We asked you who gave the best performance last week in the second episode “Serious Mothering” of HBO’s “Big Little Lies” (you can still vote in that poll here). The top three vote-getters were Nicole Kidman with 30%, Reese Witherspoon getting 26% and Adam Scott rounding out the top three with 23%. The four other ensemble members were far behind: Alexander Skarsgard (8%), Laura Dern (6%), Shailene Woodley (5%) and Zoe Kravitz (2%). See the complete results at the bottom of this post.
Kidman scored a narrow victory with 30% of the vote for her work as Celeste, who is in a rocky and abusive marriage to Perry (Skarsgard). While her performance was impressive she only had a few scenes in the second episode. Helping Kidman win was probably her own increased profile as she was up for Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars last Sunday for her performance in “Lion” (she lost to Viola Davis, “Fences”).
In second place was Witherspoon with 26%. She has impressively shed her “girl next door” persona, proving that she’s willing to play a sometime unlikable character. Witherspoon had plenty to do as Madeline, from lashing out at Bonnie (Kravitz) for taking her daughter to Planned Parenthood without telling her, to declaring war against Renata (Dern) after Jane’s (Woodley) son was the only one in their children’s class not invited to her daughter’s birthday party.
Rounding out the top three was Scott getting 23% of the votes. This would be a great Emmy episode submission for Scott as he more than holds his own opposite Witherspoon as he demands to know if he is her one true love. But his true standout scene is opposite James Tupper as Witherspoon’s ex-husband as Scott reminisces about being bullied and we see that he’s not threatened by his wife’s past. So far Scott has established himself as one to look out for among the supporting cast when it comes time for awards recognition.
Skarsgard and Dern play arguably the most unlikable characters on “Big Little Lies,” which may account for their low vote totals. Skarsgard has yet to do much other than abuse and intimidate as Celeste’s husband. While Dern has made an impression in the first two episodes, Renata’s general rude and unsympathetic character only landed her 6% of the vote. Woodley did break down and cry, which helped her get 5% of the vote, but that was her only major moment in “Serious Mothering.” And Kravitz was mostly a foil to drive Madeline crazy, hence her 2% of the vote.
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on July 13. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums.