Wednesday, April 05, 2006
BIG LOVE = BIG THUMBS UP
So Josh decided to up our cable $10 and get HBO and On Demand. I had no idea these options were so cool! At first I was very skeptical and thought it was a waste of money.
But no longer.
After last night, I change my position on cable.
I watched the new HBO series Big Love.
I had wanted to see this series after hearing a short synopsis about it on NPR before it premiered. Of course, the problem was that I didn’t get HBO, and I didn’t know anyone who did, who would be willing to tape it for me.
Well since Josh decided to pay for cable – we now have it. And not only HBO, but On Demand, which apparently means you can watch certain shows like DVDs (pause, stop, rewind – all of it!). What a wonderful invention! I thought that was what TIVO was – which I knew I would never experience!
So – back onto the show:
As if normal family life isn't enough trouble, Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton, Twister, Thunderbirds) has everything in triple: three wives, three houses, three families. Bill's first and only legal wife is Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn, Word of Honor) but he also shares the bedroom with middle wife Nicki (Chloe Sevigny, Boys Don't Cry, Dogville) and youngest wife Margene (Ginnifer Goodwin, Ed, Mona Lisa Smile). Bill also has three new adjoining houses, seven kids, and a booming hardware business. The series kicks in as Bill receives troublesome news about his father (Bruce Dern) who lives in a fundamentalist community in rural Utah.
So there is so so much more to this show!
Within the first episode you get to know a little about how the family works, and who each character is. It’s a little bumpy at first as you try figure out who is who, and what the attitude of this family is toward what most people think about polygamy. The best line is when all wives are talking to each other and saying, “We are all here by choice”. I think that sums up the morals behind what this family is doing compared to their ‘extended family’ left back at the compound.
I anticipate this as being a great show, despite “You’re dogmeat, pal” Bill Paxton. To be honest, I think he’s like dry toast. But his wives! Oh the wives!
The First wife is Barb – who’s character is determined from episode 1 as the mature, level headed ‘knows who she is’ wife. She handles all the household issues, as well as all the wives’ allowances. She also has a part time job as a teacher, which shows her intelligence and independence. I believe we like her immediately.
The Second is Nikki – who is insecure, jealous, materialistic, and very immature for her age. She plays the part of the only wife who was raised in the ‘compound’ who still wears her hair in a braid and dresses like Laura Ingalls. We dislike her immediately, but soon realize that she’s got her own demons to fight with, as well as a lot of growing up to do.
The Third is Margene – who is the youngest, and most insecure. She is bubbly and inexperienced, as well as the most sexual. She seems to get along with Barb’s oldest son more than the other wives. At first you’re not sure about her, but as she catches all the shit from jealous Nikki, we begin to sympathize with her as she questions the path she’s chosen.
The other character I’m excited to see is the oldest daughter, who happens to be ‘Karen’ in Mean Girls. And she knows a lot more than her ESPN was letting on. She has expressed her views against polygamy from episode 1, and is trying to understand the morals she was raised with, as well as her mother’s odd choice after so many years.
Despite some of the reviews, I anticipate a great drama described by the writers as “aimed to create a nonjudgmental portrait of plural marriage” which is true since the series focuses more on the practical and emotional aspects of polygamy than on its moral or ethical aspects.