Yes, the Big Little Lies miniseries was incredible. Yes, the finale was epic. No, we do not need a season two. *Spoilers ahead*
For the past 7 weeks, we’ve been captivated by Madeline, Jane, Celeste, Renata, Bonnie and all of the feisty, meddlesome women of this affluent community in Monterey, California. The seemingly petty but pervasive melodrama between the parents of Pirriwee Elementary School’s kids kept us hooked from the beginning. The central narrative involving new-coming student Ziggy and suspicions of him being the class bully branched outward and led us to the covert and complicated lives of their well-meaning but deeply flawed parents. With all of its twists and turns, these very different women became interconnected through a lesson on empathy and how it can be crucial, even lifesaving, during life’s toughest moments. Aside from the show’s captivating story line, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon absolutely stunned in these roles. I mean, think about it: it’s not easy to make rich, wine-guzzling housewives living in pristine mansions overlooking the Pacific ocean the objects of our sympathy – yet both actresses brought the complexity and vulnerability that was so vital in making the show as good as it was.
So here we are with our most looming mysteries about Big Little Lies revealed: Celeste’s son Max, not Ziggy, is the bully, Perry has discovered Celeste’s plans to leave him, and Jane is stunned by the realization that Perry is the man who sexually assaulted her and fathered Ziggy. Oh, and Perry is so dead now thanks to Bonnie. As far as closure goes, we really couldn’t ask for a more crisp finish. Grand opening, grand closing!
What made Big Little Lies a categorically remarkable series is, like the novel it’s based on, there was a perfect balance of suspense and closure. Sure, there are some unexplored details abut supporting characters like Bonnie and Ed, and perhaps some of those nosy parents at Pirriwee Elementary, but we must remember that they are supporting characters. Their function is only to further what we want to know about the main characters and get us closer to figuring out “Who Dun It.” A continuation of these stories through a second season will dull the plot and jeopardize the integrity and flawlessness of the series. Why go messing up a good thing?
Let’s not forget other miniseries’ that did extremely well and didn’t conform to the pressure to fulfill a follow up: HBO’s The Night Of, AMC’s The Night Manager, and FX’s American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson all received critical acclaim and finished strong with one dose of episodes. Netflix’s popular anthology Black Mirror delivered some of the most haunting sci-fi episodes we’ve ever seen, packing insane amounts of horror and mind-twisting into one episode each. See people? It can be done.
In our binge-centric viewing culture, we’re used to successful shows following up with more – either with a season renewal or a spin-off. But we all-too-often forget that brevity is the spice of life. We have to learn to appreciate when a series ends resolutely and never looks back. Not to mention, TV critics have outed long-running shows like Lost, Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy for losing their luster with each continued season. Presumably, the writers behind some of our favorite shows fumble over the expectation to make each season better than the last, but the outcome usually results in fan fatigue and ratings slips.
The mark of a good show is one that ends exactly when it supposed to. Sometimes, you have to know when to let a good thing go.
What do the Illuminati, Marisa Tomei, and Daniel Day-Lewis all have in common? Crazy conspiracy theories that all revolve around the Academy Awards.