Why ‘Big Little Lies’ Needs Its Second Season

Why ‘Big Little Lies’ Needs Its Second Season

Why ‘Big Little Lies’ Needs Its Second Season

The smash HBO show is getting a new season, causing reactions across the board. Here's why it needs to happen.

The smash HBO show is getting a new season, causing reactions across the board. Here's why it needs to happen.

Text: Jake Viswanath

As soon as the news was announced that HBO’s Emmy-winning breakout show Big Little Lies, the riveting drama based off the book of the same title by Liane Moriarty, would receive a second season after the completion of what was intended to be a one-off mini-series, the TV-avid world burst into flames. While some are excited about the prospect of more tales and bigger lies from Madeline (Reese Witherspoon), Celeste (Nicole Kidman), and the Monterey mothers (and even have their own ideas), others aired their own complaints about unnecessarily expanding a story that was already perfectly completed. In a world of rampant TV revivals, it’s not hard to understand the hesitancy of fans who don’t want to see a legacy tarnished by letting it go on too long—but Big Little Lies isn’t one of those situations. On the contrary, there’s still many stories that need to be told, and not just for the sake of ratings (warning: spoilers ahead). 

The ending of the first season was satisfying in that all details about the murder were revealed, and we see the main female characters in solidarity after all that went down. But individually, there were still many ties left undone. The story of Bonnie (Zoë Kravitz) and the intense backstory that led her to push Perry (Alexander Skarsgard) down the stairs, as told in the book, did not deserve to go untouched on the show. Madeline’s rocky marriage, and her previous affair with Joseph, was left unresolved. Jane's (Shailene Woodley) next steps after finding out the truth about her son's father goes unknown. And not to mention, the aftermath of such a complex and tragic event shouldn’t be dissolved to the five women simply going to the beach with their children, as depicted in the ending of the first season. The flash of the detective hinted toward a bigger story to come, and those characters need the chance to tell it, individually and as a unit. Additionally, the planned castings of Bonnie's parents and a new friend for Jane should give us that necessary promise for those stories to play out on screen. 

Most importantly, if Big Little Lies proved anything, it’s that there is a big market for female-led TV shows, created at least in part by women and focusing on complex female characters that go beyond the typical tropes placed on women in television. Witherspoon herself spoke of this importance during her Glamour Women of the Year Awards speech in 2015. And frankly, in a world where men still hold more power in front of and behind the camera, why would we want this streak to end? The renewal of the show proves that female-centric series are not meant to be a renowned one-off event to be celebrated, but rather a norm in the TV world. And above all else, the returns of Moriarty as the writer and Witherspoon and Kidman in their respective roles (and as executive producers) should give us all some reassurance about where the series is headed (when has Nicole Kidman ever let us down, people?). 

So while our aversion toward the constant revivals of cult classics and sitcoms is justified, let's breathe a little when it comes to Big Little Lies. Why should we refuse deeper exploration when it could give us more complete stories to soak into and more drama to latch onto, especially when its provided by such a stellar Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated cast? (On that note, I take this all back if the quality is significantly decreased.)

Credits: Photo via HBO

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