Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

New Hulu original, ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ is a show from which everybody could take a lesson

From family drama to racial inequality, this show touches upon just about everything we should care more about

“Little Fires Everywhere” is a Hulu original TV show that was released on March 18. Although the show has only had one season, fans are already craving a second. Will it happen? Most likely no, as it is based on a novel by Celeste Ng and the show ended where the book did.

“Little Fires Everywhere” is a wondrous work of art, as it touches upon so many different topics for discussion that a lot of families and individuals are scared to face. The show follows a mother Mia Warren (Kerry Washington) and daughter Pearl Warren (Lexi Underwood) to the town of Shaker Heights, Ohio in the 1990s.

This powerful mother and daughter duo endure some struggles as Black women adjusting to a predominantly white town. Mia is a struggling but intensely talented artist, trying to make ends meet for her pride and joy, Pearl. On Pearl’s first day of high school she meets Moody Richardson (Gavin Lewis), her first friend in Shaker. Moody and Pearl become close and eventually Pearl meets his family. Unfortunately, Moody’s family is crazy — to say the least. He has three other siblings: Trip (Jordan Elsass), Lexie (Jade Pettyjohn) and Izzy (Megan Stott). His father Bill (Joshua Jackson) and mother Elena (Reese Witherspoon) are successful yet, they just barely keep their children happy and healthy.

Reese Witherspoon delivers an incredible performance throughout the entire season. What is so gripping about this show is how strong the personalities of all the characters are. Every single character has a story of their own, and you will get to learn about all of them. Elena, a controlling and manipulative mother, wants her family to be perfect and they almost are with the exception of Izzy. Being the youngest child, Izzy acts out more than most children, often defying her mother. However, this does strengthen Izzy’s relationship with Mia, as she is just as interested in art as Mia is.

A huge topic of discussion throughout the show is racial inequality and the theme of family. How important is family to you? Is it everything? Or nothing? It isn’t so simple. “Little Fires Everywhere” tries to portray that skin color does not define one’s relationship with someone else.

As Mia and Pearl enter the lives of the Richardson’s, both families’ lives are turned upside down as they explore how different, but also how similar they are. Mia and Elena could not be more opposite—which leads to a lot of character flaws throughout the entire show. Lexie, Elena’s daughter, dates a Black boy, Brian (SteVonté Hart). Even though the Richardson family shows Brian the utmost respect, he still feels some amount of racial discrimination against him and worries that the Richardson’s act out of pity. Making someone feel like a charity case for their skin color is a type of discrimination that white people will never understand, and this show portrays that message.

The theme of family is huge, as the show also follows Mia’s coworker and new friend at a restaurant, Bebe Chow (Huang Lu). Bebe’s life becomes intertwined with the Richardson’s and leads to a whole other argument when it comes to family. There are plenty of face-offs, exposures, tears and yelling, but there are some smiles, laughs and love in there too.

Finding your true identity in life is crucial to your well-being, and “Little Fires Everywhere” expresses that more than any show in recent history. It is real, raw and rare.

Victoria Tustin is a Collegian Correspondent and can be reached at [email protected]

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