Monday, March 27, 2017

Big Little Lies: Beneath the surface style & shimmer, a dark ugly streak

Nicole Kidman & Alexander Skarsgård as Celeste & Perry
“What started out as a sudsy, delicious series about affluent women Mean Girls–ing around the bluffs and into the public schools of Monterey, California, has slowly unspooled into a weighty, aching, drama.’’                 Alex Abad-Santos/Vox

Just like the book. 

When I read Liane Moriarty’s best seller, that’s how I felt too. Initially seduced by the story’s outer trappings—the wickedly, deliciously gossipy women & the fabulous setting—an affluent fictional beachside community near Sydney, I found myself sucked in more and more deeply, until I deep in the middle of a dark, disturbing turn of events.


Just like Celeste and Perry.

Their romance probably started like that. Frothy, alive, tingly with sex appeal. And then things, slowly, quite without either of them realizing it, things turned very dark and ugly. That’s how abusive relationships are, they don’t start with the man in a rage, grabbing his woman by the hair and throwing her around like he’s some sort of caveman. That happens ever so slowly with both sides of the couple playing their roles in the power struggle. Celeste described it perfectly in last night’s episode, telling the marriage counselor that she has the power in the relationship after he’s hurt her. When he feels like a bad person, when he feels guilty, then she’s on top. She has the power. And in this relationship, when Celeste fights back it doesn’t just enflame Perry’s anger, it fires up his passion too, and Celeste’s. Violence turns to sex. It’s a sick and dangerous cycle.


While I love Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) and her take charge style, working through her feelings about her ex and his 2nd wife, and Jane (Shailene Woodley) as the outsider with a child produced from a violent rape, it’s the perfect on the outside pair of Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and Perry (Alexander Skarsgård) that are the most provocative characters in the show, at the crux of the drama. All the beauty, all the money, all the perfection Madeline sees is surface style. What lies beneath the surface is dark, and ugly, their own big little lie. [Do you see facets of your own relationship in Celeste and Perry’s? If so, scroll down for info from the Domestic Abuse Hotline.]

Only one more episode to go and everyone will know what I know, what the millions of Liane Moriarty fans and readers of of Big Little Lies already know—who done it...and to whom!

Do you know—or have a guess—about how Big Little Lies ends?



Do you see elements of your own relationship in the way Celeste and Perry interact? Are you in an abusive relationship yourself? Things don’t just get better. People don’t change without work. 

Check out this info from the National Domestic Abuse Hotline website & seek help while you can.


It’s not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive.

In fact, many abusive partners may seem absolutely perfect in the early stages of a relationship. Possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight, but rather emerge and intensify as the relationship grows.

Domestic violence doesn’t look the same in every relationship because every relationship is different. But one thing most abusive relationships have in common is that the abusive partner does many different kinds of things to have more power and control over their partners.

If you’re beginning to feel as if your partner or a loved one’s partner is becoming abusive, there are a few behaviors that you can look out for. Watch out for these red flags and if you’re experiencing one or more of them in your relationship, call or chat online with an advocate to talk about what’s going on.

• Telling you that you can never do anything right
• Showing jealousy of your friends and time spent away
• Keeping you or discouraging you from seeing friends or family members
• Insulting, demeaning or shaming you with put-downs
• Controlling every penny spent in the household
• Taking your money or refusing to give you money for expenses
• Looking at you or acting in ways that scare you
• Controlling who you see, where you go, or what you do
• Preventing you from making your own decisions
• Telling you that you are a bad parent or threatening to harm or take away your children
• Preventing you from working or attending school
• Destroying your property or threatening to hurt or kill your pets
• Intimidating you with guns, knives or other weapons
• Pressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with
• Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol

Get more information at the National Domestic Abuse Hotline website or call 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.

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