[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Big Little Lies Season 2, Episode 3.] For a show about a group of wealthy women in Monterey, Big Little Lies is oddly relatable — and this week, no character was more relatable than the daughter of Laura Dern’s ferocious Renata. Amabella Klein’s panic attack about climate change has sparked a flurry of tweets about how her reaction perfectly captures our 2019 despair — and frankly, how refreshing it is to see an appropriate level of climate change anxiety captured on screen. If episode 2’s Renata is who we aspire to be, then episode 3’s Amabella is who we actually are.
Judging from the effusive responses today, most of Twitter has at some point slipped into a deep panic about the state of our planet. For some, Amabella’s full-on panic seems to act as an avatar for their own, representing the deep anxiety they feel within. “Amabella having a panic attack in a closet because of climate change is a MOOD,” one user wrote. “My spirit animal is Amabella having a panic attack about the end of the world in 2nd grade,” another added. One tweet used a photo of Amabella’s absurd Bo Peep-themed child therapist saying “she’s worried about the end of the planet,” with the caption: “Me too, Amabella. Me. too.”
For others, Amabella may literally represent their past or current emotions upon reflecting on climate change. “Nice to see myself represented on TV in Amabella collapsing in a closet after having a panic attack about the environment,” one tweet reads. Another Twitter user wrote: “Amabella getting an anxiety attack at school because of climate change… I’ve never felt more seen in my life.”
Finally, some viewers appreciated Renata’s fervor for fixing whatever might be wrong with her daughter—even if that energy is at times misplaced.
The Klein family is clearly in trouble — and Amabella’s got a lot of trauma to unpack. But honestly, it’s great to see a show like Big Little Lies tackle real-world issues like climate change and how we shape the conversations we have with our kids about it. Renata may not be taking a perfect stance on that at the moment, but we’re sure there will be a spirited debate in coming weeks (oh, and that teacher should watch his back).
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