"Unavoidable as they were before the season premiere, concerns about whether a victory lap around Monterey was 'necessary' or 'pandering' quickly began to ring false," says Alison Herman. "For one thing, all multiseason television is technically fan service, extended for additional seasons to satisfy the demands of an audience; that Big Little Lies was initially planned as a finite object made it the exception, not the rule. For another, the new season never bothered to hide its own crowd-pleasing tendencies. Let she who did not enjoy Meryl Streep almost literally chewing the scenery cast the first ice cream cone." She adds: "Still, not all of Season 2’s struggles can be chalked up to commentary. Rather, the deceptively easy balance between Big Little Lies’ component parts seems to have been thrown off. The real estate afforded to each character no longer feels commensurate with the weight of their problems. The connections between the Monterey Five feel more tenuous. And while there are still three episodes left, their stories don’t seem like they’re headed to a shared destination. With so many personalities to juggle on and off the screen, such unsteadiness is to be expected. Like explaining climate change to the children of Otter Bay, however, the outcome may be inevitable, but the execution is still up for debate."