Big Little Lies is a show about a group of women with different backgrounds and motivations working together to hide the evidence of a justified homicide. It is also a show about rich people staring into the ocean and driving Buicks, often at the same time. And it is increasingly becoming a show about Meryl Streep playing Detective Mother-in-Law about it all, doing wild things with her performance that somehow work just fine.
But don’t forget about the husbands. Doofuses, almost all of them, to be sure, but still important. Kind of. They’re kind of important. They’re all flawed and confused and some of them are awful. Some of them are trying to be less of those things. One of them is dead. It’s a whole thing. Below, please find a ranking of these Doofus Husbands from worst to best, along with tangents about beards and trains and eyeglasses. These are all subject to change as the season progresses. Consider this a snapshot. It might help if you set the Doofus Husband mood first. Pour yourself a glass (or another glass) of very expensive whiskey, put on your headphones, sigh deeply, and enjoy.
5. Perry Wright
This is obvious but still must be said in order to make these rankings comprehensive: Perry Wright was the worst husband on Big Little Lies. “Doofus” doesn’t really cover his flaws. He was a serial abuser and a rapist and the world is better in almost every way without him in it. You could make an argument that he’s still actively being the worst husband on the show because of all the undead tentacles from his life that are slithering out from beyond the grave. Specifically, his mom, played by Meryl Streep, who is doing a whole Insensitive Columbo routine as she tries to solve the mystery surrounding his death while wearing a trench coat and the most restrictive set of blinders you’ve ever seen. I would love to see Mary Louise investigate the Kennedy Assassination next.
And it’s not like the show is done with him anyway. He keeps popping up in flashbacks and dream-type sequences to remind us he exists, and three of the show’s children share his DNA. Perry was a bum and a buster and he still is, even today, even in the ground.
4. Gordon Klein
Gordon is a pompous alcoholic who plays with trains and bankrupted his family with a fraudulent investment he got involved in because he wanted to buy a Gulfstream. He sulks around a mansion all day when he’s not sulking in his office and the only times we see him not at home or at work he is threatening innocent single mothers and/or slamming drinks at a school fundraiser. He’s out on bail after being charged with a slew of financial crimes, which makes sense because he has always been the most “out on bail after being charged with a slew of financial crimes” character on the show, even before he committed the first of the financial crimes he would inevitably be charged with. It’s impressive, kind of, if only because he committed all the crimes one-handed with a full glass of scotch that costs more than your refrigerator in the other.
And yet… do I like him? Do I like him a little? I am sad to report that I’m starting to. I think it’s the trains. There’s something profoundly hilarious to me about a grown-up millionaire screwing off and playing with trains while the world he set on fire burns down around him. He was a total zero before all of this, a nothing, a blank slate with a five o’clock shadow and a BAC that hovers between .06 and .20 throughout the day, but now he’s finally bringing something to the table. Yes, again, that thing is his family’s financial ruin which he set in motion because of his desire to no longer rent private planes like some sort of peasant, but still, something. He’s such a putz. It’s almost endearing in a backwards way.
Also, I’m fascinated by the thing he does where he rests his glasses on his forehead, like he’s doing in the picture above. They’re not on top of his head. They’re not balancing on his nose. They’re not supported by anything as far as I can tell. How are they staying up there?! I’ve tried to do it five times this morning and my glasses clonked down into my nose immediately each time. What kind of sorcery is he doing here? It’s at least as interesting to me as the murder investigation. I reserve the right to shoot him up these rankings if this situation continues. No apologies.