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Big Love: Season 1 (2006)

Bill Paxton , Jeanne Tripplehorn  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (513 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny, Ginnifer Goodwin, Harry Dean Stanton
  • Producers: Tom Hanks
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: October 17, 2006
  • Run Time: 693 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (513 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,982 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Big Love: Season 1" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 12 episodes on five discs
  • Commentary by Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny, and Ginnifer Goodwin on two episodes
  • "Big Love: A Balancing Act on Ice": the making of the opening title sequence
  • Episodic previews
  • Episodic recaps

Editorial Reviews

Big Love, HBO's newest buzzworthy series, recalls Groucho Marx's blithe proposal to two women in Animal Crackers. "Why, that's bigamy," one of the women exclaims. Groucho responds, "Yes, and it's big of me, too." But Bill Henrickson's (Bill Paxton) situation is hardly a laughing matter. Bill is a modern-day polygamist who lives in suburban Salt Lake City with his seven children and three "sister-wives": Barbara (Jeanne Tripplehorn, never better), the more mature anchor of the household; Nicki (Chloe Sevigny), who spitefully refers to her as "Boss Lady"; and recent addition Margene (charming Ginnifer Goodwin), insecure and childlike. A series that puts a human face on polygamy is brimming with prurient possibilities. Big Love's first two episodes are veritable commercials for Viagra, as Bill struggles to keep up with the demands of his spouses, with whom the sleeping arrangements are strictly scheduled. But once this more sensational aspect of "plural marriage" is dealt with, Big Love moves on to focus on the emotional, spiritual and financial pressures that beset Bill and his families. As the dreamlike opening credit sequence (scored to the Beach Boys' ethereal "God Only Knows") illustrates, Bill is a man on thin ice. He is carrying mortgages on three adjoining homes. A home-improvement store entrepreneur, he has just cut the ribbon on his second store and is planning a third. His wives, not immune to jealousies, vie for dominant position. And then there's Roman (Harry Dean Stanton; and any series that puts this venerable character actor and hipster saint in our homes on a weekly basis deserves our big love), the sinister leader of an outlaw fundamentalist compound, who has an escalating disagreement with Bill over the repayment of his loan that helped Bill build his fledgling empire ("There's man's law," he states ominously, "and there's God's law").

There are further complications that make Big Love so compelling. Bill suspects that his raw-nerved mother (Grace Zabriskie) may be poisoning his father (Bruce Dern). Nicki is a shopaholic accruing nearly $60,000 in credit-card debt. Overtures by new neighbors threaten to expose Bill's unorthodox and illicit living arrangements. The polygamy factor puts a subversive spin on traditional matrimonial melodrama. When Nicki plans her son's disastrous birthday party, her list of "immediate family" tops 150. When Roman, who is Nicki's father, arrives, Bill proclaims he is not welcome in his "homes." As with Rome, Big Love may require a little patience. But this fascinating portrayal of a shadowy subculture, the intelligent writing, and the estimable ensemble will soon make you feel like part of the families. --Donald Liebenson

Product Description

Think having three wives is a dream come true? Think again. HBO presents the new contemporary drama series that tells the story of Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton), a practicing polygamist who lives in suburban Salt Lake City with his three wives and seven children. An independent businessman who runs a growing chain of hardware stores, Bill faces a myriad of challenges in meeting the emotional, romantic and financial needs of his wives Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn), Nicki (Chloe Sevigny) and Margene (Ginnifer Goodwin) while dealing with their kids, three adjoined houses, an ever-mounting avalanche of bills, and the opening of his newest hardware store.

DVD Features:
3D Animated Menus
Audio Commentary

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
146 of 161 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected pleasure August 8, 2006
I have to admit that I didn't expect to like this HBO original series, but the intriguing cast of characters and the plotlines drew me in. "Big Love" is the story of Bill Hendrickson and his very extended family, including his three wives and seven children, who have to constantly be on the alert that they will somehow be "outed" by the community at large. This is important not only from a legal standpoint, but from a financial one, since Bill is part-owner with another polygamist in a budding chain of big-box home improvement stores, and thus preserving a stellar public image is important to the success of his business.

Bill grew up on a compound of fundamentalist Mormons that still practice the principle of polygamy, and he was thrown out of the compound and his family when he reached adolescence and became perceived as competition for the affection of young girls who were coming of age. At this point, betrayed by his family and his religion, he turned his back on the teachings of his youth until his first wife Barb became gravely ill.

