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Armed with a killer bob and a quietly unhinged personality, Mary Louise proves to be an intimidating force for the Monterey Five in the season 2 premiere of Big Little Lies.
Season 2 doesn't feel like a necessary addition so much as an enjoyable epilogue - but it's still proven this group has plenty more to say.
Big Little Lies, essentially, turns the eliciting of schadenfreude into an art form.
Big Little Lies, which has so often been framed as a show about women behaving badly, reframes its characters' actions and motivations not by offering new plot points, but by slowly peeling back the motivations of the men who surround them.
Despite the heaviness of the undertones and the sinister implications of being found out, the first three episodes were highly entertaining.
Forget closure. Forget questions. The premiere of Big Little Lies Season 2 delivers on what's really important about the show: spending time with our five wonderful wives.
Thus far, [Meryl] Streep, playing Perry's mother Mary Louise, is bringing a perfectly unnerving energy; it's not cruel, it's not violent, it's not malicious -- it's simply unpredictable.
It's beautifully done, but much of the emotional action here is disjointed place-setting for what's to come, a mesmerizing retreading of what we know and an introduction to a world we have already been introduced to.
On the basis of this first episode, it is very much top-quality business as usual, with an added and welcome garnish of Meryl Streep at her absolute Streepiest.
You get the sense that [Mary Louise] could explode, literally or figuratively, at any moment. Which is to say: She makes a perfect Monterey resident.
For the most part, What Have They Done? succeeds in its delicate task. It's the same show, only with a lot more guilt and grief and secrecy.