This HBO limited seven episode mini-series murder mystery is, after the first 3 episodes, living up to its hype. I must admit, I’m riveted. And I LOVE the fact that the setting has been changed from Australia to Monterey, CA, which is the perfect NorCal backdrop; not-too-sunny, coldly ocean-side. The only things missing are the incessantly barking sea lions and squawking laughing gulls.
The women are catty, the men are secretive and macho (especially, surprisingly, Adam Scott’s Ed, doing a little chest-thumping at his wife’s ex), and the children are unbearably self-aware. I swear, I keep waiting breathlessly for Alexander Skarsgard to pop his fangs! And for Madeline to catch a grip and put a real Mommy smack-down on her two obnoxious daughters. But, she’s much too caught up with her theater volunteer work and organizing commando raids of children’s birthday parties to be so crass. And the secrets; nothing better than a good soapy, secret fueled, keep-you-guessing miniseries.
The story revolves around four mothers–you’ve got the “stay-at-home busybody”, the corporate overachiever, the seemingly pampered and oh-so repressed mother of twins with a big family secret, and the young waif who blows into town with her young son just dripping with dark secrets. It’s just so yummy! It could easily turn to predictable melodrama; you know, the teen girl turning away from her overprotective mom and choosing her more bohemian step-mom, the battered wife suffering silently, but the acting and direction keeps it fresh and tantalizing.
I think I may have an idea about Jane’s secrets, but I don’t want any spoilers. I’ll just say that I woke up at 3:00 am this morning going, “Ooohhhh! That’s who that is!”