REVIEW: Little Fires Everywhere
I just finished the season finale of Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu and have got to say that it was one fantastic season.
The series is based on a novel by Celeste Ng. It is about two mothers. Elena (Reese Witherspoon) is a white woman from an upper middle class family living in an idyllic suburban neighborhood. She is raising four seemingly perfect children with her lawyer husband. Mia (Kerry Washington) has been on the run from her past roaming from town to town. She is a single African American daughter raising her daughter Pearl (Lexi Underwood) on her own.
Elena is intrigued when Mia and Pearl come into Shaker Heights looking like they have been living out of their car. She agrees to let them rent the family's old place and wants to invite the two into their lives, even having Mia come work for her. But, things start not adding up for Elena and she becomes increasingly suspicious of Mia. Things come to a head when the two take different sides on a custody battle between Mia's friend Bebe (Huang Lu) and Elena's best friend Linda (Rosemarie DeWitt). The case becomes a boiling point around race and economic status.
Elena becomes obsessed with taking Mia down, going as far as investigating her life and finding the truth about her daughter. The two are so obsessed with the custody battle that they don't see things falling around them. Elena's eldest daughter Lexie (Jade Pettyjohn) has an abortion, her youngest daughter Izzy (Megan Slott) is in a lot of pain from being bullied at school, her two sons Moody (Gavin Lewis) and Trip (Jordan Elsass) are both vying for the attention of Pearl. In the meantime, Elena's husband Bill (Joshua Jackson) is becoming increasingly estranged from his wife. Then, we see Mia's secret becoming increasingly endangered of being revealed while destroying her relationship with her daughter in the meantime.
It's a powerful drama that covers a great deal in its short eight one-hour episode season. have not read the book, but now I want to. I was watching Disney Insider on Disney+ where showrunner Liz Tigelaar screens some scenes for author Celeste Ng. Ng likened the adaptation of her book to a great cover song that has the soul of the original, but is different in its own right.
The performances are incredible, particularly those of Witherspoon and Washington. I think about one moment in particular in the final episode where Lexie screams "I'm not perfect!" And Elena screams back, "Yes you are!" You can feel all the tension and frustration pour out and it gave me such goosebumps. Witherspoon has gotten extremely good at playing that kind of uptight suburban socialite.
You can find all the episodes streaming on Hulu. As such, the series is intended for more mature audiences. So, parental guidance is suggested.