Parents' Guide to

Little Fires Everywhere

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Race and class issues erupt in thoughtful, mature drama.

TV Hulu Drama 2020
Little Fires Everywhere Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 15+

I read the book

I’ll start with saying I read the book and I understand that books are almost always better than their movie/tv show adaptations so my review will have some bias. They did change the show into a race and class thing, which I didn’t mind and I understand why they made that choice. What bothered me was how sexual they made it because it didn’t enhance the story in any way. It just made for uncomfortable viewing. Maybe I’m just tired of entertainment writers leaning on sex to sell a story. It’s lazy and not creative.

This title has:

Too much sex
3 people found this helpful.
age 18+
This was such a well-written series. The ending is different than the book and it caught me off guard in the best way. Reese and Kerry are awesome as usual. The kids do great as well. It’s the first time in a show where my guess of “Whodunit” changed after every episode. The social commentary is incredibly impactful and important to reflect on. However, there are quite a few sex scenes that seem sort of unnecessary and awkwardly drawn out. I think there’s like 5 in an 8 episode TV show?? There is also a scene that I won’t spoil, but it is incredibly heartbreaking and can be triggering for those in a period of grief after loss. The actor who portrays it does amazing though. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget those cries of grief. There’s also a ton of language at the end especially, which seemed kinda pointless to have like 27 f-words in one scene when maybe 2 or 3 would’ve been effective enough? Overall, I do recommend the series for the mystery and the message, but some of the inappropriate content seems like filler.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6):
Kids say (13):

Radiating "quality drama" in every detail from the casting to the sets and costumes to the lush camera work, this series is like a slowly unfolding cringe, but it's full of pleasures nonetheless. Reese Witherspoon is the easiest hook to grab on to, her chin firmly set, her self-satisfied efficiency clear from the way she briskly knocks on her kids' bedroom doors to wake them up for breakfast in the first episode (eggs and bacon, of course -- no cold cereal for this power-suited mom). She's so sure that everything she's done and is doing is for the best that when she impulsively rents to Mia and Pearl, she can't stop underlining to others what a good thing she's done, and by extension, what a good person she is. Meanwhile, to secretive Mia (as well as to the audience), Elena's micro-aggressions pile up one after the other: her uncomfortable references to race, her intrusive questions, her tone-deaf advice to Pearl, who's disconcertingly eager to take it. Before long, Elena and Mia are uncomfortably enmeshed and each concerned about the influence the other woman has on her children. Their fragile peace wouldn't last long even in the best of circumstances, and what happens next in Shaker Heights is hardly the best of circumstances.

The race and class issues laid bare by the ensuing drama are often ugly and uncomfortable, but Kerry Washington, Witherspoon, and Lexi Underwood as the wistful and enchanting Pearl are all fascinating to watch. And for viewers of a certain age, the 1990s touchstones are perfect and may spark memories and crows of delight: Elena's giant push-button car phone, a roomful of teens gathered in the living room to watch The Real World, references to Janet Reno and Jesse Jackson. But what may be the least bearable to absorb is how little we've advanced in terms of empathy and equity, even while Little Fires Everywhere's pop culture is hilariously dated. As a portrait of the past, this drama has something to say about the way things are in our present, even if nobody wants to admit it.

TV Details

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