It’s back! Season Two of that wonderful whodunit/howdunit/whydunit Big Little Lies, executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, will air on HBO beginning Sunday, June 9th.
Longtime blog readers will remember my erudite young friend Max who hated La La Land. Our disagreement made for a good blog post. Max has strong opinions and backs them up. Also, he’s a classy debater. And he is currently working in L.A. as a producer. So I like turning to him for an insider’s perspective. What follows is our chat about Season One. It took place two years ago. I jotted it down. (Yes, I often write down the clever things you people say to me.)
Full disclosure, our talk contains a couple spoilers. Also, swears. And the content is boring. We agree on almost everything. But the images, oh the images! They make up for our lack of discord. See more via Big Little Lie’s new Instagram account here.
Me: So you loved it.
Max: The production design was fantastic.
Me: And the soundtrack.
Max: I heard from a couple of acquaintances that the set was stunning.
Me: Which was more gorgeous, Marin County or Reese Witherspoon’s wardrobe? Though can you tell me why they’ve got her driving a Buick?
Max: I hear ya. But that’s HBO making money on the side. Very commercial. And I like that. They took the lowest common denominator in storytelling and so elevated it. Other networks would have taken the same material and given us “Desperate Housewives.”
Me: Who was your favorite character?
Max: Renata. I know that woman. The Renatas of the world are so recognizable.
Me: An archetype bitch?
Max: I mean, she has it all. She doesn’t really have to juggle like a normal mom. She has the studio. The kid. The house. The power. Her man works hard to keep her.
Me: I like how her age is so amorphous. I mean Laura Dern just played Reese Witherspoon’s mother in Wild. And Shailene Woodley was just in high school in The Fault in Our Stars. But they’re fellow moms at Otter Bay.
Max: Seriously, if ever I become a suburban mom, that’s exactly the kind I want to be. A wine mom.
Me: You would make a very good mom. I’ve told you that before. What do you think about the central premise?
Max: It’s the same as an Agatha Christie novel. A tone that you can’t trust anyone.
Me: There were a lot of red herrings. Some were pretty silly.
Max: Cheap red herrings are problematic. Like Ziggy.
Me: Right! Even the fish are afraid of him.
Max: A kid paying for the sins of the father. That whole theory — that being an abuser is genetic and that Ziggy could be violent — is ridiculous. It’s a terrible red herring.
Me: Well, Jane believes this. His own mother thinks he might be genetically predisposed to violence. Which is just another play on a mother’s guilt. And which I resent.
Max: There are a lot of role reversals. The kids are grown-ups and the adults are babies.
Me: That’s true. Plus, the kids are so cute. Like, are they French?
Max: Yeah, they’re not your typical annoying American brats.
Me: I hope to heaven HBO figures out how to give us another season.
Max: This is the good thing about TV… a return to star as auteur. Reese got it off the ground. It was their show, their project, their work of art. Which is surprising since it was written and directed by men.
Me: So you liked it?
Max: I’m shocked it resonated with me.
Max Ginkel is a commercial production manager in Hollywood, CA. He hails from Wisconsin and despises snow- but doesn't mind the Packers. The only thing he loves more than good TV and film is arguing about good TV and film.
Mithra Ballesteros is a blogger and a stylist and an opinionated know-it-all, especially about writing. She too despises snow, but only after Easter.