Leave ‘Big Little Lies’ Alone!


Yesterday, The Sydney Morning Herald published an interview with Liane Moriarty — who wrote the novel from which the HBO mini-series Big Little Lies was adapted — in which the author said she was open to the possibility of writing material for a second season. The news isn’t terribly surprising: Big Little Lies was a big little hit, earning both critical acclaim and high ratings for the cable channel, which has struggled in the past couple years with its drama slate (*cough Vinyl cough*). But I know I’m not alone in feeling the instinctive need to climb up on the nearest rooftop and shout to the world, “LEAVE BIG LITTLE LIES ALONE!”

Beyond the show’s success, there are narrative reasons to continue what was initially planned as a one-off “event series.” Readers of the book will have noticed that Bonnie (Zoe Kravitz) has a backstory the series never revealed, and that clarifies her involvement in the murder in the show’s finale. (Spoilers ahead.) Turns out, Bonnie grew up in a household where domestic abuse was the norm, which is why she seemed to understand what was going on between Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and her abusive husband, Perry (Alexander Skarsgård), at the school fundraiser. It also explains why she’s the one to fatally push him down a flight of concrete stairs while he’s wailing on his wife.

Jean-Marc Vallée, who directed all seven episodes of Big Little Lies, told The Hollywood Reporter that he felt it would need “too much explaining” to include the revelation about Bonnie’s past in the finale. And in that same interview, he brushes aside the notion that the show might continue for another season:

Now it’s up to the audience and their imagination to figure out. To do a season two, I’m not for it. Let’s move on and do something else! If there’s an opportunity to reunite with Reese, Nicole and these characters of course, I’ll be a part of it, but Big Little Lies One is a one-time deal. Big Little Lies Two? Nah. The end is for the audience to talk about. Imagine what you want to imagine and that’s it. We won’t give you a season two because it’s so good like this. Why spoil it?

Of course Moriarty, HBO, and Reese Witherspoon — who not only starred in but produced the series, and has been campaigning for a second season — are hoping to replicate the stunning success of this excellent series. And it’s heartening that the author of the show’s source material would be the one to continue the story, rather than some hired gun. Even Margaret Atwood has hinted at a continuation of her classic novel The Handmaid’s Tale, decades after its release, in light of its upcoming TV adaptation for Hulu. But Big Little Lies was such a perfect little series, I’m inclined to set aside my curiosity about the fate of these characters and call it a day. That’s the beauty of movies and TV shows: Life drags on and on, but they end. We’ll always have reruns.