The highly anticipated, obscure conundrum of the first episode for HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” which unfortunately for us was a limited series that wrapped up on Sunday night, starts out with the show’s core storyline, a brutal murder within the glitzy well-to-do fund raiser event that took place at the Otter Bay Elementary school, in Monterey, California. Showcasing momentary chaos of police lights, auditory heavy breathing, and interrupted cuts of “more-like-gossip” testimony by random community members who attended the fundraiser.
Adapted by David E. Kelley from a Liane Moriarty novel, the show is about three mothers: Madeline (Reese Witherspoon, uptight and always right); Celeste (Nicole Kidman, captivatingly beautiful but horrifyingly abused); and Jane (Shailene Woodley as the new mom who’s too young and too poor to belong). These women together share a quickly building yet intertwining bond of community rank and self-reflective adages.
As the story continues, the pieces of the puzzle quickly bind together, and the anticipation to know who actually is Amabella’s bully (Rennata Klein’s daughter, played by Lauren Dern). The audience becomes tangled in the mystery of whether Ziggy, Jane Champman’s son, is the culprit.
Every Sunday, people held on to their TV’s, phones, or iPads to watch the disentanglement of this family politico mystery drama that told the secret ins and outs of what every one of these families were really like. The tension was palpable and the only real diffuser was the music, which to an extent could really be defined as the other character in the show. As the music tended to sway towards the soulful side, mostly from Madeline’s six year old daughter’s iPod, the audience hears and feels what the characters feel. It is woven entirely into the story much like the way the memories of trauma or discretions reemerge to our characters. That is one great reason why the show was so good.