Big Little Lies Season 2 Reviews Are In, Here's What Critics Are Saying
Big Little Lies is only days away from returning to the small screen for its second season. The series that was originally touted as a limited series -- and swept the awards circuit in that category -- scored a renewal that would take the story beyond the original source material. Author Liane Moriarty penned some new material, David E. Kelley returned to write the new episodes despite earlier misgivings, and Andrea Arnold signed on as director.
The big question was whether Season 2 could be a worthy follow-up to the first batch of episodes that won so many fans. Season 2 brought in Meryl Streep, kept the key members of the original cast, and was hyped by an intense trailer. The second season doesn't premiere until June 9, but critics have seen the first few episodes, and they weighed in.
The consensus based on the first few episodes seems to be that Season 2 is shaping up to be intriguing and well-acted, but not necessarily... well, necessary. Although Washington Post's Hank Stuever positively stated that Big Little Lies "can still work itself up into a delectably roiling state of privilege and anger," he also said this:
The second season of Big Little Lies scored an order for seven episodes, so it's possible that it just needs some time to warm up and transition from the killer ending of Season 1 into the meat of Season 2. Vanity Fair's Sonia Saraiya suggests that Meryl Streep is going to win an Emmy for her performance but acknowledges that Season 2 might not be able to pay off with "a satisfying conclusion." That said, she also doesn't "much care," saying this:
It sounds like Big Little Lies might not be able to dominate the awards circuit again (especially since it can no longer compete as a limited series), but it's still an enjoyable ride. While Boston Globe's Matthew Gilbert didn't exactly sing the praises of Big Little Lies Season 2, he didn't come down too hard on it. Here are his thoughts:
Hey, just because "not unnecessary" isn't the most ringing endorsement doesn't mean the review is altogether negative! Vulture's Jen Chaney suggests that Season 2 gets off to a slow start that picks up as the episodes pass. Here's how she put it:
Big Little Lies Season 2 deliver a winning combination: what worked about Season 1 with a new direction that fans didn't necessarily see coming. Darren Franich of EW reserves his highest praise for the acting, especially for Meryl Streep as Mary Louise. Streep has of course shown off her versatility as an actress time and time again over the years of her career, but Big Little Lies' gives her an opportunity to try something new. Here's Franich's evaluation:
You'll be hard-pressed to find a critic who has anything bad to say about the performances. In the opinion of Alan Sepinwall in his Rolling Stone review, the killer cast is a good enough reason for Big Little Lies to run for a second season. In his words:
"Bumps and stumbles" are undoubtedly not what HBO was going for with Big Little Lies Season 2, but none of those bumps or stumbles sound like they'll come from shaky performances. There's a reason why the cast scored so many acting nominations for the first season and Meryl Streep is already being listed as a likely winner for the second! Variety's Caroline Framke's words were less glowing, although not overall discouraging. Take a look:
If the show was going to be messy, at least the mess works! Amanda Bell's summary of the series for TV Guide should be reassuring to fans of the first season who are a little concerned about the second not living up to their expectations. Here's how she put it:
CinemaBlend's own Corey Chichizola shared his feelings about Big Little Lies about Season 2, and his review suggests that you should stock up on tissues before tuning in. Take a look:
Are you ready to tune in for Big Little Lies Season 2, or are you feeling like maybe you should watch something else in the summer TV lineup? The critics generally seem to think Season 2 is worth watching, for the performances if nothing else. Fortunately, the wait for Season 2 -- which has been quite long, considering the Season 1 finale aired more than two years ago -- is almost over.
Big Little Lies Season 2 premieres on Sunday, June 9 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.
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