Big Love 5 Seasons 2006

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Season 1
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(1,011) IMDb 7.7/10

1. Pilot TV-MA CC

In the series premiere, polygamist Bill Henrickson tries to satisfy the emotional, romantic and financial needs of his three wives and seven children in suburban Salt Lake City. As if that isn't enough, he's launching his second 'Home Plus' store.

Starring:
Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn
Runtime:
58 minutes
Original air date:
March 12, 2006

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159 of 176 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 8, 2006
Format: DVD
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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62 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Bryant Burnette on August 4, 2006
Format: DVD
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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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on September 23, 2006
Format: DVD
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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