TV - Feb 10, 2017

Miniseries Premiere: Big Little Lies

Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are the scheming moms of moneyed Monterey

Shailene Woodley, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman plot and scheme while the kids are at school.

Premieres Sunday, February 19, 2017, at 9 p.m. ET on HBO Canada (Channel 302). All broadcast episodes are available on demand at and HBO Canada On Demand (Channel 311).

If you’re hooked on The Affair, then Big Little Lies should be your next port of call. If you enjoy The Affair’s unhurried, multiple-perspective storytelling, then let yourself be lassoed by the slow-burn riddle of Big Little Lies. Some people might call it “female” storytelling, where shades of grey are celebrated and numerous points of view are accommodated and then piled on top of each other. Your mission is to decide who you want to believe and whose version of events you trust the most.

Oscar® winners Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon were lured back to television for the seductive (and somewhat steamy) seven-part series, which is a David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal) adaptation of the 2014 New York Times bestseller by Australian novelist Liane Moriarty. Kidman and Witherspoon related to the female characters in the book so closely that they both optioned the screen rights and joined forces as executive producers. The entire series is directed with a dreamy flourish by Canadian writer/director Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club).

The story of five moms of first-graders has been transplanted from suburban Australia to moneyed Monterey, California. Scarily fake niceness is the order of the day among the gorgeous upper-middle-class moms in stilettos who “helicopter parent” kids with names like Skye. The overprotective moms in high-powered business suits (Laura Dern being one of them) are responsible for running outfits like Google and Yahoo, while the stay-at-home moms seek local status by commandeering school plays, PTA events and community fundraisers. Even a six-year-old’s birthday party is choreographed with the military precision of a royal wedding. It’s all fun and games, of course, until someone loses an eye.

On the surface, everyone is smugly living the picture-perfect West Coast dream – in big houses overlooking the Pacific and zipping around in oversized SUVs employed solely for depositing kids at school. The trouble is, all of this fabulous oozing “niceness” ends up in murder. It’s a wonderful satire on the ridiculousness of over-parenting. It’s also a simmering whodunit, a salacious soap opera and a deliciously dark modern-day version of Peyton Place. There’s a thin line between moms who lunch and moms who murder. And just because the moms hog the spotlight, don’t assume that the dads get off scot-free. What goes on behind closed doors won’t be staying there for long.

• Broadcaster: HBO Canada

• Premiere: February 19, 2017

• Regular timeslot: Sundays at 9 p.m. ET

• Number of episodes in Season One: Seven

• On demand at: HBO Canada On Demand (Channel 311) and online at