screenrant.com Big Little Lies: 10 Things The Show Did Better Than The Books, According To Reddit
Content Warning: This article contains references to abuse and sexual assault.
Although the HBO drama series, Big Little Lies, has ended, fans still talk about why the show was so powerful and great to watch. Based on Liane Moriarty's 2014 novel by Liane Moriarty of the same name, the Emmy award-winning series left a huge impression on the world for its complex storylines and engaging characters.
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Although it didn't follow the events of the novel exactly, there were some (particularly on Reddit) who actually preferred the show's interpretation. Whether being the star casting or the more intense dramas played out, Reddit fans love that they get to dive into the story in an all-new way.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Madeline Cheated On Ed
This is a controversial one to most fans. The book did not have Madeline cheating on Ed and fans loved their pure, honest relationship. However, in the TV show, Madeline cheated with the community theater director. This was dynamic in bringing in a more complex character for Reese Witherspoon's role.
It was said that Madeline's character might be too perfect when translated from the book to Tv. For Reddit user suchsweetnothing, they believed the affair was to "give her more depth and for her life to seem more imperfect than just a co-parenting issue." The added affair definitely did bring more issues to Madeline and Ed's relationship and complexity to Madeline as a whole.
Perry's Mom Is A Main Character
Unlike the novel, Perry's mom, Mary Louise, becomes a major character in the second season. The book ends with the immediate aftermath of Perry's death, but because the TV show had a second season, fans got to see a lot more of Perry's background through his mother.
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From what Reddit user lovetheblazer saw, they believed "Mary Louise [was] an epic gaslighter and victim blamer." She was desperate to believe her son wasn't a monster and do anything to try and clear his name. Although this had led people to debate whether her behavior could have influenced Perry while growing up, many will agree that her character did help in giving a fresh new insight into the events of the show and the characters.
The Book Was More Predictable
Many fans believe the book was a little too predictable compared to the TV series. The show takes on a more serious tone and has more drama which allows fans to see every side of each situation. Viewers really get to dive into each character and see their flaws and care more about them. With so much complexity, it becomes that much harder to guess what might happen next
Reddit user weetwooMFM said they believe parts of the book were too expected but "the show really got me. I was totally shocked and didn't guess all the reveals." The show did a great job at keeping viewers on the edge of their seats with what might happen next and who the real villain was.
Nathan And Ed Are More Complex
One main thing the show did better than the book, according to Reddit fans, was how the show added many more details to Nathan and Ed as characters. There is far more tension between the two and fans can really see why the relationship is complex.
The book did not portray Nathan as aggressive as he was in the show, and he didn't pick as many fights with Madeline or Ed as much. However, Reddit user Aje644 said, "I think Nathan and Ed are way more fleshed out in the show than in the books, which is a good thing." Adding tension between the two allows for a more complex storyline with Madeline and her divorce and partnership.
The On-Screen Portrayal Is Unmatched
One huge benefit the show is able to bring to the table is the soundtrack and cinematography. By being able to add music, the show already has a clearer picture of what is unfolding. On top of that, the casting choice was beyond compare. Reddit user historyoficecream discussed how the final scene where everyone was singing made sense and if fans, "pay attention to the song Bonnie was singing, it fit with what was happening."
The casting couldn't be more perfect and great actors, like Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, all played their roles flawlessly. Being able to add in these elements, the show is able to add depth that the book doesn't quite have.
Perry Didn't Get Bullied
In the book, there were many instances where it seemed Perry was being bullied like when he had champagne thrown at him and so on. While the show tried to give him very small moments of kindness, it never made viewers think he was a good guy.
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Reddit user LissaMasterOfCoin said the way Perry was portrayed in the show, "confused me because I knew what he was like behind closed doors." Changing just that little piece of Perry's character in the show allowed for a far more compelling reason to hate him without feeling remorse.
Only The Women Were Against Perry
One main difference between the book and the series was the finale scene, where Perry attacks Celeste and Bonnie ends up pushing him down the steps. The show had only the women at the scene (which wasn't true of the book). The women were also the only ones who knew about how abusive he was to Celeste which made the ending all the more intriguing (and allowed for some of the main characters to show their best traits, and maybe parts of their worst).
His death felt more justified and important because of this aspect. It was clear that the situation was self-defense and Reddit user LissaMasterOfCoin said, "I totally felt that he could have killed Celeste and hurt the others had it continued like that. The only way to get him to stop was something drastic, which Bonnie was able to do." It was an important part for the rest of the plot that only the women were there.
Nathan And Ed Didn't Witness Perry's Death
This is arguably one of the best episodes from Big Little Liars. In the book, both Nathan and Ed were at the scene when Perry was shoved off the balcony (and not the stairs). Nathan immediately asked Madeline and the rest to cover for Bonnie, which upset Ed who wanted to tell the truth.
Reddit user historyoficecream said, "In the show, all the women had a very quick mutual understanding. And I think that was deliberate." Ultimately, this difference led to many great storylines in the show that the book wasn't able to have, mainly being that the women all joined together to keep the secret without the extra drama of the men.
Jane Doesn't Remember Her Attacker
This is a substantial difference from the book to the show and provides a subtle clue that fans may not have picked up on. In the book, Jane knows what her attacker looks like and remembers his name was Saxon Banks. However, in the show, Jane only remembers his name and not what he looks like. This resulted in a dramatic ending for the show.
There's no connection to Jane's rapist being Perry until the end of season 1 when she sees him and recognizes him. Jane also mentioned that she would remember her rapist's voice (which she witnessed when Perry was trying to get Celeste to go with him in the end). As this Reddit user said, "that same tone was probably the one she remembers him having when he assaulted her." It was a crucial part of the show.
All The Women Confess
In the book, Bonnie decides to turn herself in for murdering Perry and gets convicted for accidental manslaughter. She has to serve 200 hours of community service. The show does this in a much more powerful way. Instead of Bonnie being alone, all of the women go with her for what viewers can interpret as turning themselves in.
Fans believe that the importance of this is based on their bond and how it gave them the strength to face the truth together. Reddit user supes1 said, "it's the end of the 'lie' bonding them all together." This choice was beyond powerful and fans believe it was a stronger ending than that of the novel.
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Abbie graduated from Indiana University in May 2021. She is a photojournalist aiming to advocate for wildlife and animals however she can. Abbie loves nature, writing, photography, her family and friends, and sports. Her goal is to travel and write for magazines all over.