BIG LITTLE LIES – A DVD Review by John Strange

 

BIG LITTLE LIES – A DVD Review by John Strange

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post.  The opinions I share are my own.

When I first looked at Big Little Lies to do a review of this season two set, I saw that David E. Kelley created the show from a bestselling novel by Liane Moriarty.  Liane has writing credits along with Mr. Kelley for all 14 episodes produced to date.  Matthew Tinker has writing credits for 2019’s seven episodes with Mr. Kelley and Ms. Moriarty.  Season two was not originally planned.  It was supposed to be a miniseries but HBO wanted more after the show received a Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film (plus Golden Globe wins for Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman, and Alexander Skarsgård).

David E. Kelley has a long, storied history creating and writing this type of series.  Shows like Doogie Howser, M.D. (1989-1993), Picket Fences (1992-1996), Chicago Hope (1994-2000), and Ally McBeal (1997-2002) were created and written by this man.  Each of these shows dealt with diverse groups and families, all absolutely dysfunctional but all totally binge-watching worthy.

Big Little Lies continues that tradition of dysfunction, updated to attract today’s more savvy audiences!  Reese Witherspoon (Madeline Martha Mackenzie), Nicole Kidman (Celeste Wright), Shailene Woodley (Jane Chapman), Laura Dern (Renata Klein), and Zoë Kravitz (Bonnie Carlson) are the “Monterey Five”.  They got this moniker during the furor that surrounded the death of Celeste’s husband, Perry (Alexander Skarsgård) at the end of season one.

The whole season’s storylines revolve around the echoes of that death.  The ladies are dealing with hidden truths and the repercussions of the lies they told following the death.  This situation is exacerbated when Perry’s momma, Mary Louise Wright (Meryl Streep), comes to town to find out what really happened to her son.  Along the way, would you believe she decides to try to get guardianship Celeste’s two children, her grandchildren?  This leads to some interesting courtroom scenes filled with all the pathos you can handle.

The supporting cast is filled with faces you will recognize (even if you don’t know their names).  Adam Scott (Ed Mackenzie, Madeline’s husband), Jeffrey Nordling (Gordon Klein, Renata’s husband), and James Tupper (Nathan Carlson, Renata’s husband) each have prominent subplots in this season’s action.

I am not going to mince words here.  This IS a soap opera in every sense of the words.  The show is filled with back-stabbing and infidelity.  Angst oozes from its figurative pores.

Thankfully for all of us who are generally not into this genre, the writers and talent of this show are beyond amazing.  The season started with a situation that would destroy many of us and the storylines brought the cast through their dilemmas in a way that was both entertaining and make us want to watch the next season.

The only bonus we received was a nice sit-down with the six leading ladies.  Their discussion was good, highlighting the rapport that developed between these amazing talents as the season progressed.  It was an excellent cherry to top off the season.

As the season began, I began to fear that I would not like this show.  I had not seen the first season with its pivotal scene in the last episode and did not really comprehend what I was getting into.  Thankfully, by the end of episode one I was interested and by the end of the second, I was hooked.  However, I found that binge-watching may be rough on your soul.  I personally found my psyche could only take watching one or two episodes at a time.  Watching more left me really depressed, I mean REALLY depressed.  Still, I give this DVD of Big Little Lies: The Complete Second Season an A for its content and acting.  You’ll probably not find a single character you can honestly say you like but that isn’t such a bad thing, is it?

 

Created By:

  • David E. Kelley

Cast:

  • Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Zoë Kravitz, Meryl Streep

Episodes:

  1. What Have They Done?
  2. Tell-Tale Hearts
  3. The End of The World
  4. She Knows
  5. Kill Me
  6. The Bad Mother
  7. I Want to Know

Extras:

DVD:

  • “The Lies Revealed: A Conversation with the Cast” – Meryl Streep, Shailene Woodley, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Zoë Kravitz, and Laura Dern share laughs and mimosas as they look back at Season 2

Specifications:

Runtime:

Feature:

  • 420 Minutes

Enhanced Content:

  • 36 Minutes

Studio:

  • Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.

Release Date:

  • 01/07/2020

Region:

  • A/1 (U.S. and Canada only)

MPAA Rating:

  • TV-MA

Selig Rating:

Film Rating:

  • BRAND NEW

Bonus Features Rating:

  • A

Picture Quality Rating:

  • A

Audio Quality Rating:

  • A

 

Selig Rating Scale:

BRAND NEW: Should add to your DVD collection at any cost

SALE ITEM: Worth owning, but try to catch it a sale

SECOND HAND: Plan to get it, but wait to buy it used

RENTAL: Worth taking a look at, but not owning

COASTER: Pick it up at a garage sale and use it for drinks

PULL!: Makes a great Trap Shooting target

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