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Why “Little Fires Everywhere” is My New Must-Watch Show

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

“Little Fires Everywhere” is a new Hulu Original Show starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. The show is based on the popular novel “Little Fires Everywhere,” written by Celeste Ng. The show has not yet completely been released, but the episodes that have been released have been mind-blowing, to say the least!

The show centers around Elena Richardson and Mia Warren who are played by Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. The show begins with a flashforward that shows the Richardson’s house burning down, and the viewer is left trying to figure out who is responsible for the entire show. At the beginning of the show, Mia is living in a car with her daughter Pearl because they haven’t found a place they can afford to live in. Elena notices their car parked in a lot and realizes someone is living in it, so she calls the police. Later on, Mia shows up with Pearl to view the apartment Elena is renting out. Elena realizes who they are when she sees their car and feels guilty about calling the police on a struggling mother. Elena ends up letting them live in the apartment even though they couldn’t afford it because she feels sympathy for them. She even ends up offering Mia a job doing housework in her home, which Mia eventually accepts. 

Mia’s daughter Pearl quickly becomes friends with Elena’s children Moody, Trip and Lexie. Moody develops feelings for her, but she has her eyes set on his older brother Trip, who she eventually has sex with. Pearl admires Elena because she is hardworking, stable, and in her eyes, a great mother. She spends a lot of time at the Richardson’s house and goes to Elena when she’s having problems. She finds her own mother to be unstable because of how often they move, and she thinks Mia is selfish for preventing her from settling down and enjoying life like a normal teenager. 

Elena’s daughter Izzy does not particularly care for her mother. She thinks that her mom doesn’t understand her and just wants to mold her into someone that she isn’t. Mia is a lot more open-minded, so Izzy finds her company to be a lot more soothing initially. Lexie is the complete opposite of Izzy and does everything she can to be the perfect daughter her mother expects her to be. She gets good grades, and even plans to go to an Ivy League school. However, she ends up getting pregnant, which is a setback in her plan. She secretly gets an abortion with Pearl’s support and recovers at Mia’s house to avoid Elena finding out. 

Hulu poster for \"Little Fires Everywhere\"

Mia is a sketchy character who we don’t know much about throughout the show. She moves a lot, provided fake references to Elena when she moved in, and doesn’t tell even Pearl much about the past. She’s self-centered and pretty standoffish. Elena is a stuck-up, judgmental and nosy person, so it only makes sense that these two would clash. Mia’s coworker gave up her baby because she was unable to care for it, but decides she wants it back. The only issue is that she is undocumented and cannot go to the police to find her daughter. It turns out that her daughter was adopted by Elena’s friend, and once she finds out she does everything in her power to get her back. She does not have the money to get a lawyer, so Mia sells a piece of her artwork to get the money necessary. 

Mia’s decision to help her coworker gain custody infuriates Elena. This leads her to dig into Mia’s past, and she eventually discovers that Mia was a surrogate and decided to keep the baby instead of giving the child to the parents. This gave some insight into why Mia may have been so intent on helping her coworker even though she gave her baby up. She likely sympathized with her situation because of the situation surrounding Pearl’s birth. 

Mia and Elena are both awful parents with troubled kids who rebel to get attention, and both of them still manage to judge each other even with how flawed they each are. Pearl idolizing Elena just stems from the resentment she holds towards Mia for not giving her the privileged life the Richardsons have. She has a right to be frustrated with her mom’s unwillingness to commit to any place or job, but she is running to an equally toxic mother when she seeks comfort in Elena. Elena also has many instances where she has said some microaggressions that show she, at the very least, has an unconscious bias against black people. We also see that same bias reflected in her daughter Lexie who has a black boyfriend. Lexie’s boyfriend seems to be aware that she is problematic and ignorant at times, but he just calls her out on it and continues to be with her. Mia picks up on this underlying racism, and it is part of the reason that she hates Elena so much.

Elena’s husband also seems to be attracted to Mia, so we will see if, in the future, he attempts to sleep with her causing even further division between the two women. There’s just an unending amount of drama and secrets coming out left and right with this show. I have no idea who could’ve caused the fire because there is so much conflict that it’s hard to even keep track of who would have a big enough grudge to do something like that. All I know is that I’m very much looking forward to watching the next episode! All of this chaos has me hooked! 

Britney Simmons is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University who is majoring in Mass Communications with a Concentration in Print/Online Journalism. She has loved reading and writing since she was a child, and is an animal lover. She loves to travel whenever possible, and you can usually find her binging some new series or napping.
Keziah is a writer for Her Campus. She is majoring in Fashion Design with a minor in Fashion Merchandising. HCXO!