It was finally confirmed, after much speculation and hope from the viewership, that Big Little Lies Season 2 is happening on HBO. It’s a day I never thought would come and yet, now that it’s finally arrived, there’s nothing but mixed emotions among the public while I’m over here cheering and jumping out of my seat. What gives, guys? Don’t you know that Big Little Lies getting a second season is utterly fantastic news? Trust me on this one; we need to go back to Monterey, California.
On Friday, it was confirmed by multiple outlets that Big Little Lies Season 2 was happening and that acclaimed director Andrea Arnold (American Honey) would be directing all seven of the episodes. The premiere date for Season 2, however, has not yet been confirmed. Additionally, leads Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman are confirmed to be returning, but it is still unknown just how much of the supporting cast will come back. Many are expected to return.
In an official statement, Witherspoon celebrated being able to get Big Little Lies up and running again, both as an executive producer and as an actor: “I’m thrilled to be bringing back this talented team of artists. It gives us the opportunity to delve deeper into the lives of these intriguing and intricate Monterey families and bring more of their stories back to the audience who embraced and championed them. I’m beyond excited to be working with talented and acclaimed director Andrea Arnold who will be at the helm. Andrea’s unique storytelling style will be a welcome addition to the filmmaking team.”
Even more exciting, early casting call sheets made public to Vulture confirm that at least four new characters will be appearing in Season 2: Bonnie’s parents, Elizabeth and Martin Howard, who appear to have a severely strained relationship with Bonnie; a new school employee who befriends Jane, and ultimately their friendship leads to them revealing their “darkest secrets”; a new teacher at Otter Bay named Michael Perkins, who finds himself in a clash with Renata when some of his assignments have a negative impact on Renata’s daughter, Amabella.
To me, this all sounds incredibly exciting. I was a massive fan of the first season of Big Little Lies, as I think many people were. The series felt fresh, spotlighting a group of women who were neither complete saints nor complete sinners, who had their share of demons but actively worked together against big bads, including the patriarchy and terrible husbands. Each of the female characters in Big Little Lies is smart, calculated, in control, and possessing a depthless strength. And, of course, watching them come together to protect one another when they need it most — during the accidental death of Celeste’s abusive husband — was just the cherry on top. Big Little Lies was epic, and with the police chomping at the bit to find out the truth about Perry’s death, it left me feeling a lot like this:
But is Big Little Lies Season 2 even necessary? Unlike me, there are some folks, including SheKnows editor Kenzie Mastroe, who make the point that the first season was perfectly imperfect and we need to let those sleeping dogs lie. As she put it, “Season 1 was literal perfection. Suspense was built in each episode, and the grand finale episode tied up all the loose ends and answered the questions viewers had been contemplating all season long. I truly fell in love with the characters, and as tempting as it is to want to see more, I am scared that a second season will feel forced.”
This is a totally fair and reasonable point. The beauty of Big Little Lies at the end of the season was that two of the most important questions were answered about the characters’ lives: Could they put aside petty grievances and come together, and would Celeste find safety from her husband, a true danger to her and others around them? It didn’t feel incredibly urgent to know whether Madeleine and Ed’s marriage would survive her extramarital affair or if Jane would be able to recover and move on from the shock of Perry being her rapist being revealed to the group. It didn’t feel necessary to know whether Bonnie and Renata would finally be let into the inner circle, rather than remaining vague opponents to Madeleine and Celeste.
And yet, despite Mastroe’s very logical point that there is no sincere or pressing need for a second season, it certainly doesn’t mean there’s not enough gas in the tank to get through seven episodes. While we were perfectly content to live without the answers to some of our more minor questions, I think that there’s reason enough to return to Big Little Lies, if only to see how the women do, in fact, make peace with their collusion to cover up Perry’s death and move on from the events of Season 1. Additionally, I’d argue there’s so much chemistry and so much detail yet to be cultivated from these complex female relationships that they’re ripe enough to dive into in Season 2.
So, with that said, I am excited as heck and pumped beyond belief for Big Little Lies Season 2. Bring. It. On.