I really loved the book by Liane Moriarty by the same name and to say I have been looking forward to the show is an understatement. First of all, the story was not over the top but I think there was a way that Moriarty delivered the story that just made it enjoyable. As much as it surrounded something horrible, the story was still full of humor and relatable bits for the mothers out there.
I swore I would reread the book before the show aired but I have been engrossed in some nonfiction books that I just couldn’t squeeze in the read. I will definitely get into it some time this week before the next episode so that I can be able to pick on the changes that will be there in the show. For instance i could not remember whether Celeste was older than the husband in the book or not. And was Laura Dern’s character given that much voice in the book? It’s all fuzzy in my head.
This show has an absolutely stellar cast with big screen actors coming together for a miniseries. Every single one of the main characters are never seen on TV shows or if ever it’s rarely. Nicole Kidman (my mum is obsessed with her), Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Zoe Kravitz are all part of the cast. And that’s not even all of them. Of course this made the show even more intriguing and the question is, did the first episode deliver?
The story is set up in Monterey which is an upscale seaside community in the South of California’s Silicon Valley, a clear shift from the set up in Australia in the book. It starts with a murder but then takes us back to the time leading to it. You don’t know who the killer is or even who is dead. It could be any one of the main characters.
Madeline Martha Mackenzie is, played by Reese Witherspoon, takes up Jane, played by Shailene Woodley, a single mum who is new to the town. Jane does not know anyone in the town and she feels comforted by Madeline’s welcome to the town and how she sticks up for her when she gets mummy shamed on the first day of school.
Annabella’s mum played by Laura Dern is a working mum, an executive alpha woman who gets her way and when her daughter gets hurt on the first day, everything has to stop until the culprit is found. That is when the guns get drawn and everyone picks their side, stand beside Madeline who doesn’t take it well when some mothers bully other mothers or Renata’s side, the mum with all the nice parties and in all the boards?
But behind closed doors, each family has it’s own little secret and the very clear ones from the first episode are being hidden by Celeste and Jane. Celeste is always the envy of every other mum in school because of her relationship with her hunk of a husband played by Alexnader Skarsgard and also her never aging beauty. But what lies behind closed doors with the seemingly always happy couple?
Jane seems misplaced in the community full of families when she emerges as a single mother who is not as well off as the rest of the parents in the area. “Kinda like an old dirty Prius parked outside of Barneys” is how one mother described her. So what brings her to Monterey when she clearly does not fit in and whats with sleeping with a gun under her pillow?
The story is mostly told in flashbacks with bits of the investigation in between with the interviews sounding a lot like an avenue for the parents and teachers to give pieces of gossipy information they have been holding in. I honestly think they did a decent job in bringing out the mystery of the story, enough to rope in the viewers so that they can come back for more information week after week.