If you've ever wondered what Desperate Housewives might have looked like if it lived on a prestige cable channel instead of a milquetoast network like ABC, look no further than the brand-new trailer for Big Little Lies, HBO's upcoming mini-series based on Liane Moriarty's eponymous best-selling book.
First off, there are movie stars. Like, a lot of movie stars. Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon topline a heavyweight cast, playing two main moms of Monterey, California, the affluent community where the series unfolds. Shailene Woodley (also a movie star, by the way) shows up as the new young mom in town, who's, at first, a little freaked out by how cloyingly nice everyone is being. So what gives? Well, if television has taught us anything about the suburbs, it's that things aren't always as they seem. Usually, there's something sinister lurking beneath that shiny veneer, and, in this case, it's jealousy, fighting, tears, and eventually, murder.
Another element that makes Big Little Lies feel like a major television event, is the presence of Oscar-nominated director Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club, Wild), who directed all seven episodes. The last time an elite movie director helmed an entire season of an HBO show, Cary Fukunaga gave us True Detective. So yes, expectations for this one are meteoric. But with that source material, that director, and a cast that also includes Laura Dern, Alexander Skarsgård, Adam Scott, James Tupper, and Zoë Kravitz, HBO should have no problem exceeding them.
We'll find out for sure when Big Little Lies premieres February 19. Watch the trailer above.