Big Little Lies, the HBO paean to white feminism that brought national attention to the name Amabella is coming back for a second season, proving that no one is capable of leaving good enough alone.
The news comes via Vulture, which reports that stars Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon have both signed on to executive produce and star in the seven-episode series. It will be written by David E. Kelley and based on a story “created” by Liane Moriarty, who wrote the source material for the first installment of BLL. While I’m relieved to hear that Moriarty’s on board for the second season and that we won’t be watching elaborate, big-budget fanfic, I’m still salty. We didn’t need a second season of this show.
Joining the original cast—most of whom have signed on to be a part of the second series—are a few more new characters, including a woke teacher and a new friend for Jane (Shailene Woodley). Via a casting breakdown obtained by Vulture, the next season will also include Bonnie’s parents—perhaps an attempt to address the fact that the first season didn’t include much of the backstory about Bonnie’s character, therefore making her motivation to push Perry down the stairs (I’m sorry, that’s a spoiler, but it’s been almost a year) less apparent than it was in the book.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter after the finale, creator Jean-Marc Vallee offered the following explanation for why he chose to leave out this specific and clarifying detail.
In the book, it’s revealed that Bonnie’s father used to abuse her and that led to her killing Perry in that moment. That didn’t make it into the finale, but was that something you were ever going to show?
We had a line from the detective and it was too much explaining. We decided not even to shoot the line. It’s not about that. Whether or not she has been abused, she is going to push this motherf—er. He’s beating the shit out of four women. This guy is f—ing strong. And then the smallest guy pushes him, not to kill him, but the accident happens. To give it a reason and justify that because she was abused and had a thing against men, it’s not about that.
Bonnie’s parents, Elizabeth and Martin Howard are described as follows: “Elizabeth is described as someone who has passed on her outwardly Zen qualities to her daughter Bonnie (Zoë Kravitz), but ultimately reveals herself to be controlling and abusive. Martin is emotionally distant toward his daughter, but a family emergency forces him to address the strain between them.” Perhaps this season will address Bonnie’s motivations further—even though it seems that Vallee didn’t seem to care about them at the time. Whatever, man! Not my show.
As for the other characters, the aforementioned woke teacher wants to “cultivate global and social consciousness in his young students.” He does so by teaching a lesson on global warming and in the process, gives Amabella a freaking panic attack. Jane’s new friend is a school administrator with whom she shares her “deepest secrets.”
While I truly hate to harp upon something that is clearly already resolved, I’d love to just direct your attention to the following, from Vallee, at THR. When asked about the possibility of a second season, he said:
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?
Really makes you think.