I may be biased, but I have an unhealthy obsession with Reese Witherspoon. Could she be any more perfect??? The woman can play anything—from comedy in Legally Blonde to self-discovery in Wild, not to mention her award-winning performance in Walk the Line, she has proven her acting chops time and time again. Not only that, but the multi-talented star is also a producer and entrepreneur, having started the wonderfully Southern label Draper James (when I grow up, I will own every single item). But until this year, although she had made cameos in shows like Friends and The Simpsons, Reese had yet to land a leading role in television. That’s where the new HBO show Big Little Lies comes in. The seven-episode series, which Reese co-produced, premieres February 19, and is guaranteed to be an instant hit. I was lucky enough to attend the premiere (with full cast and crew, guys, I’m crying just thinking about it), and these are some reasons why I think you’re going to love it.
1. The cast is pitch-perfect
Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Zoë Kravitz, Adam Scott, Alexander Skarsgård and Laura Dern all share screen time with Reese, for what promises to be a splashy show. See ya at the Emmys.
2. The team is tried-and-true
Big Little Lies was directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who also brought us Wild, and both the show and the movie star Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern. If it ain’t broke… On another level, the team’s film experience lends the show a depth that’s not often seen in television.
3. It’s basically a mashup of all your favorite shows
The best way I can describe BLL is “Desperate Housewives meets Pretty Little Liars meets The OC meets Real Housewives meets CSI.” That may be reductive, but it should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect.
4. It’s smart, dark and funny
Re: depth. Despite all the usual backstabbing and drama you can only expect from this kind of show, Big Little Lies doesn’t revolve around a simplistic notion of good vs. evil. Witherspoon, Kidman, Woodley and Dern’s characters are all explored in the pilot, and all become relatable despite their obvious flaws. Neither Kravitz nor the male characters are particularly developed in the first episode, so that will be something I look out for in the next six. I especially hope Zoë’s character takes on a much more significant role, because I’m definitely not on board with the denigration of the only black character (no more instutionalized racism, Hollywood, thank you). Skarsgård’s character will be a lot more difficult to redeem, however, because he flirts with domestic abuse in the pilot. Despite all this, the show is incisive and full of dark, self-aware humor. I loved it.
5. It will have you hanging on the edge of your seat
I haven’t gotten to the juicy part yet. The show’s overarching thread is a mysterious murder, whose victim is not identified. The narrative is intertwined with witness interviews at the local police station, and is filled with mean gossip and judgmental observations. It’s awesome. And now I really, really need to know what happened.
6. There are views for days
If nothing else, come for the panorama. Big Little Lies is set in scenic Monterey, California, and the houses will give you #goals for days. Like, you could probably mute it and still enjoy the show. Just saying.