The Monterey mom squad — now including Meryl Streep! — converged on the Television Critics Assoc. winter press on Friday to very lightly spoil Big Little Lies Season 2 (bowing in June).
Much of the attention, not surprisingly, focused on Streep’s arrival as Perry’s mother, Mary Louise Wright. Read on for the seven highlights from the A-list panel which, in addition to Streep, also featured returning vets Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz and EP/writer David E. Kelley.
* Streep was tight-lipped about her character’s dynamic with Celeste (Kidman), only saying that she loves her daughter-in-law. Streep, however, was open and effusive about what drew her to the TV role. “I loved this show. I was addicted to it,” she said. “I thought it was an amazing exercise in what we know and what we don’t know about people, about family, about friends, how it flirted with the mystery of things. What was unsaid, unshown, unknown was the gravitational pull of the piece. And it was so exciting. So when I got the chance to join the crew, I thought, ‘Yeah!’ I wanted to be in that world.'”
* When Season 2 picks up, the Monterey ladies’ lives “seem very well put together, but then the fissures and fractures begin to emerge,” Kelley previewed. “Once the crevasses start to widen, it escalates pretty quickly.”
* Speaking about the decision to continue the series, Kelley pointed out that the Season 1 finale “didn’t really close the chapter. It ended on a very open note,” with plenty of questions left to explore. “Will the lie have a life? Will it have a malignancy?” Kelley posited. “There was a lot of fertile storytelling ground to mine.” But the EP added, “We didn’t want to do this unless we had at least a fair shot at living up to the bar that we set up in Season 1.”
* The new season doesn’t “broaden” the show, but goes “deeper,” as it explores the mystery of, “How is that lie going to permeate the world of Monterey and the people who make up this franchise?” Kelley said.
* For Jane, “who now is able to work on the other end of that trauma” that she suffered at Perry’s hands, the upcoming episodes explore, “How does she cope from that and move forward?” Woodley described. As Jane heals, the women will be “standing in line with one another, helping each other.”
* Now that the ladies have welcomed her into their ranks, “[it’s] thrilling for Renata to have any friend!” Dern exclaimed. Kravitz added that the expanded group of women still have conflict, but “we now have this thing that binds us together.”
* Kelley revealed that there is “no such plan now” for a third season. “We like where our closure is at the end of Season 2. That will probably be it,” he said, to which Witherspoon replied with a laugh, “You said that last time!”