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45 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Love--Bill Paxton Is Simply Terrific
Bill Paxton as the polygamist Mormon in this series has driven me absolutely crazy for four seasons. I always want to reach inside of the television and start choking him for the crazy things he does. This season he pushed my buttons even more. He decides to run for political office, of all things, with the express idea of going public about being a polygamous Mormon...
Published on March 14, 2010 by carol irvin

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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No Plot Development
The first season was spent character building, laying down basic relationships and primary issues. The second and third seasons expanded on that, and in my opinion were incredibly. The third season was spectacular. But the fourth season was a complete disappointment. I will buy this season when it comes out, simply out of continuity, and I will continue to watch the last...
Published on November 10, 2010 by Justine N.


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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No Plot Development, November 10, 2010
This review is from: Big Love: Season 4 (DVD)
The first season was spent character building, laying down basic relationships and primary issues. The second and third seasons expanded on that, and in my opinion were incredibly. The third season was spectacular. But the fourth season was a complete disappointment. I will buy this season when it comes out, simply out of continuity, and I will continue to watch the last season because I'm emotionally attached to the characters and story, but my issue with the fourth season is one of plot development. In the previous seasons secrets and twists and clues build up, and get let out to create some really intense drama which is what gives the show its power. However, the fourth season had none of that. The problems were presented, and resolved soon thereafter. Most secrets were discovered in the same episode. There were no build-ups, and nothing left to the imagination. My guess is that the writers have really exhausted most of the problems and issues that could arise with this set of characters in the situation they're in, and there isn't much left to do. I really hope that the final season will redeem the series and end strong.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Interesting, but Defies Credibility., December 1, 2010
By 
Gary Peterson (San Diego, California USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Big Love: Season 4 (DVD)
My wife and I watched Seasons 1 and 2 of the Big Love Series. It was interesting programing in that the story depicted an unknown world and put it into a believable and interesting framework. It was like looking through a little window into a situation we've read about but had no first-hand knowledge. The acting, scenes and directing were all rather good. So, we watched Season 3. Well, the first two seasons were just an introduction to polygamy. Season 3 built on that introductory base and the situations and personal interactions became more complicated and somewhat more interesting. Season 4 seemed a natural.

In Season 4, the foursome becomes ever more unstable. One of the wives takes an outside job and becomes locally famous. Another wife takes an outside suitor. One of the grandparents gets involved in smuggling parrots from Mexico. The grandfather dies and is frozen. The husband runs for public office and ultimately outs himself as a polygamist. The husband also gets involved in an Indian gaming venture and all the related complications. And it goes on and on. The problem is the story gets to be more and more unbelievable as the program proceeds. Seasons 1 and 2 were believable and were much like a well-done, low-keyed documentary on polygamous life in Utah. Season 3 became a stretch of that situation and was filled with a host of side issues. Season 4 is such a big stretch that it defies credibility, and that's a problem. It's just pure unadulterated fiction, and not very good fiction at that. Don't get me wrong, it's a well done program and many people may love watching it. But, my initial attractions to Season 1 and 2 no longer apply and I have serious doubts that I would ever watch Series 5.

Gary Peterson
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45 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Love--Bill Paxton Is Simply Terrific, March 14, 2010
This review is from: Big Love: Season 4 (DVD)
Bill Paxton as the polygamist Mormon in this series has driven me absolutely crazy for four seasons. I always want to reach inside of the television and start choking him for the crazy things he does. This season he pushed my buttons even more. He decides to run for political office, of all things, with the express idea of going public about being a polygamous Mormon at his victory speech with his multiple wives and children beside him. "You idiot," I scream at my TV, "how can you be so stupid?!" But this is Paxton's brilliance. He has completely caught someone who is in the continuous, rapt thrall of obsessive religious belief. He is humorless, which is true of all zealots, because he never steps outside of its thrall for even a second. It absolutely controls every aspect of his life. He laments his early beginnings as a lost boy, thrown out of his outlaw Mormon compound, and mistakenly believes he has recovered from all of that. He has never recovered from being raised at a cult religious encampment. What he's done is try to transplant the cult to new soil, mainstream USA life. He plays the character as rather one dimensional and robotic because someone who is in a state of rapturous religious zeal IS one dimensional!

The other characters revolve around him. He is the head so what he says goes. However, he has thrown three wives together, all of whom have his children. They live and function as a unit. Like women everywhere who are cast into subordinate positions from which they can never emerge, they scheme around him. Oh boy, do they scheme. While he has his eye constantly on the prize, being united with heavenly father in paradise with this huge family, the wives jockey for position, power, and play all ends against the middle. If they believe in the end destiny, that takes a very subordinate position to daily contention with the here and now.

Then there is the true horror: when you take on multiple spouses, you take on multiple in-laws. Just imagine having to cope with multiple sets of in-laws instead of just one set. One absolutely needs religious zeal to take on that component of this lifestyle.

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sudden departure in characterisation, abysmal direction, poor script!!, June 14, 2011
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This review is from: Big Love: Season 4 (DVD)
I am a big fan of "Big Love" (I'm in the UK) and now own all four seasons. All the previous three series have been brilliant - from the jeopardy in each individual character's life, and the double-standards of their everyday existence (which have made it so enjoyable to relate to), to the progressive pace and excellent direction; the script has been enthrallingly written through three series so far.

Suddenly, with this Fourth Season, there has been a complete departure from the tone of the previous series, insofar as the characters have all suddenly become much more 'smiley' and pliable: basically, I think they've been forced to 'tone it down'!! The direction is APPALLING, make no mistake, with such plodding interactions, and total departures from the normally excellent timing displayed by all the best actors/actresses. The script - and scenarios - are in no way true to the original characters that have been revealed to us over three excellent series.

