Little Fires Everywhere is the new miniseries starring Reese Witherspoon as Elena Richardson and Kerry Washington as Mia Warren. It is a bold and fantastic exploration of motherhood.
As soon as the story began unfolding I was hooked, and binged it across 3 evenings once the kids had been put to bed (impressive!). It captures wonderfully the realities and difficulties that mothers face everyday and in every way they mother (as a verb).
I was blown away by my overwhelming empathy for each and every character. That rarely happens in films and TV, there’s often a villain and a hero but not in this beautiful yet often ugly depiction of motherhood- I faced a constant juxtaposition of emotion with every character! Probably, because there is is no such thing as a bad mother (not completely). There are only mothers who every minute make steps to the best of their knowledge and ability and at some point down the line (seemingly all at once) they have to face the reality of their actions, dealing with the consequences (the only way they know how), in order to do right by their child!
Despite being hoity, pompous and seemingly entitled, Elena (Reese Witherspoon) is vulnerable and battles with the difficulty of leaving behind a future she once believed belonged to her, a dream snatched away as the responsibilities of having one child too many took over. Mia (Kerry Washington) is so delicate. A strong, self assured, confident woman on the exterior but internally bitter, complicated and fragile and shrouded in defence. Defensive because life has been cruel to her, losing everything she once loved- she suffocatingly holds on her only lasting possession- her daughter.
As these two mothers worlds collide, often at odds- they force one another to look long and hard at themselves. The viewer goes on an amazing exploration of their own biases and thoughts, judgements and values. There are two other mothers who come into the picture and really highlight the difficulty of untangling the complicated web of motherhood and what it means, but I shan’t spoil it by delving any further.
Mothers don’t always get it right, and we can’t always control the outcome. All we can do is teach, communicate, love and be vulnerable enough with our children, in order to give them the best chance of doing the same.
I cried at the end of the series. It was overwhelming! The whole last episode was powerful but I realised the whole time I was watching I was on the brink of emotional outpour. Everything Mia Warren and Elena Richardson were holding in and not confronting - I was physically doing the same. Until the last episodes when they began to let go and face their truths - I was finally able to release and it was so cathartic.
Anyway, I could write about this for much longer but I won’t! It’s available on Amazon Prime and is based on a fantastic novel by Celeste Ng written in 2017. It’s recently been nominated for an Emmy!!! I throughly recommend watching it (if you couldn’t tell) and encourage you to let yourself truly feel each character.