For those of you who have been anxiously awaiting the return of HBO’s Big Little Lies, the good news is that it will be doing so this June, for a total of seven episodes. Also on the positive side, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Zoe Kravitz will all be returning. And then there’s the fact that Meryl Streep will be joining the cast, too. All great things, right? But then came the bombshell at the show’s TCA Winter Tour session earlier this week that this is also going to be the series’ final season.
Series creator/executive producer David E. Kelley commented, “There’s no such plan now to do Season 3. We like our closure at the end of Season 2 and that would probably be it.” Nicole — who, like Reese, also serves as producer — added, “There’s no plan for it. And this was a long shoot for us. And was an enormous amount of work. Not to compare it to the first one, because, artistically, it is its own entity and hopefully it will be taken in that way. And it was definitely made with an enormous amount of love.”
The new season is going to see the so-called “Monterey Five” moving forward with their lives in the aftermath of the events of last year. “We were lucky that [author] Liane Moriarty wrote almost a novella for us to use as a template,” Reese pointed out. “That gave us a basis for which to go on for each character. And we all had unresolved issues.”
Added David, “We didn’t want to do this unless we had a fair shot of living up to the bar we all thought that we set in year one. When we come back, their lives, like all our lives, seem really well put together on the surface, but then the fissures and the fractures begin to emerge. Once the crevices start to wide, it escalates pretty quickly.”
In Season 2, Meryl plays Louise Wright, the mother of Nicole’s character Celeste’s abusive husband, Perry Wright (played byAlexander Skarsgård), who was killed in the Season 1 finale. As to why she wanted to be involved, the veteran actress explained, “I loved this show. I was addicted to it. I thought it was an amazing exercise in what we know and what we don’t know about people, about family, friends and how it flirted with the mystery of things. This piece for me, because I have four grown children, I’m playing someone who is dealing with whatever the deficits of her parenting were. How you can’t go back in time and fix something. All those issues were interesting to me. It felt real. Honest.”
Big Little Lies returns to HBO with Season 2 in June.