Series creator Liz Tigelaar’s Hulu exclusive “Little Fires Everywhere” is a heart-wrenching but surprisingly deep show that leaves viewers emotionally invested and on the edge of their seats.
Based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 book of the same name, “Little Fires Everywhere” follows the ever-increasingly involved story of two families and how both their figurative and literal battles drive a wedge between them. Elena Richardson (Reese Witherspoon) and Mia Warren (Kerry Washington) uncover progressively more background information on each other, filled with secrets, mystery and crime as the two women turn family into enemies.
“Little Fires Everywhere” portrays taboo subjects that are not commonly shown on television. Adoption legal battles, LGBT hazing, race issues and more are shown with little-to-no television sugarcoating. Witherspoon admits portraying her entitled character Elena was one of the most difficult roles for her.
“Creating that character was a new challenge for me,” Witherspoon said in an interview with Vanity Fair. “Despite her intelligence and social grooming, she has a deeply embedded lack of awareness of her privilege.”
The distinct difference in social standing and privilege is arguably the motif that stands out most in “Little Fires Everywhere." While Witherspoon’s character aims to have the most picture-perfect family as possible, Washington’s character wants only to keep her family guarded.
“I think the novel is so much about identity,” Washington said in an interview with NPR. “And how the roles and the context of our identity contributes to how we live and relate to others in the world.”
As serious as this show can be, comedic moments provided by Elena’s husband Bill (Joshua Jackson) are present enough to just balance out the drama. Jackson is best known for his roles as Peter Bishop from the 2008 show “Fringe” as well as Pacey Witter in the 1998 show “Dawson’s Creek."
The “Little Fires Everywhere" suspected series finale aired April 22. The roller coaster of a final episode answers questions that have been poised since the pilot, while also leaving some loose ends up to the audience's interpretations.