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‘Big Little Lies’: How Meryl Streep redeems a mediocre season

The series, about five women in an affluent community struggling to keep up appearances — and to cover up a murder — has struggled to reignite the spark of its award-winning first season. Back then, grade-school mothers Madeline Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon), Celeste Wright (Nicole Kidman), Renata Klein (Laura Dern) and Bonnie Carlson (Zoë Kravitz) channeled most of their energy toward appearing as young, thin, rich and happily married as possible, no matter how miserable it made them.