TV Critic’s Corner

A true reversal on ‘Big Little Lies’

Meryl Streep in New York earlier this month.
Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Meryl Streep in New York earlier this month.

I’ve been pretty down on the “Big Little Lies” people for deciding to give the miniseries a second season once it struck ratings and awards-show gold. The story was created as a one-off, with a very pointed and well-earned finale. So leave it be, as a work about a specific time in the lives of a grouping of characters.

But, well, I may have to reconsider. When it comes to Meryl Streep, I may be willing to be a complete and utter hypocrite. News has arrived that Streep has joined the cast of season 2, playing the mother of Alexander Skarsgard’s abusive character, Perry. (Spoiler alert from here down.) Now that Perry is dead, his mother shows up in Malibu to see about her grandchildren and, perhaps, look into what really happened to her son.

According to HBO, the season will explore the “malignancy of lies, the durability of friendships, the fragility of marriage and, of course, the vicious ferocity of sound parenting. Relationships will fray, loyalties will erode . . . the potential for emotional and bodily injury shall loom.”


Consider me piqued. Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are already committed to the season, making it a three-Oscar-winner lineup that’s probably destined for another round of Emmy love. The other stars are all in negotiations, including Skarsgard, who may return in some form. David E. Kelley is returning to write the screenplay, and Andrea Arnold is replacing director Jean-Marc Vallee.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.