If you’re like me then you probably couldn’t contain your excitement when Little Fires Everywhere was picked up for series on Hulu. Although, with an adaptation comes a little fear that it will never live up to the book, but in this case, the series exceeded all expectations.
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The show is based on the novel of the same name by Celeste Ng. The novel is about a town in Ohio, called Shaker Heights, wherein two families live. One of the families, the Richardsons, consists of Elena and Tom with their four children, Lexie, Tripp, Moody, and Izzy. Elena strives for perfection and does everything she can to keep her family perfect. Then, Mia and her daughter Pearl come into town, and rent out a home that belongs to the Richardsons. As soon as Mia steps into town, Elena is immediately suspicious of her and tries her best to figure out her story. At the heart of the novel is a custody battle between Elena’s friend Linda, and Mia’s coworker, Bebe. Bebe left her infant daughter, May Ling, at a fire station because she couldn’t afford to take care of her, and then Linda and her husband Mark take May Ling in as their own. Bebe is distraught over what she had to do to her daughter, but through Mia, she finds out where May Ling is, and the custody battle begins. With Elena and Mia on opposite sides, that gives Elena more motive to look more into Mia’s past, so much so that she even travels to New York and to Mia’s parents house. Mia has a secret, one that she’s been keeping for years from Pearl, and now she has no choice but to face them.
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The portrayal of Mia by Kerry Washington was exceptional, and she was completely different than in the book. In the book she wasn’t as strong and defiant as she is in the show. Mia really holds her ground and does everything she can for Pearl. Even though Pearl becomes blinded by Elena and her family, Mia doesn’t shy away from putting Elena, or even Lexie, in her place when necessary.
Reese Witherspoon is also exceptional, because she is definitely the character you dislike throughout the series. She plays ‘the perfect mom’ perfectly, and her face-offs with Mia were the highlights of the show. Every time those two were in the room together you just couldn’t look away. The power in their stances alone was enough to keep you on the edge of your seat to hear what was going to come out of their mouths.
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Out of all the kids, Izzy is the one that stands out. Izzy is Elena’s youngest child, and she’s also the child Elena didn’t want to have. She is portrayed by Megan Stott, and she is the breakout star. There are so many emotions Izzy deals with throughout the series, and it’s more than what the other kids deal with. Not that their struggles were mediocre, but Izzy just stood out.
She’s a young girl being ridiculed at school by her best friend who used to be her girlfriend. Her mom treats her like garbage, and her dad sees her mom treating her this way but does nothing about it. Once Megan Stott came on screen all eyes were on her, similar to Mia and Elena, you just couldn’t wait to see what Izzy was going to say or do next.
The other children are dealing with relationship issues as well as social class and race issues. The series and novel take place in 1997, but it’s not much different than 2020. The conversations between the characters about these topics are what make this series so special. it doesn’t shy away from the hard conversations, and Mia has no problem putting people with privilege in their place.
There is only so much I can say about this series without giving too much away, but what I can say is you just have to watch it and experience this brilliant series for yourself. You can also read the book here.
You can stream all eight episodes on Hulu, right here.
Featured Image via Parade
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