On Sunday, HBO dropped the first trailer for Big Little Lies season two, and it was very exciting. We see that our protagonists, the mothers of Otter Bay Elementary School, have gained notoriety as the “Monterey Five”; we see lots of screaming; we see Meryl Streep; but most of all, we see some truly tremendous bangs.
To recap: In the first season of Big Little Lies, only Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and Ed (Adam Scott) had bangs. Other things happened as well — murder, Laura Dern — but that was the main takeaway for me, hair-wise.
In the second season, the number of befringed foreheads doubles. Now, Jane (Shailene Woodley) has bangs, and so does new cast member Meryl Streep, who plays the mother of Perry (Alexander Skarsgård). Are all the bangs equally successful? No. Do they all offer a revealing glimpse into the soul of the wearers, as only bangs can do? Yes, of course.
Below, a review of each character’s bangs, scored on a scale of 1-5 Brigitte Bardots.
Nicole Kidman’s bangs
Kidman’s bangs were flawless in the first season — structured, but flowing, hitting at just about eyebrow level, a little longer on the sides. In the second season, they’re equally impeccable, a soft, strawberry-blonde valance of hair. Her bangs look like how cashmere feels. When she’s ready to trim them, I imagine, she stands on her $6 million Monterey balcony, and animated birds come and gently snip her fringe back with their beaks. Sometimes she parts them, and sometimes she doesn’t, but either works!
Bangs score: 5 Bardots.
Adam Scott’s bangs
In season one, Adam Scott’s Ed was sweet, but a bit of a weenie, who had the heavy, shapeless, swoopy bangs of your emo seventh-grade boyfriend. They were bangs to hide behind. Now, based on this half-second clip of him, it seems Ed has gotten rid of his beard, started boxing, and taken possession of the sharper, gelled bangs of the creative director you’ve been seeing who says he “hates how condoms feel” and only texts you after 2 a.m. They are the bangs of a dirtbag, an exciting pivot for Ed.
Bangs score: 3 Bardots.
Meryl Streep’s bangs
Meryl Streep’s bangs are so inconspicuous as to be terrifying. They are the kind of soft, colorless bangs that sit atop the deceptively mild face of a female relative who has the ability to emotionally eviscerate you while she pours you a glass of lemonade. They are the bangs that punctuate sentences like, “You’re very brave to wear those pants,” and, “I think it’s great that you’re not jealous about your cousin’s book deal.” They are the ruthless greige bangs of a woman who will mow down anyone in her path. I cannot wait to see them in action.
Bangs score: 4 Bardots.
Shailene Woodley’s bangs
Look. We are, all of us, on a journey. Sometimes, the road is bumpy. Sometimes, like Shailene Woodley’s Jane, we take a wrong turn, and end up on a terrible detour, one that leaves us with bangs that look like a bloated chocolate éclair sitting above our eyebrows. In Woodley’s defense, these bangs look like a clip-on, a lifeless intruder, too blunt and too short, rejected by her face. Perhaps this upsetting, brow-based calamity is meant to embody Jane’s inner turmoil following the events of last season. If that is the case, they are extremely successful. If it is just a new look, well … hair grows, I guess.
Bangs score: 1 Bardot.