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'Little Fires Everywhere' Is A Dark Waspy Drama Set In A Picture Perfect World

Reese Witherspoon shines in a slick new series that has more than a few shades of 'Big Little Lies'

little fires everywhere
Amazon Prime

im电竞官网-In Shaker Heights there is a plan for everything. Lawns must be kept below six inches for fear of incurring a fine and the paint colour of your house is dictated by exact architecture of the building.

This Waspy enclave of Ohio is the backdrop of Little Fires Everywhere, the forthcoming adaptation of Celeste Ng's bestselling 2017 novel which hits Amazon Prime Video in the UK today.

im电竞官网-It is in this hyper-controlled, picture perfect world we find the wealthy and powerful Richardson family: the self-righteous and uptight mother Elena (Reese Witherspoon) and her four children, three of whom fit into her idea of how things should be. The other, naturally, rebels against it.

The spark of the story comes when Mia Warren (Kerry Washington) and her daughter Pearl are ushered into this world, a stark contrast to the hand-to-mouth life they have been living as Mia moves between cities to make art. Pearl is enamoured of the Richardson family and the allure of their pristine home, while Elena's rebellious daughter Izzy is drawn to Mia and her art.

Little Fires Everywhere has more than a few shades of Big Little Lies, the hit Sky Atlantic show adapted from Liane Moriarty's novel, which also starred Witherspoon as a neurotic housewife in a gossipy, glossy American community. As with Sky's drama, Little Fires Everywhere im电竞官网-looks at the dirt underneath the manicured nails of this town, showing how the skeletons in people's closets are never too far away. Both feature an outsider coming into a wealthy community to shake up the status quo and reveal the different ways people react to their world being unsettled.

little fires everywhere
Amazon Prime

There isn't quite the same all-star cast in this adaptation, but Witherspoon and Washington's performances as two clashing matriarchs gives the series enough star power. However, as with Big Little Lies, it has tripped up in casting Witherspoon's on-screen husband, with both shows choosing actors who overplay the laid-back dad to their type A wives, instead of feeling like a worthy partner.

im电竞官网-Witherspoon is brilliant as smug white saviour Elena who glows when talking about helping people yet can't muster any empathy toward her own daughter. At times her tone-deafness does stray into caricature, making Washington's Mia seem the more developed and intriguing character as the series goes on.

The, occasionally heavy-handed, message of Little Fires Everywhere is that darkness can still be found in a six-bedroom mansion, but its more powerful point is looking at the daily micro-aggressions that people of colour suffer in these kind of communities.

im电竞官网-You get the sense that Mia feels she is being gaslit by blonde woman with the bright smile who writes her weight in a notebook each morning and can't break her sex schedule. Elena says she is here to help but inspires an envy in Pearl which makes Mia feel inadequate, all while being put out that her tearaway daughter Izzy could find something inspiring in Mia.

As the opening shot of a mansion being engulfed with flames tells you, Little Fires Everywhere is a story about class warfare in a world of perfect six inch lawns. It might not have the sucker punch of an inequality satire like Parasite, but it does conjure a glossy world that is hiding something rotten.

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