Big Little Lies Season 2 Was Written "As If This Were the End"

David E. Kelley teases what to expect when the Monterey Five

By Chris Harnick Jun 05, 2019 6:12 PMTags
Watch: "Big Little Lies" Creator Says Season 2 Is an Emotional Roller Coaster

When Big Little Lies aired in 2017 it swept up every award as a miniseries. And then HBO announced season two was officially happening. Viewers were divided. Season one told a complete story, and was based off of the book of the same name, what would season two look like? Did we need season two? Could it live up to the hype and reception season one received?

"I felt the pressure before we started. We did not want to do year two unless we had a story, material that we felt justified," David E. Kelley, writer and executive producer, told E! News at the Big Little Lies premiere. "We all put pressure on ourselves, otherwise why do it?"

"Big Little Lies" Cast Describes Working With Meryl Streep

They did do it—and they added Meryl Streep to the mix. The new season is based off a novella by book author Liane Moriarty who imagined what the characters would be up to after the events of the first season. You may recall those events include a fight between Madeline (Reese Witherspoon), Celeste (Nicole Kidman), Renata (Laura Dern), Bonnie (Zoë Kravitz), Jane (Shailene Woodley) and Celeste's husband Perry (Alexander Skarsgård). The fight at the school charity function ended with Bonnie pushing Perry, ultimately to his death. Now, the women are dealing with grief, PTSD and a whole lot of guilt.

"We go a lot deeper with different characters' emotional arcs this year. I think the invitation of fun and entertainment will still be there, but definitely an emotional roller coaster ride," Kelley said.

Morarity, who created the part of Perry's mother, Mary Louise, with Streep in mind, said the new season is more complex and echoed Kelley's "deeper" description.

Jennifer Clasen/HBO

"I think with any show, with season one you introduce the characters and season two allows you to go so much further…and of course there's the ramifications of what happened at the end of season one," Moriarty teased.

While season two was a surprise to some, a third season seems to be even more of a long shot.

"We wrote season two as if this were the end," Kelley said.

Click play on the video above for more.

Big Little Lies premieres Sunday, June 9 on HBO.