Bonnie Carlson

Bonnie Carlson

    Big Little Lies
Photo Credit: HBO

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... troubled. Bonnie doesn’t talk much about her past, but there seems to be some kind of unspoken tension between her and her parents, particularly her mom. As she puts it, “You know, we all have baggage.”

Living... on her own frequency, in Monterey Bay, California. It’s a wealthy enclave renowned for its incredible public school system. Bonnie is easily the town’s most laidback resident.

Profession... yoga instructor.

Interests... jewelry making, teaching self-defense classes, and singing.

Relationship Status... married to an older man. Though they make a bit of a quirky couple, Bonnie is happy with her husband Nathan. They have a first-grade daughter named Skye, who’s the light of their lives. Bonnie is also a stepmom Abigail, Nathan’s teenage daughter from his first marriage to Monterey Bay queen bee Madeline Mackenzie. Coincidentally, Madeline is remarried and also has a first-grader in Skye’s class at Otter Bay Elementary.

Challenge... getting through a murder investigation. Monterey is thrown into a tizzy when someone dies under mysterious circumstances at an Otter Bay school fundraiser. The police are investigating what happened and who may have been involved—which includes pretty much all of the parents who were there, including Bonnie. Getting to the root of what happened means digging into the events of the past school year. Back then, Bonnie’s main concern was fitting into the school’s high-strung community while maintaining her own relaxed ethos.

Personality... free-spirited, empathetic, and a bit of a loner. Monterey is a town defined by wealth and gossip—two topics Bonnie doesn’t have much interest in. She prefers to stay above petty squabbles and instead embodies a bohemian spirit of peace and love. Though Bonnie’s naturally a bit of a loner, she also understands the importance of creating a positive community for her family too. Above all, Bonnie is a deeply kind and empathetic person who will always reach out to those in need.


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