Well, friends, here we are. The end of an era (probably). “Big Little Lies” is done and dusted, having been given a season 2 finale that tied everything up in as neat a bow as possible: Madeline and Ed reconciled; Celeste expertly wrested her kids from Meryl Streep’s clutches; Bonnie made peace with her childhood and her phony marriage; Renata decimated her husband even though she’s broke (she’ll be fine); and Jane finally let herself get some lovin’! Most importantly, the Monterey Five came together to relieve themselves of the burden of the secret they’d been carrying: how Perry Wright really died.
Opinions of the finale are varying, though. While some are satisfied with where each woman’s story ended up, others feel that not only was the second season not necessary, but it just didn’t deliver. There was some pushback when it first premiered, with fans claiming that there was no way anything they did next could compare to the first season (which was supposed to be the only one, anyway). On the other side, though, viewers recognized the quiet brilliance of the finale, celebrating how the show wrapped up with powerful, emotional dichotomies rather than packing in the turmoil.
The fact is, the plot material was written on the fly; the first season was based entirely on Liane Moriarty’s novel of the same name, and while Moriarty helped with the screenplay for season 2, there simply wasn’t the same narrative structure this time around. But regardless, putting these five actresses together could never yield a bad show. Even if the story itself wasn’t as captivating, the writing was superb and what the stars did with it was even better.
So, since we’ve determined that the captivation of “Big Little Lies” is concentrated in its casting, let’s see what our Monterey Five would be up to should they each get their own spinoff show. Your move, HBO.