much enjoyed the first season Big Little Lies. We didn’t just binge the whole thing because of the murder mystery, but also because of the soapy drama between the – at times ridiculous – cast of characters. The cast was great too: not just female A-listers Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, but also young(er) talent such as Shailene Woodley and strong male support by Alexander Skarsgård and Adam Scott.
What was also appealing about the first season was how it was being sold as a miniseries. Film actors do appear on the small screen more than ever, but quite often this is in series that don’t run very long (see also Fosse/Verdon, The Night Of, Mrs. America). Big Little Lies – as we wrote before – was one of those. We liked the characters, but at the end of the day this was a classic whodunnit. And once you know who did it, there’s no real reason to return.
Don’t believe us? Then please check out the second season of Big Little Lies.
With the show’s mystery out of the way, there’s only misery left in the coastal town of Monterey. There wasn’t much Big Little Lies could do in its second season. Or it would have to be a season about the consequences of the crime in the first season, or it would have to introduce a brand new crime. Both options are not ideal.
The writers went with option 1, and as was clear earlier with Bloodline that doesn’t necessarily result in fascinating television. We’re not saying the first show was always light, but it’s nothing compared to how heavy the show feels now. For one, by continuing the plot of the first season we now get boring scene after scene in which the perpetrator of season 1 is struggling with guilt, as the others are trying to continue their lives.
However, they were not expecting an immensely overacting Meryl Streep to spoil their fun, as the mother of Alexander Skarsgård’s character. She doesn’t bring the thrills, instead she leads us on a path to very boring court scenes where Kidman is forced to fight over custody of her children. There are some new storylines as well, but don’t expect much here either: Shailene Woodley starts dating, and Laura Dern threatens to lose her money.
Big Little Lies struggles to find a reason to exist in its second second. It’s a cliché, but nonetheless: sometimes less is more.