SUCH a disappointment! And a disgraceful betrayal of fans of the series.

I note that they are trying to interject black comedy into the fourth series, with the emphasis on the word "trying"! Trying too hard...so it is spoiled, and you are aware that you are just their pawn as a viewer, rather than feeling any affability towards the previously-understood characters, or with their ongoing personal situations. Without spoiling the plotline, just in episode one alone, suddenly strong characters become weak, surly characters pitiful, there's been a sudden introduction to all the characters, across the board, of heavy face foundation make-up! The clothes are tight-fitting and colourful and bright whereas before the character looked run-down or plain. One character has been made to look so foolish in the script and direction that you lose respect for what was previously a likeable characer. One mother attacks her daughter in a way which previously would have been against her principles. Characters are shot over several seconds smiling innanely at each other, without speaking, and others have their interactions slowed so much that you could practically go and make a cup of tea and come back and you wouldn't have missed anything!! The list I could write about the Fourth Season's failures is ENDLESS.

I wish I could say it had improved in some way, but it hasn't. The opening credits and change in accompanying music (the latter has changed throughout) signals that there is a new hand at work here, and it's not good. The credits seem to go on for hours, with so many repetitive shots; even these have been downgraded from a previously excellent introductory theme to the expected plotline and interactions between the characters.

From fantastic beginnings, and a well-maintained pace and credibility, suddenly everyone has had an about-face and I feel actually sorry for the cast, having to act in a way which reverses the achievements - good or bad - of their characters prior to this series. I wonder whether this is the end of "Big Love". Sack the Director and the Writers, I say!!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worst of the Bunch, March 18, 2011
This review is from: Big Love: Season 4 (DVD)
While Seasons 1 to 3 were excellent, Season 4 really jumped the shark, with ridiculous plot lines that really ruined the momentum of this great show. Season 5, the final one, is a bit better, but I could avoid seeing 4 again. Only for die hards.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Big Love ... Let Down, April 9, 2011
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This review is from: Big Love: Season 4 (DVD)
As other reviewers have mentioned - the first 3 series were tightly written with convoluted but intriguing plot lines. Season 4 represents a tipping point - the increasingly surreal developments become pure bonkers to such an extreme that it almost becomes inadvertently entertaining again. A real shame that such an initially interesting show could plumb such awful depths - the writers should be sent to the Hague for crimes against aesthetics!
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28 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Big Love - Big Deal, March 17, 2010
By 
ChaCha (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Big Love: Season 4 (DVD)
We all know Big Love isn't real. It's HBO's version of what would happen if we took a polygamous family who appear to the world as a middle class, all American family, then thrust them into suburbia and see how they handle their dirty little secret. This formula worked for the first 3 seasons. Indeed, we had to suspend belief at times but there were always straws of realism that we could cling to plus the fact that it had humor, great story lines and a lot of heart. Kiss that goodbye in Season 4.

This time around the characters are put into the most untenable situations. One of the central themes was Bill Hendrickson's decision to run for public office. It made no sense considering what he and his family had to lose, and for me put the kibosh on what was once must see TV. There was still plenty of material to work with, mostly dealing with their daily lives without having to resort to these ridiculous plots. Big Love was always something I couldn't get enough of but this season was mostly viewed with glances to my watch to see how much longer I had to suffer through the drivel.

There were however, a few highlights (very few), particularly the development of a burgeoning homosexual romance for Alby Grant, the maturing of Margene, and Nikki's growing realization of her own abusive upbringing. For anyone who loves this show, it's a sad season indeed, one that will be watched but not with much pleasure. Thank goodness for Grandma Lois and Grandpa Frank, two of the only characters who were true to form and provided some laughs.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars one season too many, January 12, 2011
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This review is from: Big Love: Season 4 (DVD)
I was a wild fan of the first three seasons. But everything collapsed in season # 4. They should have buried the series with the old prophet. I am sooo disappointed. The crazy idea that this little cult family, who barely survived in the secrets of the suburb, should somehow survive when the "man" decides to run for public office.

Terrible, terrible, terrible. I rest my case. $40 blown into the wind. I don't even care if there is season 5.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost There, February 10, 2011
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This review is from: Big Love: Season 4 (DVD)
I am a big fan of the series and couldn't wait to get the series 4. The producers seem to be running out of ideas that seem credible. I think the horse has been flogged enough and is on its last legs, like Bill making public his lifestyle. Series 5 will surely be a farce. The best thing about the series is the freshness of the opening sequence, although I miss the "God Only Knows" from the other series. Acting, production etc. are all up to scratch, but like all series they run out of steam. A better stab would be an off shoot show based on the daughter and her baggage or better still a few of the wives are killed off and Bill has to regroup with the faith. A bit like Dallas. Nothing like death to chase the tiger.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The stakes get higher for the Henriksens, February 8, 2011
By 
This review is from: Big Love: Season 4 (DVD)
They've got nine kids, Sarah wants to leave, Ben and Margene have a problem with each other, Bill wants to run for Senate and run a casino, Margene wants to be a businesswoman, and Nicki struggles with infertility as well as a change in her feelings for her immediate family and has continuing troubles with the one she came from. It all builds up to a stunning conclusion for this season which I won't reveal here. Let's just say that polygamy is already complicated, but it can become even more so.

The actors do a great job of conveying the struggles and conflicts between and within the characters, as well as showing how deeply the members of this plural marriage care for one another in spite of everything.
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