Do you hear that? It's the sounds of coastal Californian wealth, suppressed deadly secrets, and PTA infighting. That could only mean one thing: Big Little Lies season 2 is coming. Yes, after HBO swore BLL would serve as a limited series, a whole new batch of episodes are on the way this summer. What a way to close the Game of Thrones vacuum.
You’re probably wondering what this heralded premium cable return means for your viewing pleasure. Did executive producers/stars Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman manage to rally their entire sprawling cast back together? What does the addition of acting royalty like Meryl Streep mean for all the intense proceedings? What does her character, Mary Louise Wright, even want with the Monterey Five?
We found the answers to those questions and more — like when Big Little Lies season 2 premieres and what it’s actually about — and answered them all below. Keep reading for the biggest glimpse into Big Little Lies 2.0 you’ll get before its June 2019 debut.
When is the Big Little Lies season 2 premiere date?
Big Little Lies Cast: Who’s coming back for season 2?
The entire major Big Little Lies cast will remain intact for the initially unplanned second season. Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Zoë Kravitz, and Shailene Woodley return as the “Monterey Five,” who were the only witnesses to the season 1 “accidental fatal stair fall” of Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgård). Viewers know Kravitz’s Bonnie Carlson actually pushed Perry, an abuser and rapist, down a set of stairs before he could harm Kidman's Celeste Wright or any of the other Otter Bay moms.
Famously, Meryl Streep has also joined the Big Little Lies cast as Perry’s suspicious mom, Mary Louise Wright.
The rest of the supporting cast is also back, including Adam Scott, Iain Armitage, Darby Camp, and Kathryn Newton. During a May visit to Late Night With Seth Meyers, Newton, who plays Abigail Carlson, daughter to Witherspoon’s Madeline Martha Mackenzie, revealed her TV mom is the reason she could return to the show. The actress was offered both BLL season 2 and Detective Pikachu at the same time, and Witherspoon personally moved schedules around to allow Newton to fulfill both roles. “Reese is totally my queen,” Newton laughed.
Is Big Little Lies season 2 based on a book?
The answer to whether Big Little Lies season 2 is based on a book is technically both yes and no. After the first season was a success, the series’ producers and HBO executives had a general meeting about the future, network programming chief Casey Bloys told Vulture in December 2017.
While the group knew they “had” to do more of BLL — a ratings winner and awards show juggernaut — they were skeptical about whether the story could actually continue. So, they went to Australian author Liane Moriarty, who penned the initial 2014 novel that gave Big Little Lies its name and plot, to see if she saw any more “life” in her characters, according to Bloys.
“She came up with a novella, which was key. [Creator David E. Kelley] took it and thought, ‘Is there something I can do with it?’” Bloys explained. Eventually, Kelley, Witherspoon, and Kidman, who are all executive producers, agreed that there was more to do with the story.
So, yes, there is a Liane Moriarty book out there guiding the season. However, it’s not currently on the shelves for the world to read. It is unclear if the novella will be published once Big Little Lies wraps its second second.
What is Big Little Lies season 2 about?
The lies — Big Little Lies season 2 is all about the lies. Or, more specifically, a single huge lie: the actual events surrounding the death of Perry Wright. Not only is the detective from season 1, Adrienne Quinlan (Merrin Dungey), trying to crack the Monterey Five — but they also have to contend with prying questions from Meryl Streep’s Mary Louise. As we hear the Wright matriarch tell Celeste in the trailer, “You don’t believe my son just slipped.”
Besides watching these women try to keep up the bloodiest deception of their lives, there will also some be some smaller emotional moments at play in season 2. It’s time for second grade at Otter Bay, so the usual mommy jockeying is back, with Madeline prepared to tear through her local rivals. It also seems likely everyone will be grappling with how Perry’s death, and all the secrets around it, affect the Big Little kids.
How did Big Little Lies get Meryl Streep?
Very, very easily. When Liane Moriarty handed over her sequel novella, there was the new character of Mary Louise Wright. “Liane was like, ‘We have to go get Meryl Streep,’” Big Little Lies producer Bruna Papandrea told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of season 2. “Liane's always like, ‘Here's who has to play the roles.’”
So, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, who “both had great relationships with her,” according to Papandrea, approached the mutli-Oscar winner. Between that friendship with Street and the fact “she'd been a fan of the show,” she signed on. The rest, is HBO history.
How many episodes of Big Little Lies are there?
There will be seven episodes of Big Little Lies season 2. There were also seven episodes of BLL season 1. The biggest change in production this time around is that Jean-Marc Vallée, who helmed all seven parts of BLL’s first season, will no longer be directing its sophomore run. Instead, Andrea Arnold, who directed 2016’s American Honey, a handful of Transparent episodes, and half of Amazon Prime's canceled I Love Dick, will be directing all of Big Little Lies season 2.
Is Big Little Lies on Netflix? Will Big Little Lies ever be on Netflix?
Sorry Netflix fans, Big Little Lies season 2 will not be on Netflix. BLL season 1, for that matter, will never be on Netflix either. Since the drama is an HBO product, it only lives on streaming through HBO Go or HBO Now. However, depending on what premium additions you have through Amazon Prime or Hulu, you may also be able to watch Big Little Lies via those services.