Jeanne Tripplehorn portrays Barb, Bill's first wife and the sweetheart of his youth. You get the feeling that if he could, Bill would really like to ditch his other two wives and ride off into the sunset with Barb. Barb is a confident and educated woman who is very mindful of her own mortality due to having recovered from uterine cancer several years earlier. She is also very mindful of the fact that she must share Bill with her "sister wives" in order for Bill to abide by his conscience by "living the principle".

Bill's second wife Nicki, portrayed by Chloe Sevigny, is the daughter of compound Prophet Roman Grant.
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61 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very worthwhile debut season August 4, 2006
As a big Bill Paxton fan, I was determined to watch "Big Love," and I would not say I was at all disappointed.

The series has been criticized by some for "glorifying" polygamy, but I think some of those critics have missed the point. The show actually takes a very even-handed look at what a polygamist family COULD be like: Paxton's family is far from perfect, but it seems to be held together by the sheer force of his character's love for all three of his wives. Whether or not you think it is practical, feasible, or even moral for one man to genuinely love three women, on this show that's what's going on.

This is balanced by some of the creepier, more cultish aspects of organized polygamy, personified by Harry Dean Stanton in a wonderfully understated villainous turn.

Where the show really shines for me is in the depiction of the extremely complicated relationship Bill's three wives have with each other. They see each other as sisters, as rivals, as friends, as enemies, as servants, as bosses . . . sometimes all within the same scene. These are very deep relationships, and all three of the actresses are very well suited to their roles.

Another fine aspect of the show is the depiction of how difficult it is for this family to keep the fact of their polygamy to themselves, lest they be looked upon as pariahs. It is a difficult task for them, and has great practical and moral implications within their lives, and the lives of their children.

Like most of HBO's original shows, this one works both as terrific entertainment, and as fundamentally sound art TV. Also like most of HBO's shows, this box set is probably a bit more expensive than it ought to be. But the episodes are terrific, and hopefully this will be merely the first season of a long run.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I've Got A Case of Very "Big Like" September 23, 2006
HBO has crafted another complex, well made show. "Big Love" with it's polygamy background hits DVD as a "hot button" concept show, and as such has achieved the requisite controversy that it was banking on. Well, I'm not particularly shocked and nor will I comment on any political/religious debate. I will review this show as a family drama, which is exactly what it is, albeit with a particularly large and extended family.

The show is extremely successful when dealing with the intricacies of raising three families in the modern world. I particularly enjoyed the details paid to the lifestyles in the home. The juggling, scheduling, jealousies, and secrets are all shown to good effect as the wives attend to the daily logistics of their situation. Home as politics--this is an interesting living arrangement, and one that hasn't been presented dramatically very often before. Throw in kids and in-laws and things can be very messy. But as the wives compete with each other in many regards, they support and love each other as well. The complexity of the relationships in "Big Love" stand as it's greatest achievement.

Some of the other storylines were a bit extravagant. The biggest plot driver involved the polygamist sect that our family had distanced itself from, and yet could not break free of. The power struggle played out here was entertaining, but not always as compelling as normal, everyday life. It was a bit overcooked....while a few lesser storylines were undercooked.

The actors are beyond reproach. Some veterans--Harry Dean Stanton, Mary Kay Place, Bruce Dern and Grace Zabriskie--are all used to good effect. Chloe Sevigny is a delight in perhaps the showiest role. The rest of the cast is solid. But I must make particular mention of Jeanne Tripplehorn.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series. you will want to keep watching
Great show!
Published 14 hours ago by jschanin
4.0 out of 5 stars An unusual premise, to be sure, but the ...
An unusual premise, to be sure, but the story is propelled by a stellar ensemble cast. Be careful: it can get addictive.
Published 3 days ago by Nicholas C.
3.0 out of 5 stars Show is good, but something was wrong with this episode on Amazon
Well, the show was great until it just stopped playing at about 32 minutes. We had to start it over and forward back to the place it stopped, and it stopped playing again right... Read more
Published 5 days ago by labdesigner
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
An interesting insight in Norman living...
Published 7 days ago by Shirley Gitler
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
GREAT show. Best I've seen in years.
Published 7 days ago by Michelle Varrati
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 7 days ago by BHatem
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It was an interesting way to learn about another lifestyle.
Published 8 days ago by Sandra Charlson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love the entire series ! Great actors! You won't be disappointed!
Published 9 days ago by Jeannie323
3.0 out of 5 stars Well acted and Interesting but not plausible. The cruelty ...
Well acted and Interesting but not plausible. The cruelty and meanness portrayed in the series surely does not exit within the Mormon Church.
Published 9 days ago by Mac Rain
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Soft porn
Published 9 days ago by Susan Roberts
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