Hulu Series Review: Little Fires Everywhere

The new Hulu series “Little Fires Everywhere”, is one of the best serious dramas about every day life, living through high school and race relations that I have ever seen. This 8 part series stars Reese Witherspoon and Keri Washington as two women in their 40’s at the opposite ends of the social status of Shaker Heights Ohio.

Keri Washington plays Mia Warren, who along with her daughter Pearl are homeless and mostly living in their car.  Mia is a starving artist, who is very cash poor due to a series of life challenges.   During a random drive by,  Elena Richardson, played by Witherspoon, notices Mia and Pearl living in a parked car and at first tries to help them, by offering them cheap housing, and then a job for Mia as her maid.  All of this happens despite Mia’s obvious dislike of Elena who is both helpful and condescending to both Mia and her current lot in life.  Many of the scenes in this movie involve Mia trying to hold back her rage as Elena talks down to and disrespects her, to a level that at times was very hard to watch.  There are people like this in the world who derive pleasure from piling on more misery to people who are just trying to get through life. They seem to feel better about themselves only because they feel superior to someone else so they try to knock them down.  

Elena is a reporter for a local Shaker Heights newspaper and her husband Bill, played by Joshua Jackson is a high priced lawyer. Over time, Mia’s daughter Pearl becomes close friends with Elana’s two sons and both of her emotionally challenged daughters Issy and and Lexi. What is most impressive about this 8 episode series is how over time the lives of all of Elana’s children become more and more connected to both Mia and her daughter Pearl.  

Towards the end of this movie there is a new story involving one of Elena’s close friends and a very complex child custody case that also has a connection to Mia’s past when she was a teenager.  All of this leads to a huge climax that involves a house fire that I thought based on what was happening, was too extreme to support this level of drama. Based on the unresolved ending at the conclusion of the 8th episode, there is a strong possibility of a second season of Little Fires Everywhere.  

This series has been nominated for 3 Primetime Emmy’s including Keri Washington who was outstanding in her role as Mia, as well as the entire cast. The other nominee is Lynn Shelton as best director, who unfortunately passed away this past May at only age 54 of a rare blood disorder. This series was also nominated for best limited series and has my vote for the best series of 2020.  

This is the first time I have used the free first month for Hulu and I thought that the quality of this production was every bit as good as Amazon Prime or Netflix.   Little Fires Everywhere gets my highest recommendation as does Hulu that contains very impressive content.


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