Hulu is expanding its original content offering with upcoming comedy-drama Beautiful little things. The half-hour series is an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling novel Beautiful Little Things: Love and Life Advice from Dear Sugar. The story centers on the life of Clare, a failed author who finds solace and purpose by writing for a small advice column called “Dear Sugar”. The premise of the show, the indie-drama connotations and the involvement of award-winning Reese Witherspoon as an executive producer suggest that the series will be successful alongside Where The Crawdad Sings, Maid, Big Little Lies, and Wild.
Beautiful little things speaks to a growing fan base for indie comedy-dramas. This developing subgenre splits the difference between ‘Hallmark’ films, ‘feel good’ films, independent films and cinematic comedies. Because the original content is typically a bestselling novel or cult-following creative work, audiences of the genre and audiences of the original iteration of the content both find a deep and personal connection to the film or series. As streaming services continue to develop original content, there will be a large amount of independent comedy-dramas premiering in the near future.
Exactly a decade after the 2012 publication of Strayed’s novel, Beautiful little things is scheduled to premiere on Hulu. Here’s everything to know.
Beautiful little things: the plot
Hulu has offered this official summary of the upcoming series.
Based on Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling collection, Tiny Beautiful Things follows Clare (Kathryn Hahn), a shipwrecked writer who becomes a revered advice columnist as her own life is falling apart.
When we first meet Clare, her marriage to her husband Danny is barely limp; her teenage daughter, Rae, is pushing her away; and her promising writing career is non-existent. So when an old writing friend asks her to take on the role of Dear Sugar advice reporter, she thinks she has no right to give advice to anyone. However, after reluctantly taking on the mantle of Sugar, Clare’s life unfolds in a complex fabric of memory, exploring her most pivotal moments from childhood to the present day and excavating the beauty, struggle and humor in the his unhealed wounds. Through Sugar, Clare creates a balm for her readers—and for herself—to show us that we are not beyond saving, that our stories can ultimately save us. And maybe take us home.”
Strayed’s novel is structured as a “best of” collection of Clare/Strayed’s “Dear Sugar” articles in the online literary magazine The Rumpus. Due to the unique formatting of the novel, Beautiful little things lends itself easily to adaptation. Through a series of articles, letters and personal reflections, Strayed tells Clare’s story by incorporating some of her real-life experiences. Each “Dear Sugar” article, crammed with real-life advice from Cheryl Strayed under a pseudonym, could become a flashback or an anthology of personal stories.
Beautiful little things: the cast and crew
The central cast includes Kathryn Hahn (Wandavision, Bad Moms, Mrs. Fletcher), Sarah Pigeon (The wilds, nowhere I’d rather be), Quentin Plair (Welcome to Chippendales, Roswell, New Mexico), and up-and-coming actress Tanzyn Crawford.
Guest stars include Owen Painter (The Handmaid’s Tale), Merritt Wever (Run, roar, godless), Elizabeth Hinkler (No escape, under the silver lake), and Michaela Watkins (Random, The Unicorn).
Liz Tigelaar is showrunner and executive producer of the series. In addition to Tigelaar, Lauren Neustadter, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Jayme Lemons, Cheryl Strayed, Stacey Silverman and Kathryn Hahn are executive producers.
The series has an estimated premiere date of Spring 2023.
Everything else we know
Beautiful little things reunites Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern and Cheryl Strayed after their previous collaboration in the 2014 film Wild. Additionally, the series serves as another collaboration for Witherspoon, Tigelaar and ABC Signature after their previous collaboration on the Hulu series. Little fires everywhere.
In a joint statement to Deadline, Craig Erwich (president of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment) and showrunner Tigelaar explained why Beautiful little things it’s a timely and relevant series.
“As we emerge from a pandemic in which stories like those told in Tiny Beautiful Things helped us feel a sense of community and camaraderie at a time when we needed it most, this is a visionary story to tell at this historic moment. and we are grateful to be able to tell about it.” – Erwich
“It has been an absolute honor to work with Cheryl Strayed, a writer who has had such a profound impact on my life, and along with an amazing writing staff, adapt her book into a series. Much like Dear Sugar, the advice column she directed, Cheryl brings compassion, wisdom, humor, and love to everything she does, and this show is no different. I am very grateful to Hello Sunshine and Jaywalker, who entrusted me with the task of telling this story. And I’m beyond thrilled to be working with Kathryn Hahn, whose gift is instilling humor, honesty and vulnerability into the fierce and complicated characters she plays. A huge thank you to Peter, Dana, Craig and Jonnie and everyone at ABC Signature and Hulu. This project is like coming home.” – Tigelaar