Review – Big Love – DVD

Wow. Just wow. Mrs Right and I watched this whole season on DVD over one weekend. It’s freakin’ brilliant.

If you haven’t heard of it, Big Love is an HBO original series about the life and times of a polygamist family in Salt Lake City. Bill Paxton plays the lead, who is married to three women and has seven children in all. They have three houses and one big backyard. They keep their lifestyle a secret as it would mean ostracism and jail for all the adults concerned. Paxton’s father-in-law, played by Harry Dean Stanton,  is a prophet for a FLDS type compound out in the sticks who further complicates their lives.

The show is very careful to say that this practice is no longer sanctioned by the Latter Day Saints, both as disclaimer and in the dialogue of the characters. Just in case you were wondering. The show itself is certainly no endorsement of The Principle, as they call it.

But as I said, the show is brilliant.

First, the casting is perfect.
Second, the more you know about Mormon beliefs and practices, the better the show is.

Third, and this is hard to explain, but I really appreciated how the religion itself – Mormon and Fundamentalist Mormon – is never mocked by the show. You can’t show an evangelical Christian in a Hollywood production without them being The Hypocrite and you can’t show a Catholic without them wrestling with their faith, but Big Love has much love for its characters and doesn’t treat them as either hypocritical, faithless or with derision. That’s a rare thing and I liked it, even though I don’t have Mormon beliefs.

Fourth, and this may be a plus or a minus for you, Bill Paxton has a really nice butt for his age and you’ll see it almost every other episode. The show has some sex in it, but is ultimately about this family. As I said, it’s certainly no endorsement for The Principle, but it does make for good drama.



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