Very rarely does Hollywood talk about real issues with real characters in real-time. Very few shows nowadays have my attention. Two shows have my full attention: “13 Reasons Why” and “Big Little Lies” speak volumes. Both shows explore different people in real life situations such as suicide, sexual assault, violence, mental illness, misfortunes, and death.
“Big Little Lies” is based on the best-selling book by Liane Moriarty. The series started in 2017 and I was hooked. Having never read the book, I was attached after watching one episode. Characters like Jane and Celeste and Perry really piqued my interest. Jane was new in town and you immediately knew that she was hiding something. Yes she was. Turns out that she was a rape survivor and her son is Perry’s child. Perry raped her and knocked her up. That story line was interesting to me. Every time, she was on she felt so ashamed to talk about her experience. So was Celeste. She denied and covered up her bruises and scars from the outside world. The positive ID didn’t come til the finale.
Perry and Celeste’s story was the reason that I watched the entire series. I wasn’t a fan of Reese Witherspoon’s character nor Laura Dern’s character. But they both did a great job in their performance. Nicole Kidman played one of her finest performances with this role. She nailed the part on the head. Her husband was violent, abusive and quite the charmer. From the outside, people thought they had the perfect marriage. But on the inside they were far from perfect. Celeste knew so little of what Perry was capable of. She didn’t know that Jane’s son was her step-son. She didn’t know about his extra curricular activities outside of their marriage. The marriage of Celeste and Perry hit home for me. I, myself, have never experienced domestic abuse or violence in a relationship, but others close to me have. I have no sympathy for secrets in a relationship nor allow violence in my presence. Life isn’t always sunny with roses. Perry is the type of guy that I avoid at all costs. Perry is good looking, well established, and very successful. Maybe even ruthless. The lies, secrets, the abuse are too much for me to handle.
I would probably be less like Celeste. I would stand up for myself and report the abuse and protect the children, too. She did leave him. But if he wasn’t pushed to his death, then she wouldn’t be alive. The relationship of the Wright family drastically affected their children to a certain extent. The children saw the abuse and inflicted it on another classmate. This type of family drama is all too common and something that I can relate to.
“13 Reasons Why” was a show that a younger and fellow co-worker mentioned to me. This show is also based on the best-selling book by Jay Asher. I knew the premise of it: a teenage girl commits suicide and it follows the journey of why she did what she did. After her death, a box shows up with tapes and Hannah tells her story. I was hooked as soon as I plunged into the trailer. So many shows don’t talk about real issues like mental health, suicide and other issues facing this world everyday. This show is one that plunges into mental health, depression, suicide, sexual assault and rape and other serious subjects. Online bullying is another one, too.
This show as well as “Big Little Lies” are important stories that need to be told. The message is crystal clear and glaringly obvious. Communication is important in any relationship. In one of the season 1 episodes, Hannah and her counselor set themselves up for failure by not getting to the root of her problems. Her counselor missed all of the red flags that were waving at him. In the end, her life was over. Stories that talk about mental health, physical and drug abuse, violence, sexual assault, bullying are ones that need to be plastered all over the spotlight. These are stories that are not only entertaining, but also real.
I highly recommend in watching both shows and read both books and starting the conversation. There’s a lot of discussion behind each episode and subject matters. It will teach people how to educate themselves about mental health and what we can do better ourselves as a whole.