LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE

"Little Fires Everywhere," based on Celeste NgÕs 2017 bestseller, follows the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and an enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. The Hulu show stars Kerry Washington, left, and Reese Witherspoon.

On Wednesday, when viewers tune into Hulu to stream the latest addicting drama, “Little Fires Everywhere,” they will want to make sure they have plenty of time to dedicate to this new series.

It is an attention-grabbing story with secrets around every corner. Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, both stars of the show as well as executive producers, spoke with the media about this new intense drama with twists and turns with each episode.

“Well, we'd been looking for a project to do with Kerry for a long time,” Witherspoon said. “She and I have been friends for a long time, and when I read the book, you know it just had so many themes in it that were very complex. And I knew whoever was gonna be my partner, I wanted to be able to have many conversations, carry these performances together.”

Washington added, “And I think from the beginning, the book really does delve into class and kind of sociopolitical differences and cultural differences. So, I think adding the layer of race to that really enriches the storytelling.”

The story takes place in a kind of Utopian town in Ohio. It has beautifully manicured lawns (fines are assessed to homeowners if the height of their grass gets about 6 inches), and it is touted as one of the best and happiest places to live.

Elena Richardson (Witherspoon) is happily married with a husband and four kids. Her youngest daughter is struggling with her identity and life. Her oldest daughter is a spoiled self-centered teen.

Elena lives her life very structured and even plans the days of the weeks she and her husband have sex. She likes things to go smoothly and is always the one to step in and help others.

So, when Mia Warren (Washington) and her teenage daughter Pearl need an apartment, Elena is eager to help this new family and introduce them to the wonderful town of Shaker. Elena is happy to help a family of color and in a way becomes a surrogate mother to Pearl who is enthralled by the Richardsons' lifestyle, to the frustration of her mother.

Mia is an artist and takes a part-time job at a Chinese restaurant where she befriends a Chinese employee. She also takes a part-time job at the Richardsons' house as a helper, otherwise known as a house manager. It’s basically a housekeeper/cook.

For Witherspoon, the world of streaming services has opened up a whole new way for her to be creative and make the kinds of shows that interest her and add dimension to the genre.

“I made a conscious decision about eight years ago to start my own company, because I wasn't happy with the choices that were being made for me, and I didn't see a place to exist within the industry that we had," Witherspoon said. "There just wasn't a spectrum of storytelling for women that I felt like was representative of the world that we walk through and that our daughters are seeing on film and television. And I think the emergence of streaming -- the confluence of deciding to start a company, I guess I was psychic or something. I had no idea the whole world would open up for us, but it has changed my life. The ability to work with different kinds of storytellers, to be able to option books and partner with other people I respect and admire who also have a perspective that is not my own but is just as valuable, has changed my entire experience.”

What viewers see with each episode is that every character in the show has many layers, and like peeling an onion, the more layers that are exposed, the more interesting the character becomes. Not only are the adults complex, but the younger teenage characters also have their own layers, concerns and strife. This Utopian town looks like the ultimate place to live where everyone is successful and happy, but looks can be deceiving.

“Little Fires Everywhere” is definitely going to capture the attention of viewers and hold that attention throughout the run of the show.