The Mon­terey Five meet a for­mi­da­ble foe in Sea­son 2 of ‘Big Lit­tle Lies’

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tap -

Lies fes­ter and re­la­tion­ships are tested in the wake of Per­ryWright’s death as HBO’s ad­dic­tive drama “Big Lit­tle Lies” re­turns for Sea­son 2 with one very no­table new cast mem­ber in tow.

Kick­ing off Sun­day, June 9, the new batch of seven episodes finds the Mon­terey Five – Ce­leste (Ni­cole Kid­man), Made­line (Reese Wither­spoon), Jane (ShaileneWo­od­ley), Bon­nie (Zoe Kravitz) and Re­nata (Laura Dern) – bond­ing to­gether to pick up the pieces of their shat­tered lives af­ter the “ac­ci­dent” that claimed the life of Ce­leste’s abu­sive hus­band (Alexan­der Skars­gard) at the school fundraiser in the Sea­son 1 fi­nale.

As the well-heeled ladies strug­gle with their con­sciences and worry about their se­cret be­ing re­vealed, Perry’s for­mi­da­ble mother Mary Louise (played by three-time Os­car win­ner Meryl Streep) ar­rives seeking the truth about her son’s demise, thus ratch­et­ing up the ten­sion and para­noia ten­fold.

The David E. Kel­ley-cre­ated se­ries scored a ma­jor coup when it landed Streep, who makes her first ap­pear­ance as a se­ries reg­u­lar since HBO’s “An­gels in Amer­ica” in 2003. The ac­tress ad­mits she be­came sucked into the show’s sto­ry­line just like ev­ery­one else.

“I loved this show. I was ad­dicted to it,” Streep told a re­cent gath­er­ing of jour­nal­ists in Pasadena, Calif. “I thought it was an amaz­ing exercise in what we know and what we don’t know about peo­ple; about fam­ily, about friends, how it flirted with the mys­tery of things. What was un­said, un­shown, un­known was sort of the pull, the grav­i­ta­tional pull of the piece. And it was so ex­cit­ing. So, when I got the chance to join the crew, I thought, Yeah! I wanted to do it, to be in that world. The world that was cre­ated was amaz­ing.”

Orig­i­nally con­ceived as a one-sea­son-and-done project, the se­ries got ex­tended life thanks to viewer de­mand and the fact that the cast had be­come close friends and wanted to con­tinue work­ing to­gether. And while there are no plans for a Sea­son 3, Kid­man – who is also an ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer with Wither­spoon – says the com­mu­ni­ca­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort on “Big Lit­tle Lies” make it one of her most sat­is­fy­ing work ex­pe­ri­ences to date.

“I think we’re all in it to­gether and we deeply care,” she says. “No­body is in it for the wrong rea­sons. ... We want it to be a sat­is­fy­ing, fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence for ev­ery­one. And with that comes enor­mous re­spon­si­bil­ity. But I think for us ... the way in which we work to­gether, we’re just so hon­est with each other. ...

“I just love hav­ing fel­low part­ners and women who go, ‘This is ...’ and they’re so smart, so ev­ery­one’s con­tribut­ing. And be­ing able to be a part of that group, I’ve never had that. And it’s lovely at this stage of my life and ca­reer to be do­ing some­thing that I’ve never done be­fore.”

Ni­cole Kid­man (left) and Meryl Streep

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