28 Movies And TV Shows To Watch If You Loved “Big Little Lies”

Big Little Lies might have been a fleeting part of our lives with only seven episodes, but it’s certainly left its mark. If you’re looking for something to fill the void, we’ve got your backs. Whether you’re yearning for more complex stories of friendships among women, for further contemplations of trauma, for a little bit of mystery, or for all of the above, here are some films and TV series you might want to dive into next.

1. 9 to 5

20th Century Fox

Starring three legends (Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin), 9 to 5 can best be described as a second-wave feminist revenge romp against the patriarchy. And honestly, how fun is that? —Alanna Bennett

2. Ally McBeal

Long before Big Little Lies, David E. Kelley was responsible for this series about a lawyer with a complicated personal life — well, not quite as complicated as Celeste’s. But Ally McBeal is also similar in the way it blended genres and used dream sequences and heightened reality to contrast its more grounded storytelling. —Louis Peitzman

3. Boys on the Side

Warner Bros.

The relationship between the three women at the center of Boys on the Side is only strengthened by the trauma they endure. Fans of Big Little Lies will notice a pretty significant plot similarity between the series and this film; it’s a major spoiler for both, so just watch. —LP

4. Blue Velvet

De Laurentiis Entertainment Group

Blue Velvet exposes the sexuality and violence underneath a seemingly idyllic community, much in the same way Big Little Lies did over the course of its seven episodes. The two works both share elements of contemporary noir — not to mention Laura Dern. —LP

5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

20th Century Fox Television

Though there may not be supernatural creatures in Big Little Lies’ version of Monterey, there are certainly monsters. Looking for an ensemble of incredible characters with big secrets? Battling monsters (maybe literally)? In a seaside town in California? Buffy’s got you covered, always. —AB

6. Carnage

Sony Pictures Classics

Carnage is another reminder that when kids fight, it’s often the parents who are the least capable of being grown-ups. The Roman Polanski film, based on the play God of Carnage is another darkly funny look at adults turning into screaming children when their kids are involved. —LP

7. Charade

Universal Pictures

After all the talk of Audrey Hepburn on Big Little Lies, it might be time to watch an Audrey Hepburn movie. 1963’s Charade is equal parts suspense thriller and romantic comedy, and you can’t go wrong with the charm and visual gorgeousness of this one. —AB

8. The Crown

If you’re looking for another show that oozes prestige and is deeply invested in the complexities of women navigating their varied roles, turn to The Crown. Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II will blow you away. —AB

9. Election

Paramount Pictures

Reese Witherspoon got a lot of attention for her portrayal of Madeline Martha Mackenzie, and for the character’s direct echoes of Tracy Flick — the type A cyclone of a character Witherspoon played in Election. See her roots here, and experience the role that will likely follow Witherspoon forever. —AB

10. Enlightened

There are plenty of thematic links between Big Little Lies and Enlightened, an earlier HBO series, but it’s kind of all about Laura Dern here. No one does an onscreen freak-out the way Dern does — and even when she’s not screaming, she’s the master of subtly conveying the barely repressed rage under the surface. —LP

11. The First Wives Club

Paramount Pictures

If you’re into watching iconic women over 40 (or 50, in this case) form a tight bond that proves stronger than the shitty men in their lives, The First Wives Club is a must-see. It’s a lot lighter than Big Little Lies, but it’s deeply satisfying all the same. —LP

12. Fried Green Tomatoes

Universal Pictures

For anyone who watched Big Little Lies and wished that the friendships were a little bit queerer, treat yourself to Fried Green Tomatoes. Alas, the lesbian relationship in the film is way more subtextual than in the book it’s based on, but either way, you get a story of women bonding and protecting each other against violent men — even if that means keeping a major secret. —LP

13. Friends With Money

Sony Pictures Classics

Another story about friendships among adult women, Friends With Money is also notable in the way it approaches the class divide among friends: Like Jane on Big Little Lies, Jennifer Aniston’s Olivia struggles to make ends meet among the affluent women around her. But as the series and the movie are quick to remind us, there’s a lot that money can’t solve. —LP

