Each Main Character in “Big Little Lies” Has a PLL Equivalent

For as long as I’ve known anything about HBO’s new show Big Little Lies, I’ve been under the assumption it would be kind of like Pretty Little Liars, but less embarrassing for grown ups who still mooch off their parent’s cable subscriptions to talk about in public.

As an unapologetic fan of Pretty Little Liars, this comparison excited me, especially since PLL is just one short half season away from biting the dust.

And sure enough, after watching the premiere of Big Little Lies on Sunday, I can say the comparison between BLL and PLL is accurate in the most surface way possible – like the fact both shows can be abbreviated to basically the same acronym.

Although to be completely honest, it’s kind of impossible for me to say how similar or dissimilar the two seemingly identical shows are right now, because for all we learned in episode one, we don’t know much at all.

Like I couldn’t even tell you the names of all the characters, so until something changes, I’ll be referring to these characters by the name of the actors playing them.

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Here’s what we know.

Reese Witherspoon is the central character, which would theoretically make her an Aria but she’s really a Spencer. Reese is an uptight mom with one kid in first grade and one kid in those awkward teenage years where she kind of hates her mom but still loves her.

In her spare time, Reese goes to cafes and asks for chocolate products that won’t make her ass look big and helps out with local community theatre productions, which is really embarrassing for her. Also she’s still maybe in love with her ex-husband who’s currently married to Zoe Kravitz, who plays a hippie dippie boho chick who does yoga and is besties with Reese’s teenage daughter. Awkward.

Nicole Kidman’s character is a classic Emily – super beautiful, but quiet and without much of a personality. Nicole used to be a lawyer, supposedly a really good lawyer, but now she’s just married to her super hot, younger boyfriend (husband? I don’t know I was kept getting distracted by hot hot Alexander Skarsgard is) who’s also physically and maybe mentally abusive, which she does nothing about. Kind of like how Emily went on to date her high school girlfriend Paige, even though back in the day Paige literally tried to kill her. Isn’t true love cute?

Laura Dern’s character is a type A corporate ball-buster with a really nice house, which also makes her  a Spencer, and Shailene Woodley’s character is a young mom with a shitty house whose son maybe tried to choke out Laura Dern’s character’s kid, but who knows, so let’s just call her Hanna, if Hanna was depressed and estranged from her mother.

Right now, that whole child choking thing is the central conflict.

Reese and Nicole are besties and Team Shailene, and Laura Dern is mad as hell about it.

Oh, and we also know somebody gets murdered and it somehow relates to this whole ‘did this little boy try and choke out this little girl’ thing, but we have absolutely no idea how or who did what and why yet.

So yeah, Big Little Lies is a lot like Pretty Little Liars.

They both have very similar titles, very similar thematic qualities, and both feature a female-led cast filled with pretty women who play archetypical characters and are all potentially liars capable of committing murder.

Also, their promo pictures look like they could be long lost twins.

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But there are some key differences.

For one, Big Little Lies is hard core about being a mom and making good choices for your kids.

As anybody who’s ever watched Pretty Little Liars knows, while there are plenty of moms, they do not always make the best decisions for their kids. Besides Hanna’s mom, who literally goes to jail to keep her daughter from going to jail. Or at least for a few seasons.

And also, so far on BLL nobody’s getting tortured and blackmailed by a mysterious figure who gets referred to by a single capitalized letter, which is kind of PLL’s whole thing.

So for as much as they’re literally the same show, they’re both still different enough.

But if you like Pretty Little Liars, you will probably like Big Little Lies and be way less embarrassed to talk about how much you love it with your friends or random strangers at a bar, so if you’re on the fence about watching it, just do it.

Even my skeptical boyfriend wasn’t sorry he watched it.

And that’s the truth.

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