A series of recent TV shows, including Atlanta, Breaking Bad, The Good Wife, and now HBO’s Big Little Lies have taken “the bland upper-middle-class environs that formed the backdrop of so many prior entertainments and upended them,” notes Megan Garber, and made money “a thing”—breaking what The Billfold has called “one of the last taboos.”
“Our current president rose to that position in part because he so openly boasted about his wealth,” Garber argues.
Unlike its predecessors, Garber notes, Big Little Lies is a “comedy of manners that breaks what was once a cardinal rule of American etiquette: It talks, openly and unapologetically, about money.”
“Madeline has it all, which is to say that she has nothing left to want. Call it the affluent mystique,” says Garber.
When a suspicious death at an elementary school fundraiser shocks a well-to-do California community, it’s clear that money “permeates everything,” becoming as strong a character as the three mothers who seem to have it all. And that character is “a villian.”