With online classes underway for the rest of the semester, there is plenty of time for T.V. and movie binge sessions (perhaps a little too much). Lately, I’ve been living for Hulu’s recently released eight episode-long limited series, “Little Fires Everywhere,” executively produced by and starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. The miniseries premiered with its first three episodes on March 18, followed by the release of episodes for five subsequent Wednesdays. Each episode ends with a cliffhanger which keeps me coming back excited for the next episode and wishing I could binge it all in one sitting.
The miniseries, based on Celeste Ng’s recent novel of the same name, follows two mothers, Elena Richardson and Mia Warren, an unlikely pair of women with seemingly little in common beyond their motherhood. The story starts at the end, with the first episode opening on a mysterious fire at the Richardson house. Filled with drama and suspense, the scene cuts to the questioning of who set fire to the family’s beloved home. Immediately, the audience is left intrigued and invested in the uncertainties of the house fire.
Washington and Witherspoon’s characters find themselves in converging circumstances when Warren spontaneously moves to Shaker Heights, Ohio, where the Richardson family lives. Suspicions for one another rise upon their very first encounter, though they remain civil and maintain a seemingly friend-like relationship. When their children and friends become involved, the relationship becomes even more complex. Set in the late 1990s, the story is driven by the dividing forces of racism and prejudices between the two protagonists, as well as the surrounding cast of characters.
Throughout the four episodes uploaded thus far, concepts such as gender, race and motherhood have been explored. According to Deadline, “the story explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger in believing that following the rules can avert disaster.” Without knowing what the rest of the episodes will hold, I have so far found “Little Fires Everywhere” to be all at once impactful, complex and thought-provoking. Without revealing too much, I recommend this show with rave reviews to anyone interested in diving into a story filled with raw emotion and honesty.