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Smart and stylish, "Somebody's Dead" introduces the intoxicatingly soapy delights of life in Monterey.
The episode is graceful and kind of hypnotic, and its moments that seem to function in service of over-explanation or sentimentality inevitably end up subverted.
As HBO's smart, Zeitgeisty adaptation of Liane Moriarty's 2014 novel Big Little Lies proves, the school run is the ideal catalyst for delicious, mamas-gone-feral drama.
With compelling nuance, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, and Reese Witherspoon play complex, disparate women confronting motherhood, domestic abuse, and identity.
By playing up the crime at the center of this Monterey drama, Big Little Lies grips the viewer even before the stars show up.
Reese Witherspoon's performance as the queen of Monterey's mean girl contingent is delicious, as is Kidman's dangerously brittle Celeste. And thematically, I'm interested to see the heft it brings in future episodes.
Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgard... you couldn't ask for a better cast for David E Kelley's absurdly high-class dramatisation of Liane Moriarty's novel.
Thanks to its big-name stars (and their talent) and cinematic direction, Big Little Lies is intriguing enough to try out.
Pretty much every TV show can be called beautiful now. But the gorgeousness of Big Little Lies is what I like to call 'aspirational beauty.'
Big Little Lies is the prestige drama version of a soap opera. It's Desperate Housewives mixed with The Night Of. It's this-close-to-shallow TV that you can still feel good about watching.
That combination of high-quality work surrounding a slightly dishy, soapy, and even vaguely satirical plotline is what's making this show so much fun for us right out of the gate.
Somebody's Dead is a wonderful introduction to this new HBO series.