‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ on Hulu Is ‘Big Little Lies’ Meets ‘The White Lotus’


Big Little Lies fans, your next obsession is here: Nine Perfect Strangers, Hulu‘s new miniseries based on the popular novel of the same name. Liane Moriarty, the author of BLL, also created this story, which centers on nine strangers who embark on a 10-day wellness retreat together with the promise it will change their lives. But does that happen? Or is something more malevolent at play? That’s what you’ll spend eight episodes trying to find out. 

So what makes Nine Perfect Strangers the perfect companion to Big Little Lies? Well, several things. For one, Moriarty wrote the source material for each. Also: The screenwriter for BLL, David E. Kelley, is one of the brains behind Nine Perfect Strangers. So each show has that twisty-turny DNA that will keep you hooked week after week. 

But the greatest similarity is by far the casting. Nicole Kidman leads the charge on Nine Perfect Strangers as Marsha, owner of Tranquillum House, the wellness center that promises transformation for all who enter. She’s joined by a bevy of A-listers, much like she was in BLL. Melissa McCarthy, Bobby Cannavale, Regina Hall, and Luke Evans all play folks who decide to go to Tranquillum House for various reasons—and their stories throughout the episodes are intriguing, heartbreaking, and even comedic at times. 

“There’s a lot of energy [around this show] and its similarities to Big Little Lies and The Undoing,” Manny Jacinto, who plays Tranquillum House staffer Yao, tells Glamour. “If people are fans of those two shows, I think they’ll have the same admiration for this one. It’s a good, really enthralling story in regards to how all these strangers are coming together, the conflicts they’re having, and how they’re all connected.”  

Yao (Manny Jacinto) and Frances (Melissa McCarthy) in Nine Perfect Strangers

Vince Valitutti/Hulu

Adds Grace van Patten, who plays another T.H. guest named Zoe, “The show shines a light on our culture’s obsession with wellness and self-transformation and self-improvement and wanting it so quickly, at the snap of your fingers, and not really wanting to go deep and reach into the places where you’re afraid to reach to.” 

The fear of going deep is a central theme in Nine Perfect Strangers—and it contributes to its unnerving tone. When the guests first arrive at Tranquillum House, it’s bright, airy, and beautiful. They’re given smoothies tailor-made to their medical needs. Some of them go for a dip in a hot spring; others lounge by the pool. Everything is so relaxed, so breezy, so pleasant. 

Slowly but surely that veneer cracks. Marsha—played enigmatically by Kidman—is hiding a big secret, one we’re made aware of through a series of ominous threats. The guests are hiding secrets too. I won’t say much if you haven’t read the book, but in short: Not everyone is there for wellness. 



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