Sure, the consensus out there is that Game of Thrones is the last show we all gather around our televisions to watch on a week by week basis, but when Big Little Lies returns on June 9, well, HBO well certainly dominate the conversation amongst a certain viewing audience.
The recap of events from season 1 goes a little something like this: five mothers in Monterey, California—played by Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, who are also the show’s executive producers, as well as Laura Dern, Zoë Kravitz, and Shailene Woodley—get caught up in some small town troubles but end up bonding during (spoiler alert here in case you’re not caught up) their collective murder of an abusive husband (played by Alexander Skarsgård). The second season will give us the aftermath of all the affairs and bullying and from last season, as well as a continuation of the murder investigation by local detectives.
When Big Little Lies premiered in 2017, the assumption was that the show adapted from Liane Moriarty’s novel would be a limited series, and many fans online applauded showrunner David E. Kelley for sticking the landing very elegantly in the season 1 finale. But the show ended up being such a success that HBO rallied for a follow-up. How could you not be a little curious about what might happen if the Monterey moms were to eventually be investigated for being witnesses to what was likely the most sensational crime that town had seen in years? Here, we outline exactly what to expect when the Monterey Five return to our television screens on June 9.
There’s a new storyline.
While season 1 of Big Little Lies was based on Moriarty’s novel of the same name, we’re in partly uncharted territory for the second season. There’s no published Big Little Lies sequel book yet, although it was revealed in a 2017 interview with Vulture that Moriarty penned a novella to flesh out some concepts for season 2, so Kelley will be moving forward with new plot details about the aftermath of Perry’s murder that are not covered in Moriarty’s first novel. The first season ended with the Monterey Five being observed from afar by a local detective. This season, the police aren’t backing down, and neither is the deceased’s family.
There will be new cast members.
All of the major players from season 1, including Adam Scott and James Tupper, are set to return, but new characters have been added as well. Meryl Streep joined the cast after Moriarty penned a season 2 outline. As the author conjured up the character of Celeste’s mother-in-law, she had Streep on her mind for the role the entire time. Then, Kidman simply exercised her executive powers and emailed Streep. The first glimpses we have gotten so far of Perry’s mother, Mary Louise Wright, revealed very little about Streep’s character, except for the fact that she sports a wig that unfortunately brings to mind the one worn by Julia Roberts in Mother’s Day.
There are some recurring characters as well: Douglas Smith, who plays a surfer hottie named Corey Brockfield that may end up being a love interest for Jane (Woodley), Martin Donovan as Bonnie’s (Kravitz) father Martin Howard, Denis O’Hare as Ira Farber, and Poorna Jagannathan as Katie Richmond.
There’s a new director.
Every episode in season 2 is directed by Andrea Arnold, the English filmmaker known for her critically acclaimed films Fish Tank and American Honey. Kelley is still credited with writing each episode, but those expecting the signature style presented by season 1 helmer Jean-Marc Vallée might want to reserve judgment until the premiere.
There will be ice cream.
One of the first sneak peaks of Big Little Lies was turned into a meme last year, when Witherspoon’s Madeline Martha McKenzie was seen tossing an ice cream cone at the back of Mary Louise Wright’s head.
As a special treat, Witherspoon shared a behind-the-scenes photo of herself as Madeline with her onscreen daughter Abigail Carlson (played by Kathryn Newton) as they hold on to their cones. We’ll just have to wait and see how—and why—those cones play into the plot when the show returns on June 9.