All In Good Storytime

category: Literature

Page Thirty-Two--SomeBODY'S DEAD


In the 32nd episode of All in Good Storytime, we watch the first episode of Big Little Lies. In this first episode, we are introduced to Jane, Madeline, Celeste, Bonnie, and Renata. The five women all have children entering the first grade in Monterey, California. The episode begins with a murder of an unknown victim carried out by an unknown assailant.
Through flashbacks, we are brought back to the beginning of the school year and see the events that led to the night of the murder. Jane, the mother of young Sheldon, is new to town and quickly befriends Madeline. Madeline is now married to Ben from Parks and Rec but she also has a teenaged daughter with Nathan, Bonnie's husband. Celeste is married to Alexander Skarsgard, and while their public displays of affection draw the disgust and jealousy of the town, in the privacy of their home we see a darker side to their relationship. During the kids' first day of orientation, Renata's daughter says that Jane's son choked her, an accusation he vehemently denies, and we are introduced to the second mystery of the show.

In this episode, we discuss general emphasis on motherhood seen in the contrast between the working mothers and the stay at home moms as well as the differences between mothers like Reese Witherspoon, high-strung and neurotic, and Zoe Kravitz, effortlessly cool and free-spirited. We examine the relationship between Celeste and Perry Wright and how even before the true nature of their abusive relationship was revealed their interactions were already clearly unsettling. Finally, we question the implications of Jane's flashbacks regarding her own personal trauma and how that influences her relationship with her son.

CONTENT WARNING: This episode and series contains discussions/depictions of sexual assault.


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