Big Little Lies “What Have They Done?”

Was there an unlikelier murder mystery series to get a second season  than HBO’s Big Little Lies?  It has a cast full of actors who usually don’t do much TV if any, a mystery that didn’t even tell you who the victim was until the last episode, and a lot of people complaining about problems most of us never deal with.

I like to think of it as Rich White People Problems: The Series.

But hey, it was great, and now it’s back.  Plus, the killer cast added Meryl Streep.

There is one problem, though.  A single novel served as inspiration for season one.  So, you know, they’re out of material.  That first year was all the story there originally was to tell.

That said, that book’s author Liane Moriarty had a hand in writing this extension.

So, let’s recap real fast.  Five women–Madeline MacKenzie, Celeste Wright, Jane Chapman, Renata Klein, and Bonnie Carlson–all witnessed a murder at a school fundraiser where they all have a small child.  They claim it was an accident.  The cops are maybe not so sure.  But there’s no evidence that it wasn’t anything but a tragic accident,

Who died?  Celeste’s abusive husband Perry.  He was also the father of Jane’s son Ziggy after he had raped Jane.  He’d gotten into a large argument with four of the five, it started to get ugly, and then Bonnie showed up and shoved him.  He fell down some stairs and broke his neck.

So, what’s the problem?  They got away with it.  Well, there are a few.

For one, a number of residents of Monterey suspect the five know…something.  That’s par for the course since this seems to be the most gossipy town in fiction.

Rich White People Problems: The Series.

For another, Bonnie feels really guilty about what happened.  Since it was an accident, she was willing to confess, but the other women beat her to it with their lies (see show’s real title).  She might not be able to hold it in much longer.

And then there’s Celeste’s mother-in-law Mary Louise (Streep), a woman who prides herself on being able to read others.  She’s suspicious, passive-aggressive, and seems able to get under both Madeline and Celeste’s respective skins.

So, if season one was about a death, season two is about a secret.  And if there’s one thing about the people on this show, it’s that few of them seem capable of keeping anything a secret for long.

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