Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Big Little Lies Book vs. TV Show

Big Little Lies

Madeline-- she's the strong one.  She has an older daughter from a previous marriage and a son in 2nd grade, so she's familiar with the dynamics at Pirriwee Public School-- and she's not afraid to hold her own or stick up for her friends.

Celeste-- Rich, beautiful, the mother of twin boys starting kindergarten. Her life looks like something out of a catalog.  But looks can be deceiving.

Jane-- Young, single mother, and new to town.  She's a wounded baby bird that Madeline can't help but take under her wing.  Jane desperately wants to move on from the past that haunts her, but that's not so easy when her son is directly tied to it.

These 3 women become entangled in parenthood politics, personal turmoils, and eventually the death of someone during a school function.

Based on Liane Moriarity’s bestselling book, and featuring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley, this darkly comedic series tells the tale of three mothers whose seemingly perfect lives unravel to the point of murder.

Originally Aired on HBO

I watched the TV show first and after LOVING it decided that I really needed to read the book already.  It's funny because I traded someone for the book a few years ago, and it's just been sitting on my shelf.  I guess my excuse is that I don't read a ton of Adult books (and I have an overflowing TBR).  Anyway, once I started watching the TV show, I knew that I wanted to compare it with the book.

I can honestly say that I was equally OBSESSED with both.  I basically binge-watched and read both mediums as fast as I humanly could do so.  I mean, even KNOWING all the things that were going to happen in the book (because of the show), I still NEEDED to read page after page as fast as I could.

Things I Liked Better About The Show:

  • I really liked the changes they made for the TV show, particularly with Madeline and her family.  They eliminated her middle child, aged up her oldest daughter a few years, and gave her younger daughter a much bigger role (and a personality makeover).
  • Chloe (the youngest daughter) ended up being one of my favorite characters of the whole series.  She was so smart and mature and had this awesome love for music, and it was just so endearing.
  • I also liked that they gave Madeline her own secrets separate from the conflicts with her children.
  • I liked Ed's personality makeover in the TV show also.  In the book, he was just kind of THERE and very TEAM MADELINE, but in the show it was a lot more complicated. He was on her side and ready to fight her ex-husband, but he wasn't blindly following her.
  • I loved Bonnie!!  She was very similar to the book character, but so much more REAL and 3-dimensional.
  • All of the kids were amazing and adorable and just completely cast perfectly.
  • The ending was so explosive and fucking PERFECT.

Things I Liked Better About The Book:

  • Celeste's story.  Nicole Kidman did a fabulous job with her portrayal of Celeste, but I felt like the book was better at showing us how her marriage developed and became abusive.  The TV show really played up the part where sex & violence were intertwined for Celeste and Perry, and I much preferred the way the book described the whole thing.
  • Tom (the coffee shop owner)'s story was much more adorable.
  • Madeline's ex-husband Nathan's story was so much more infuriating on the page and I loved that.
  • We got to know Jane and her family in the book in a way that wasn't shown in the show.


  • There were a lot of differences, some of which I've already mentioned, but the biggest one was drama.  The TV show amped up the drama, the build-up, the levels of everything.
  • The ending particularly I liked better this way because the book just kind of fell flat at the end.  I liked the redemption/healing ARC that the one character got, but the conclusion of the death/murder kind of felt like an after-thought.
  • Jane's story was really very different and toned down in the book.  I enjoyed that they made her a lot more damaged in the show.  It brought the intensity a lot higher.

Apparently there is a season 2 coming for the show, and I am HERE for it.  I don't actually know where it's going to go since the entirety of the book was covered, but I guess it'll be the aftermath of the death since it was left open a bit.

I am now down to read all the Liane Moriarty books.  I have The Husband's Secret on deck as I type this!!  Have you read any of her books??  If so, which ones were your faves?

Have you watched Big Little Lies on HBO yet??  Have you read the book?  Share your thoughts with me PLEASE!!


  1. I read the book first - twice actually - and it was my favorite book of 2015. I loved the book, and I enjoyed the show, but I didn't like how Americanized the show was. I agree the emphasis on sex with Celeste and Perry and even the side plot with Madelyn. The show is good, but I have to consider it as kind of a separate entity, you know?

    I have read all Liane Moriarty's books, and I loved all of them except one (The Hypnotist's Love Story - is that right?). I just couldn't get into that one. The Husband's Secret and What Alice Forgot are probably my two next favorites. Enjoy!

    1. I totally get how you would want to view it as 2 separate things. It seems like whichever I consume first ends up being my favorite. Like if I read the book, the movie never usually lives up. But if I see the TV show or movie first, the book is still good, but not LAW. I'm weird??

      Anyway, I'm totally starting The Husband's secret this weekend!!

  2. WONDERFUL post!! I really enjoyed both the show and the book as well! And I agree, the show took some liberties, but it all worked wonderfully! Can't wait for season two!!

    1. I'm SO curious about season 2!! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I read the book but only saw the pilot from the show, don't know why the show didn't keep my interest but I've seen how many awards it's getting and I might try it again.

    1. The first 2 episodes didn't WOW me-- but after that I was HOOKED/Obsessed/Addicted.

  4. For some reason the book doesnt appeal to me but I really want to watch the show. Im glad you enjoyed both.

    1. I mean, I think the show is better anyway :) But thats just me. I don't read Adult very often (especially when it's about suburbia), but after watching the show I knew I had to try!

  5. I picked this up on a whim last summer and devoured it in one day. I thought it was fantastic - I loved the characters, the drama, and the relationships. I tried to watch the show, but I just couldn't get into the first episode :( I don't know if it's because I watched it so close to reading the book, but something didn't appeal to me, which was super disappointing. I think I'll try it again, though! The differences you pointed about it intrigue me. I thought Madeline's husband was a little too passive in the book so it'd be interesting to see him not so blindly follow her.

    I also read all of Liane's other books this summer (with the exception of The Hypnotist's Love Story) and I loved pretty much all of them. What Alice Forgot and The Last Anniversary are my favorites. I thought The Husband's Secret and Truly Madly Guilty were good but they didn't spark as much as her other books in my opinion.

  6. Everyone's been telling me to watch this show, but like my overflowing tbr, I've got an overflowing to be watched. Hopefully I get around to it and love it as much as you do!

  7. it's so nice and wonderful,thank uh for sharing dear..

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