Hulu’s ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ adaptation is packed with fiery talent
Hulu’s adaptation of the best-selling novel “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng took some liberties (with the author’s approval), as many adaptations do, and put a twist in the finale to keep viewers who read the book from knowing how it would end.
The series, which stars powerhouse actresses Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, is about two very different mothers who cross paths when Mia Warren (Washington) and her daughter move to the cookie-cutter, perfect town of Shaker Heights and rent a property belonging to Elena Richardson (Witherspoon). Mia is an artist, a wandering spirit whose lifestyle dramatically clashes with Elena’s rigid rule-abiding principles and yet they constantly find themselves thrown together. Elena wants to feel like a good person, she so desperately wants to be seen as a kind and charitable person that she lets Mia and her daughter rent the property for a cheap rate and even offers her a job as a house manager (housekeeper). Mia doesn’t care for Elena but accepts her offer so she can stay close to her daughter who has befriended Elena’s four children. As Pearl becomes increasingly close with the Richardson family, Elena’s blacksheep daughter Izzy is drawn to Mia’s artistic nature.
Mia and Elena’s drama comes to a head when Mia tries to help her friend Bebe regain custody of her daughter who is in the care of Elena’s friends. As the custody battle rattles the town, Elena threatens to reveal Mia’s secrets if she doesn’t stop helping Bebe.
“Little Fires Everywhere” crackles with volatile emotions in this series that focuses on motherhood, privilege and race. The adaptation does a phenomenal job flushing out Elena and Izzy’s backstory as the book focuses on Mia and Pearl’s history.
Washington provides a tour de force performance as Mia, a mother with a secret, who will do anything to protect her daughter. Witherspoon’s seething portrayal of a woman living a life she didn’t want complements Washington’s performance, but she certainly steals a scene or two of her own. Of the younger actors in this very talented cast, Megan Stott commands the screen with her raw portrayal of Izzy’s adolescent heartaches.
“Little Fires Everywhere” has one season available on Hulu. The series is rated TV-MA. Viewers might also enjoy HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” a series about a group of women involved in an accident. The series is also a book adaptation and stars Reese Witherspoon.
Little Fires Everywhere
Episode duration: 1 hour
Similar series: Big Little Lies