Big Little Lies: Reese Witherspoon hints at second series

HBO's star-studded drama could be back with more dark tales of life in Monterey, says actor

Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Reese Witherspoon
Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley and Reese Witherspoon in Big Little Lies
(Image credit: HBO )

Big Little Lies, HBO's mini-series about a group of families living seemingly perfect lives in Monterey, California, may have ended, but critics and fans alike want more.

Based on Australian author Liane Moriarty's bestselling novel of the same name, the show explored the simmering tensions and violence concealed in outwardly successful and beautiful families, weaving a dark fairytale about modern anxieties as it unravelled the story behind a murder.

It also featured a stellar cast featuring the likes of Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, who were also executive producers, as well as Shailene Woodley and Zoe Kravitz.

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In addition, there was the superb soundtrack by director Jean-Mac Vallee, who told Variety he had created playlists for each character.

Lucy Mangan in The Guardian says a series that started off as "Desperate Housewives with even more money" soon evolved into "something much better".

According to the critic, Big Little Lies "sets up all the cliches of female rivalry" and deconstructs them with the help of a marquee cast giving "career-best performances".

Emily Nussbaum in the New Yorker agrees the show seemed "a prestige TV twist" on the Real Housewives, but deepened to become "a reflection on trauma".

At its best, she adds, "it makes risky observations, especially about the dynamics of domestic abuse".

Some - "mostly male" - critics sneered at it as "trashy" and "soap", writes Claire Corbett in The Monthly.

However, while the "fairytale structure" may have confused them, it wouldn't confuse viewers, she continues, and its portrayals of modern parenting "ring true" in the affluent west, where these psychodramas continue to be played out on the world stage.

Viewers seem to agree, as Deadline Hollywood reports Big Little Lies received record audiences, which, together with "solid social media buzz" and multiplatform viewing, have prompted HBO to consider a second season.

While the Big Little Lies novel has no sequel, Witherspoon told E! Online she was in discussions with the author.

"We're talking to Liane Moriarty… about how could these characters go on, what would happen?" said the actor. "We definitely left it open-ended so there's a possibility there."

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