5 reasons why I loved HBO’s Big Little Lies SO much

I’m feeling a little weary this morning as Rob and I stayed up WAY too late last night binge watching the last 4 episodes of HBO’s Big Little Lies. This recently screened on Foxtel (Showcase and you can still watch it on Foxtel Go) which I happily missed as it just didn’t seem to appeal. I’m not a huge Nicole or Reese fan , it looked way to “chick flicky” and having read the book I wasn’t convinced that I even loved the story so much. Plus I like to be able to watch things with Rob at night and I was sure it would be the very last thing he would EVER watch. So it came on, I saw the fuss and then promptly moved on.

It was then  a few weeks later that my older brother sent my family a group text telling us that we MUST watch it. Singing it’s praises and sending us links to the Spotify playlist. Huh. This was not his kind of show at all really, it got me thinking…could it be that good? Surely not. Why would HE think so? But he has very good taste, so I downloaded the playlist and pondered some more.

And then one by one, every member of the family started watching it and the feedback was all the same: Oh this is GOOD. I listemed to the playlist lots of times and started to think: oh this is GOOD. More friends watched and then last week I told Rob that we had to bite the bullet and I had to convince him to watch it.

And so over the past week we have snuck in episode after episode, with each one getting more and more sucked into what was just plain fantastic television. Great writing (such tension) humour, great characters and spectacular setting inside and out. And now I will be the one to tell YOU all that you must watch it. These are my top reasons why.

The female characters & leads

I think the thing that I loved the MOST was watching a show with strong female characters in it. Sure they were all flawed in their own ways, dealing with issues and pasts and lies but there they were nonetheless. WOMEN. Mums. It was refreshing to watch something with such great female lead characters. Women in all their messy and complex glory! And of course the exploration of relationships and marriage and motherhood and careers – all of it so well drawn out and touched on with humour and sadness.

The Soundtrack

This has to be the best thing about the show for me. A wonderful eclectic mix of music that is SUCH a huge part of the show. Every scene in the show is punctuated by a piece of music (the only thing slightly unbelievable was that Madeleine’s daughter was into all that music?) it makes up the rhythm of the show and represents the characters so much as well as builds tension, creates atmosphere. If you don’t want to watch the show, just download the playlist on Spotify and just listen. It’s brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

The acting

As I said, our Nicole has never been top of my list of actors to sing praises about. I have always found her to be wooden and shallow – Reese the same. A pop kind of actress. And yet in this they were FABULOUS. The characters (albeit flawed) were so well drawn out (thanks to the writing I think) and performed so well. I think Nicole was bloody brilliant. Loved the male characters as well…perhaps because they were all secondary to the strong women? Nathan (I think Madeleine’s ex was very funny) and Perry absolutely terrifying.

The setting (interiors and otherwise)

Much like I watch a Nancy Myers film for the interiors, this was the same. Amazing natural scenery in Monterey and amazing homes and interiors that they were filmed in. If the rest bores you, this won’t. These homes were truly spectacular.

The writing

The writing in this series makes it. It draws out characters, provides humour, drama and an amazing amount of tension. David E Kelley (of Ally McBeal etc fame) does an amazing job (always has done) I think bevcause he created and wrote the entire series. Directed all by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club, Wild) the consistency of the same writer and director just makes for fabulous TV. The writing is smart, funny, terrifying with so much tension and made it the great TV it was I think. Interesting that Reese and Nicole were both EP’s on it too.

So today I will keep listening to the soundtrack, keep thinking about the show and let it come into my mind again and again. That’s the beauty of great TV, it stays with you, it makes you feel things, it makes you think…we are lucky we live in a time where there is so much great TV available to us to watch and binge on!

Have you watched the show? Listened to the soundtrack?
Did you love it too?
What should we watch next?

Comments

  1. I was devo when I heard the casting for this & that it was set in the US – I LOVED the book. However, I’m with you, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Those actresses were just as I imagined their characters to be – all fantastic. And even though I’d read the book & knew what was coming, I swear I held my breath for the entire final episode!! I’ve heard they’re going to do another series…..

  2. Karen Dennis says:

    I do agree not a big Nicole or Reece fan but man were they good in this. I saw the shorts of Nicole in Top of the Lake – China Doll and she looks fab in that too. Even though I read the book I was still drawn in by the suspense of this – a fabulous series.

  3. The only thing that disappointed me was the fact that it was set in America and not Australia. Other than that I was immediately sucked in. I was so glad they didn’t ruin a fabulous book. That sound track is the absolute bees knees x

  4. Natalie says:

    The only thing I wished was different was the casting of Perry. He was creepy. My impression from the book was that he was terribly handsome and likeable in a way that no one could have possibly guessed what he was really like. I had visualised someone like Jon Hamm, so disappointed. I was a doubter – I didn’t think this should be set in America but I was super impressed with how well it translated into the northern Californian world. Perfect!

  5. Reannon says:

    See, for me, the show didn’t live up to the book. I loved the book, it was the first one I binged read after I had Sadie & it had me hooked HARD. And while I enjoyed the show, & love Reece a lot, I just felt like it missed the mark somewhere. Not sure where but somewhere it just didn’t work for me.
    And seriously, I tell EVERYONE to watch Vikings. Its the first series since The Sopranos that both Tim & I absolutely love & talk about even when we are t watching it. But if youve never watched The Sopranos, well, you need to rectify that immediately!!!! Also, United States of Tara, Parenthood & Californication are some of my all time faves.

  6. Noelene says:

    My husband loved it just as much as me .We talked about How she could think that or why she did that when we got home from work .Excellent series ,excellent writing love the music .Loved Nicole ,Reece actually all the cast

  7. Loved the book. Loved the series. Totally different experiences, equally satisfying. 2 other work girlfriends watched it at same time as me and oh debriefing was soooo good day after episodes dropped. Miss it and hoping something else comes up to fill the void 😉 thought This is Us will hit the spot but no 🙁 thanks for the Spotify tip!

  8. Yamila Gurovich says:

    Started seeing this it only saw half an episode. Will have a second look thanks for the tip!
    But I have just binged on house of cards and it is really really good and I usually hate political satire! . Stayed up way way to late during the weekend and last night and now regret it!

  9. Have started watching. Only two episodes in. I find it a bit disturbing to be honest – especially the relationship of Nicole’s character and her husband. I’m stressed about Ziggy too!

    I like Reese’s character and her husband.

  10. Annette says:

    Reece is a pretty savvy producer, as this show proves!! I loved what the same team did with Wild.

    I thought this series it was spectacular, visually and in the content. I still haven’t read the book, but loved that the adaptation managed to hold the tension set in the first episode so brilliantly. I was VERY pleased to finally see who was at the bottom of the stairs. You’re allowed to be pleased when it’s just TV, right? I loved Shailee Woodley too, and Laura Dern creeped me out in an epic way. Such great actresses. I think when roles are beautifully crafted, and not just one-dimensional girlfriend/wife/secondary character, actors get a chance to really show what they can do. And those ladies, and their supporting gents, do it mighty well.

  11. Loved loved loved the show. Watched it with my daughter and then again with my husband. Downloaded the soundtrack too. Just god dam good!

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