HBO’s Big Little Lies Season 2 Was a Giant Disappointment!

The trailer did no justice to what Big Little Lies 2 was all about. I waited with bated breath to watch the whole series all at once, and so I did. I remember crying my eyes out while watching Big Little Lies Season 1. I feel suffocated and felt manipulated by Perry’s character. I felt the pain that Celeste would be going through and her erratic behavior to keep going back to Perry, even though she was being abused and being ill-treated by her husband. I felt Jane’s void, and I understood what Madeline must be going through when she was cheating on her husband and feeling guilty at the same time. I felt for Mary Louise (in the trailers) when she wanted to seek help to find out what happened to her son. But, what I did not understand is what Season 2 had to convey.

Image: HBO

The Plot:

Let me start by saying that I don’t intend to give spoilers, and sincerely hoping that everyone knows what happened in the first season. There was a death of a man who committed a heinous crime, and there were five powerful women who had something to do with the death. The five contrasting characters reunite in season 2, keeping aside their differences and are joined by the hips because of their involvement in the death of the said man.

Big Little Lies 2
Image: HBO
  • Jane (Shailene Woodley): A rape survivor;
  • Celeste (Nicole Kidman): An abused, masochistic widower;
  • Madeline (Reese Witherspoon): Obsessed with making an impression and a ‘wanter.’
  • Renata (Laura Dern): My Jurassic mother, who is power-hungry and is a self-made woman.
  • Bonnie (Zoë Kravitz): A hippie soul with more maturity that those mentioned above four combined.

These five struggle through their personal lives and overcomes all struggles to win at last, but commit to the crime that they have been a part of. Who do they commit to?

Well, you will know when you watch it. But, these five are aware of what they have done, and they stick with their version of the story just to keep themselves off getting jail time and for being called murderers. Then there is Mary Louise (Meryl Streep) who wants justice for the ‘murder’ of her son.

Mary wants custody of her grandchildren, and goes into a courtroom drama to win the boys, while their mother Celeste strikes to defend her position as a mother. There were sub-plots, like Renata being bankrupt and being deceived by her husband, who had been having an affair with their nanny. Jane trying to connect and find love in her co-worker Corey (Douglas Smith), Ed (Adam Scott), Madeline’s husband overheard a conversation about Madeline’s illicit affair and their married life was in shambles. But none of it made an impact.

My Honest Take:

Is it weird that I am invested in something that I am not even a part of? Big Little Lies imposes itself into your life and makes you feel like you are a part of what is happening. I had blocked everybody who could have ruined my viewing experience, as I did not want to watch Season 2 one episode at a time and so I waited for the season 2 to end. I am disappointed. Let me clarify something; I am a huge advocate of this series. I loved it way too much when I started watching it. As mentioned previously, the first season made me cry, profusely because I felt strangled and wanted to escape the grasp of Perry (Alexander Skarsgård), instantly felt relief when Perry died. This is the same emotion of being invested that Season 2 failed to invoke in me.

Image: HBO

The first episode was everything that I was looking for, and with the gradual progress, the plotline seemed weak, and the sub-plot felt forced. Season 2 had dealt with some of the pressing issues of the society just like a whim and made me realize that I have been waiting for something that was not gratifying, much like my choice in men. I was trying to make sense and waited for the next scene to be something that will give me immense pleasure of witnessing a conflict, but as my choice in men has declined over the years, the series’ plot too went plummeting down the graph because there was nothing really happening.

Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep colliding head-on in an attempt to win custody of the two boys: Josh (Cameron Crovetti) and Max (Nicholas Crovetti), would have been a spectacle had the episodes leading to the climax not been so thin.

By that point, I was scrolling through the food delivery apps for dinner and also made two, quick coffee runs and had three mental breakdown episodes. So, I was looking out for some conflict which will make me feel cathartic and will also give me a reason to vent through the screen and these enigmatic actors. Now, I am a puny human and cannot comment on my Jurassic mom, my Elle, my okay!, Nicole Kidman (God knows I would kill someone just to be her), and your highness! Meryl Streep aka Miranda Priestly and I would simply form a puddle of my existence and jump in it.

Here’s is something more pressing, Bonnie the character had nothing much to do in this season. I mean she goes through a plethora of complex emotions, but the problem is there is nothing happening for her. I do not want to sound like a prude critic as I have not read the book of the same title, but there has to be more to her character. She struggled with the idea of committing a crime throughout the season until her mother was hospitalized. She confessed to her dying mother how she felt and later on sent a text to all the other ladies to confess to the police (I know, I said you should watch to find out what happens, but if you notice, I am keeping it a mystery if at all they confess). Why? The mother had visions that Bonnie was drowning, which a bystander at a coffee shop could have figured out because she was pouting (figuratively) throughout the series. I feel way too deeply about this series and I wanted to rave about how incredibly amazing the entire story is, but I just can’t.

The acting was brilliant, the cinematography was brilliant, and of course, the director’s vision was very clear, but the story-line was like a double shot of espresso only there was no coffee bean in the machine. It should be mentioned that there were conflicts of interest between the two directors: the director of first season Jean-Marc Vallée and the season 2 director Andrea Arnold. It is alleged that Andrea Arnold’s work was re-shot by Jean-Marc Vallée to match the style of the first season. To which Casey Bloys, who is the president of programming for HBO stated that they are indebted to Andrea without whom there wouldn’t have been a Season 2, but since a director does not have the final creative control, some changes were made.

None of this mattered to me as a viewer, because I did not care of what happened and all I cared about was what entails after Mary Louise opens the casket of the lies that the women have been weaving. The casket had nothing, and I am royally angry and still at the verge of having another mental breakdown because I could not vent like last time when Bonnie pushed Perry with all her might and there on the stairs was a body that looked like Perry but was still and could not harm any of the women. Anyway, I don’t believe there will be a Season 3 as confirmed by multiple sources; there is nothing much that the story has to delve deeper into. I can’t talk about my disappointment anymore, let me just shove my face into some food and cry for the next hour. Also, look out for a Taylor Swift reference in this Season!

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