Pasadena, CA (The Hollywood Times) 3/17/20 – Starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, Hulu limited series Little Fires Everywhere takes a look at unconscious racism using a story based on a 2017 novel written by Celeste Ng of the same name. This particular topic is all the more relevant as many find themselves victims of passive racism in the wake of the current COVID-19 situation.
“I think [the book] does a beautiful job of stepping away from this binary idea we have of race in this country, of black and white. Because we’re also dealing with Asian identity and immigrant identity…,” Washington shared during a stop on the Hulu Winter 2020 Television Critics Association press tour.
Elena and Bill Richardson, played by Reese Witherspoon and Joshua Jackson, depict the picture-perfect suburban 90s couple who rent out a space to an African American mother named Mia Warren and her daughter Pearl. Mia and Pearl are played by Kerry Washington and Lexi Underwood, respectively. Rosemarie DeWitt, Jade Pettyjohn, Jordan Elsass, Gavin Lewis, Megan Stott, and Huang Lu also star.
The first episode entitled ‘The Spark’ presents the aftermath of the Richardsons’ house which was recently set on fire and reveals what seems to be a very strained relationship between Elena and her middle daughter who is affectionately referred to as Izzy. Mia and Pearl’s entrance in the Richardsons’ lives only adds more subtle complications.
When asked about the contrast between Elena’s extroversive nature and Mia’s introspection, creator Liz Tigelaar shared, “I think as different as [Elena and Mia] both appear—they mother differently, they live their lives differently—there are similarities between them that I think get kind of set off by each other and by coming into each other’s lives”.
Beginning in August 1997—four months prior to the arson’s crime—the drama begins to explore the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood and the danger in believing that following the rules can prevent disaster.
The series is produced by Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, Washington’s Simpson Street and ABC Signature Studios, a part of Disney Television Studios. Tigelaar (Life Unexpected, Casual) will also serve as showrunner and executive producer. The series is also executive produced by Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Lauren Levy Neustadter, Pilar Savone and Lynn Shelton. Author Celeste Ng serves as producer.
The first season is set to consist of eight episodes. Little Fires Everywhere premieres tonight, March 18th exclusively on Hulu.