14. Heathers

Image Entertainment

If what you’re looking for is another story about spiky, mostly affluent social dynamics that lead into something more sinister than typical schoolyard conflicts, Heathers will surely fill that void. It’s a classic for a reason. —AB

15. In Treatment

The therapy scenes on Big Little Lies were some of the most compelling — and that’s telling for a series that was consistently engaging. In Treatment, which also aired on HBO, is all therapy sessions, providing a uniquely intimate look into the lives of some very complicated characters. —LP

16. Jessica Jones

Big Little Lies has been lauded for its portrayals of abuse and trauma, and if that’s a thing you loved about the series, you might also enjoy Netflix’s Jessica Jones. Focused mainly on one woman instead of five, the series explores PTSD and Jessica’s plot to take down the man who gave it to her. —AB

17. Little Children

New Line Cinema

“Parents behaving badly” could describe Big Little Lies or Little Children, which also deals with infidelity. Kate Winslet’s Sarah resembles the women on the series in the way that her appearance as a happy mom masks her much darker emotional interior and her desire for something more. —LP

18. Muriel’s Wedding

Miramax Films

Another nice blend of comedy and drama, Muriel’s Wedding is ultimately a celebration of female friendship. Like Big Little Lies, it uses music to propel the story along — here the obsession is ABBA instead of Elvis — and it hails from Australia, like the novel on which the HBO series was based. —LP

19. Practical Magic

Warner Bros.

Nicole Kidman is no stranger to playing women in bad relationships. In Practical Magic, she and Sandra Bullock star as sister witches who kill Kidman’s character’s abusive lover in a moment of desperation. It’s a movie that manages to be as whimsical as it is dark. There’s also a house you’ll envy just as much as any of the ones on Big Little Lies. —AB

20. Set It Off

New Line Cinema

The women of Big Little Lies end up bonded together by a serious crime — and while their actions are perhaps more justifiable than those of the bank robbers in Set It Off, both the film and the series offer sympathetic portrayals of morally ambiguous behavior by complicated women. —LP

21. Short Term 12

Following a supervisor at a group home for troubled teens, Short Term 12 is a stunning film that really sits with the trauma its characters live with every day. Like Big Little Lies, those emotional blows cross generational bounds — everyone has something to deal with, something keeping them rooted in the past where something went wrong. —AB

22. Society

Starz / Anchor Bay

OK, this might be a bit of a stretch, but in addition to being a gross-out body-horror movie, Society is a dark social satire about the evils lurking beneath the upper class. It could be a bit too stomach-turning for some, but that infamous ending is at least as shocking as Big Little Lies’ climax. —LP

23. Thelma & Louise

As one of the most iconic movies of all time, there are few better places to turn than Thelma & Louise when you’re looking for a story about bonded women taking on the threat of men in their lives. —AB

24. Top of the Lake

Sundance Channel

Big Little Lies revamped a lot of conversations about women in prestige television, and that conversation wouldn’t be complete without Top of the Lake. Elisabeth Moss won an Emmy for her performance as Detective Robin Griffin, and as another mystery, the show might just hit that sweet spot Big Little Lies left open. —AB

25. The Virgin Suicides

Paramount Classics

Adapted from Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel of the same name, The Virgin Suicides is another ensemble narrative centered around a group of women haunted by a central mystery. This one deals with (as the title notes) a collective suicide, and the cultural and personal factors that surround it. —AB

26. Volver

Sony Pictures Classics

Volver has many of filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s most common themes, which — as it turns out — are largely shared with Big Little Lies: past trauma, sexual abuse, and female strength. As with the series, the heavier elements are balanced with humor and some stunning visuals. —LP

27. Waiting to Exhale

20th Century Fox

Waiting to Exhale is a satisfying candidate if you’re looking for another story about the dynamics between a group of incredible women in friendship, in love, and in life. Starring Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, and Lela Rochon, the cast alone is a reason to press play. —AB

28. Wild

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Of everything on this list, I feel most passionately about watching Wild post-Big Little Lies. Directed by BLL director Jean-Marc Vallée in a strikingly similar style to the HBO series, the film is a gorgeous observation of a woman grappling with her past as she struggles to feel at home in her existence. Watch it and you’ll see why stars Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern were so eager to work with Vallée again. —AB

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