Big Little Lies Season 2 Shailene Woodley, Zoë Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern. photo: Jennifer Clasen/HBO
By LAURA BRADLEY, Vanity Fair

The “Monterey Five” pushed to their limits as they try to keep their dark secret together. But how will they hold up once Meryl Streep comes to town?

What was that old saying about eating fish and telling lies? If the latest trailer for Big Little Lies Season 2 tells us one thing, it’s that our favorite ladies from Monterey need to tread very lightly. They are, of course, all keeping their dark secret from Season 1—and as we see in the trailer, it’s taking a different toll on all of them. In fact, it seems that Season 2 will somehow find a way to be even tenser than Season 1, if that’s possible.

The good news, at least, is that Reese Witherspoon’s Madeline Martha Mackenzie appears to be in peak sassy form. The teaser kicks off with a typically acerbic dig from Madeline toward a fellow parent at her daughter’s elementary school; as her husband, Ed (Adam Scott) sarcastically cheers, “Let second grade begin!” Unfortunately, it appears some of the other members of the group now dubbed the “Monterey Five” have not found such useful outlets for their stress. 

Celeste (Nicole Kidman), whose abusive husband, Perry, Bonnie (Zoë Kravitz) pushed down a flight of stairs to his death during an altercation last season, is working through some guilt in therapy. Meanwhile, Jane (Shailene Woodley), who has been dealing for years with the traumatic aftermath of a rape it turns out Perry committed, is worried her son knows she’s lying to him. Bonnie, in the meantime, has taken up running.

And then there’s Meryl Streep, who joins the series this season as Perry’s mother, Mary Louise, who has come to town to find out more about the circumstances surrounding her son’s murder. Mary Louise’s relationship with Celeste will be complicated: she adores her daughter-in-law, but as the trailer reveals, she also knows Celeste is lying, or at least omitting a few things, about the night Perry died. Still no word on what event prompts Madeline MacKenzie to pelt an ice cream cone Mary Louise’s way, but that will surely be one of Season 2’s most anticipated highlights.

One more exciting detail to watch for? Laura Dern, whose character Renata gets an absolutely fantastic, metallic, hot pink get-up in the trailer as a disembodied voice describes her as “the Medusa of Monterey.” She can also be seen taking that same parent Madeline berated, Warren, to task, promising, “I will squish you like the bug that you are!” That June 9 season premiere cannot come soon enough.

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