Hulu recently released the first three episodes of Little Fires Everywhere, an adaptation of Celeste Ng’s 2017 New York Times bestseller. In partnership with Reese Witherspoon’s production company Hello Sunshine, Hulu presents the mini-series with no lack of drama, edge, and heart. Each character is dynamically independent, yet the puzzle pieces of each of their actions all fit together in a very neat and intense puzzle. Reminiscent of Big Little Lies, this series is packed with twists, emphasis on class and racial disputes, and heavily driven by women. The characters in this series make it feel very grounded, while still maintaining the glamor of Hollywood.
A Female-Driven Series
Set in the 1990s, Little Fires Everywhere centers around the Richardson and Warren families, and how their stories intertwine throughout time. Mia Warren (Kerry Washington) is a strong-willed artist, mother to Pearl (Lexi Underwood), and now paying rent under journalist turned family rental manager, Elena Richardson (Reese Witherspoon). Elena prides herself on her parenting, but she takes comfort in swapping war stories with Mia over just how hard motherhood can get. Elena is a blonde, white, 1950’s reminiscent type of mother, navigating feeling significant in her career at the local newspaper and juggling four very different children. Mia, a bit of a nomad, struggles with feeling isolated as a working African-American woman in Shaker and letting herself and her daughter enjoy the new things in their lives. Mia’s race is never fully defined in Ng’s novel, but casting Kerry Washington in this role is poignant and adds a whole new meaningful layer to this show.
The series was adapted for television by Liz Tigelaar, known for her work on shows like The Morning Show, Casual and Once Upon a Time. She is working alongside Witherspoon and Washington, who both serve as executive producers in addition to starring in the series. Making this show for women and about women was important to every person on board, and Tigelaar told Elle that regarding the writers’ room, she “Wanted the room to be a reflection of the characters in the book.” Many of the issues discussed and played out in the show deal with the complications of motherhood, class privilege, and the stereotypes living within the confines of Shaker Heights, Ohio. While this series does have the exciting pace of a typical drama on your watchlist, it also balances the drama with very real situations that plague women every day, whether that be in womanhood, teenage years, and everything in between.
Little Fires Everywhere is The Drama Series To Watch
Releasing a new episode every Wednesday, Little Fires Everywhere is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. The first episode opens up with a house engulfed in unruly flames if that tells you anything about the show. It’s not the dramatic dialogue or situations the characters find themselves in that makes this show what it is, but rather those ‘in between the lines’ moments. The words that go unsaid and the moments that are almost acted on give this series the underlying tension that make it a must-watch.
Of course, the acting only adds to the drama and complexity of the story. Witherspoon and Washington are brilliant in every scene and act with an urgency that makes you want to leap through the television and live out every moment alongside them. There is a little bit for everyone, and the budding emotional strain among different characters will keep audiences coming back for more each week. Even for those who never read the book, this series delivers a world that feels so far yet so familiar all at once. How will it all play out between Elena and Mia? If you are in need of a captivating new series, this is definitely it.
By Rebecca Breitfeller
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