WHY 'BIG LITTLE LIES' IS GENUINELY SCARY



Hello there, folks!

I've been writing a lot of reviews or opinion-related entries lately and I'm sorry, but you all must know by now how much I love tv shows and the sort. I cannot let a good writing opportunity go when I see it, and that's why I felt the urge to make this entry the minute I started watching 'Big Little Lies'.

Ready? Let's get into it!
Warning for spoilers, I'm not holding myself back.


Big Little Lies is an American dark comedy-drama miniseries (7 episodes) based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty and created by David E. Kelley. I have yet to read the book but I've been told the characters are perfectly portrayed, which is great.

The show tells the stories of three mothers whose perfect lives unravel to the point of murder, but the thing that caughts the eye is the cast. Well-known actresses and actors play the main characters: Reese Witherspoon (Madeline), Nicole Kidman (Celeste), Shailene Woodley (Jane), Laura Dern (Renata), Zoë Kravitz (Bonnie), Alexander Skarsgård (Perry) and Adam Scott (Ed) among others.

If I'm honest with you, I wasn't too fond of the plot - kinda sounded like a bit of Pretty Little Liars and Desperate Housewives and I wasn't willing to get into another disappointment. That changed when my friend Amanda (she writes for loving series, give her a read) told me she was enjoying the show and I couldn't help but save it for later. 'Later' being by the time episode four aired.

Now that the show wrapped up and we've just seen episode seven, seems like the perfect time to have a little conversation about it and what it represents/how it represents it. 

Since it's supposed to be all about an unsolved murdered and everything, I've seen a few people ask if it's scary to watch or if they should look out for surprise jumpscares. My answer? It is scary, but not in the way most people are thinking right now.

The murder is the mistery key, that's for sure...but there's nothing alarming about it. In fact, I'd say it's the least compelling thing about the whole show. Knowing that Bonnie was the murderer and Perry the one being murdered is...nice, I guess? (I did celebrate when I saw Perry there, not gonna lie) But if I'm honest, I couldn't give a shit about the murder, it's not why I kept watching the show.

Let me explain;

I do not think the plot of the show is what made people talk about it or be so into it - you can guess the identity of Jane's rapist, Amabella's bully and probably even the murderer in episode two. It's quite obvious, nothing surprising or unexpected. How is 'Big Little Lies' so good, then? Because of the sexual violence/abuse storyline.

We've got Jane, still fighting her demons since the night she was raped and living in fear, literally sleeping with a gun under her pillow; and we've got Bonnie, who we know so little about that I shouldn't jump into conclusions but from her body language, I'd say she was abused at some point in her life too.

But I'm going to focus on Celeste and Perry - brilliantly played by Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgård - and why seeing this relationship on TV is so important and scary at the same time.

We caught a few glimpses of the abuse in the first two episodes, realising that their perfect life is not so perfect. None of them are, really, but since minute one you've got people gossiping about how happy and lovey-dovey Celeste and Perry are, and once you see what's inside their private home, you see that's not the case at all.

I find the way the show has portrayed this abuse so well done. Starting with the fact that NO ONE suspected a damn thing until they saw Perry actually beating up Celeste - how could such a charming man and incredible father do that?

We see this every single day; somebody telling others that "he wouldn't do that, he doesn't seem like that kind of guy". Let me ask you, please...what does "that kind of guy" look like? Does being handsome and successful in life instantly mean they're good people? I still read people defending Johny Depp for those reasons, so I guess it does.

One minute Perry is this charming, soft-spoken guy who plays with his children in the most loving way, and the next he's slamming Celeste against the closet door or knocking her out on the floor. And obviously, after he's calmed down, he says 'sorry' a million times and tells her how much he loves her.

They even go to therapy together and while you're there at home thinking 'please leave him, he's going to do it again', you have to see him play the victim card in one of their sessions. 

The therapist asks where the problem comes from and Perry makes them believe - or tries to - that his agression comes from a place of love because he's an insecure man afraid of losing her. He flat out tells her that he was physically violent with Celeste, somehow justifying his actions because he feels like she will outgrow him. I was obviously fuming while watching this scene, but the thing that made me go SHUT THE FUCK UP was when he said "look at her", when asked why he was afraid of losing Celeste.

He's got the nerve to sit there giving this whole speech and blaming her for making him feel less just by being the beautiful and smart woman she is. He already made her quit her job as a lawyer, he controls everything she does, he hits her...and he sells this 'poor boy in need of affection' persona to both his wife and the therapist. As you can imagine, I was about to lose my shit when I saw that, but it was so real. That manipulative behaviour is always there in abusive relationships and I have to thank the show for showing that the way they did.



That being said, back to why I was terrified more than not while watching the show.

When you think about it, it kind of feels like Perry was on screen most of the time, right? At least that's how it felt to me, but he's actually...15-20 minutes within six episodes? That's NOTHING compared to the show's length. 

The way they did this - and Alexander too, he does an amazing job - makes you feel like he's some sort of omnipresent guy. When he's around, you feel scared for Celest (duh) but you feel the same when he isn't.

Up until the last episode you can somehow sense him even if you know he's far away. You get this fear because it's so fucking easy to imagine him barging into scenes he has no part in, like whenever Celeste is in the new apartment. Every time I saw her there, instead of thinking "I'm so happy she's safe for a few hours and she'll escape soon", I thought "what if he shows up out of nowhere? What if he kills her?". I could literally feel him lingering, and that's freaking terrifying.

That happened a lot to me while watching this show but especially with the last episode, even when I suspected he was going to be the one who died, I couldn't help but be afraid he would hurt her even more that he already had.

Again, I had no concerns about who the killer was or anything related to that because all that mattered to me was if she was going to get out of it alive and with the chance of a new life.

So...yeah, I really liked the show and the cast was more than brilliant. Would love to write about how much I adored the relationships between the main women but I better leave that for another time because this is too much already.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it!
Be sure to leave a comment with your own review and/or opinion, you know I appreciate a good tv show conversation.


P.S: I wanted to mention the music. Holy guacamole. Congrats to whoever chooses the songs that play in every episode!


There you go, one more show review done!
Have a nice week!!!

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