Big Little Lies, Sky Atlantic

TV Review: Big Little Lies, Episode 1

  • NQ's Jenna Saville reviews Sky Atlantic's newest drama, Big Little Lies
  • The all-star cast includes Hollywood elite Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley

When I first saw this TV show advertised I thought it was going to be a spin-off of one of my favourite TV shows which I admittedly binge watched on Netflix, Pretty Little Liars.

Once I had done some research I found out it was absolutely nothing to do with Pretty Little Liars, which left me slightly disappointed but only until I realised this was a TV show with Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman in it. Now that combination of actresses in a mystery drama show is a win in my book!

As always the US got this show first, as it premiered over the pond on 19 February, but it premiered in the UK on Monday 13 March, on Sky Atlantic at 9pm.

Big Little Lies is in fact based on a novel of the same name written by Liane Moriarty published in 2014, the drama will take play out in a miniseries with only be seven episodes as it adapts for the TV screen. The show is a tale of three mothers with seemingly flawless lives and we get to watch them unravel up to the point of crime and bloodshed.

Big Little Lies, Sky Atlantic
The three main characters (Shailene Woodley, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman)

The UK premier of the starriest small-screen production this decade did not fall short of anything less than pure class and excellence.

Set in Monterey, California the opening scenes show viewers the beautiful west coast sea crashing up rocks with the first character we meet Madeline, played by Reese Witherspoon, driving along a coast rode with her child in the car. Clips switch from views of the sea, children dancing, the local picturesque harbour and mixed in is a ten second clip of a gun. This shows from the outset that this suburban melodrama is going to be full of mystery from the outset.

Viewers are then taken to a formal fundraising event, and within minutes we learn somebody has died as the TV screen flashed with red and blue lights. Portraying the murder through red and blue lights is easily recognisable to the audience.

The three main characters meet as Jane, Shailene Woodley, stops to help Madeline, Reese Witherspoon, before they realise their children are starting the same elementary school where Nicole Kidman's character, Celeste, is introduced.

Topics and social stigmas such as clichés, bullying and intimate partner violence are touched upon within this first episode, which offers an insight into reality and the audience are seen looking into their world.

Relationships within the programme are shown to be idyllic, but it soon comes clear that cracks are forming between partners and friends.

The first instalment leaves everybody wondering who is dead, and who is the murderer as throughout the show there a number of snapshots of police interrogations are interviewed in the storyline which introduces us to secondary characters.

Next week I hope to see more into the trio's life and how deep the cracks between them really are.

Tune in Monday nights at 9pm on Sky Atlantic.