So true, I wasn't going to watch this show at all because of the 'creep factor', then one night I was bored there was nothing on TV, so I played the pilot "On Demand"...I was expecting this "family" to be really weird and crazy, you know, like the polygamist families that are on Jerry Springer...but that's not what they are at all...
The subject matter is so creepy that if the main guy was not likeable, the audience would not stand for it long enough for the show to develop a viewership.
I gotta say, these women on the show seem to have it pretty good. The women each have their own (New) home, wasn't expecting that at all, I thought they'd all be cramped in some trailer or something (that's the stereotype)..plus they only have to really live with this guy three days at a time, kinda sounds like a good deal :lol
I think most Americans would feel as I do that harems are not a good form of "marriage"! At least put some extra husbands in the mix to pick up the slack, lol
I think you meant not for a younger audience. Right?
Originally Posted by canadian_angel
I think I am going to like this. The hour flew by and I was left wanting more. Very interesting to get a peek inside a world you do not know. Six Feet Under had that same hook.
Yes, definitely. Words and fingers weren't cooperating.
Originally Posted by Dogbat
In Utah, both papers (The Salt Lake Tribune and The Deseret News) have had several articles about it. Here is one of the many. I didn't watch it, but this TV series is based on polygamists who live and dress like modern society and do not live in a religious polygamist community. There are also those polygamist who live in communities together and these women wear dresses with long sleeves, cannot wear makeup, and their hair is always long and in braids. They are how you would picture people 100 years ago. These colonies have more problems with abuse. There is also problem of what to do with the young boys, because the older men are marrying the young girls, and there are not enough girls for the young boys to marry. Many of them are being driven out of their communities. A lot of the wives do not claim anyone as a husband and collect welfare and other government aide. Some men have so many kids, they don't even know all of their names. Some, from what I read about this show, are somewhat like this TV family and choose this lifestyle for various reasons and are very happy with their choices.
Utahns react to HBO's 'Big Love'
By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
Vicky Prunty talks about the HBO series "Big Love," which focuses on a fictional suburban polygamous family. (Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune)
It is starting off as a love/hate affair, which means the relationship between "Big Love" and its Utah audience could be headed for trouble.
Those mixed emotions are coming from a panel of viewers with connections to polygamy, invited to watch the show with The Salt Lake Tribune. In one breath, they praise some aspects of the show while in the next they bemoan its shortcomings.
What the show gets right or wrong depends on whether you are a foe or proponent of polygamy.
The affluent, suburban polygamous family? Fantasy. Reality.
The hard-scrabble life and sinister prophet of Juniper Creek? Reality. Fantasy.
The relationship between Bill Henrickson, his three wives and their children? Fantasy. Reality.
The one thing everyone agrees on: The sex is all wrong.
"The main stereotype you get in polygamy is about sex, and the Viagra-popping man who is trying to keep up sexually just misses the point of what The Principle [or plural marriage] is about," said a Salt Lake Valley polygamist who has three wives and requested anonymity.
Then again, this is HBO, so the sex theme wasn't surprising, they agree.
But is it compelling? A few viewers said the first episode was boring; more found it intriguing.
"It was actually better than I expected it to be," said Ann Wright, of Centennial Park, a fundamentalist Mormon community at the Utah/Arizona border.
To be sure, trying to come up with a series that does justice to such a sensitive topic is a big order. These viewers give creators Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer credit for trying.
"There were some very real portrayals of the issues, just overdramatized," said the Salt Lake City man. "In a lot of ways, it did have a lot of positive images, such as the polygamist next-door, but it is still portraying it as [being] about sex."
Critics and supporters of polygamy said the show glosses over the spiritual foundation of plural marriage. What's left out is the coercive power religious polygamy exerts over victims, said Vicky Prunty, co-founder of Tapestry Against Polygamy. The other view: Without it, there is no explanation for why the characters choose to live this lifestyle and the benefits they find in it.
"I wish there had been a little more spirituality first, and a little more humor second," said Anne Wilde, a former plural wife and co-founder of the advocacy group Principle Voices.
Many found "Big Love" misleading because of how it blends cultural aspects of different polygamous groups - something the viewing audience outside of Utah will likely miss altogether.
"Maybe we need a chance to have a disclaimer, 'This is not all polygamy,' " said Priscilla Hammon, also of Centennial Park.
But others appreciate the contrast made between the suburban family and the polygamists living in a rural compound, saying the portrayals reflect variations among Utah polygamists.
"I really appreciated the diversity," Wilde said. "They pointed out there is a community, they might have some problems, but yet there are a lot of polygamists that live inside society just as this family did and some of the neighbors didn't even know their lifestyle."
Prunty said regardless of the particular brand of polygamy the show depicts, the problems and abuses inherent in the lifestyle are the same.
"You're going to deal with the same issues, the same jealousies, the same whining, complaining wives and the husband who tries to stretch it so thin he becomes impotent," she said.
These viewers also had differing opinions of how Bill Henrickson matches up with real-life polygamists. For some, even showing him keeping check on his children by telephone was too much. For others, to not show him interacting directly with the kids rang false.
"The Henrickson family is pretty realistic, but it's the kind of family nobody sees in the public eye," said Mary Batchelor, also of Principle Voices.
The creators of "Big Love" say they've tried to draw a distinction between polygamous groups and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which renounced the religious tenet in 1890. Both foes and proponents of polygamy believe the LDS Church's fears about the show will be realized, pointing out repeated uses of the Salt Lake Temple as a backdrop, depiction of female missionaries and references to Mormon culture.
I really enjoyed last night's episode. It was funny. Niki's role is so dead on. She is SO analretentive. I love the jealousy too because all throughout the first episode, I kept thinking how in the heck are these women not jealous. Now I see that they are, they just hide it... well. Most of the time.
-I know--It cracks me up when Nikki says, "I fight my jealousies and I conquer them"...Umm, no you don't!
-Seems to me all Bill ever gets done is talking on the phone, and banging the wife of the day.
This show is like a train wreck, you can't help but watch! It's definitely got me sucked in.
Can I say just how much I love the satire in this show!! This show has a good blend of drama and satire in the polygamist life.
I totally agree that Bill Paxton was made for this role. I really think there is not another actor that can pull off this role than him and make it not just a creepy show. All three women who play the wives are great and really provide a great range for this show. I can't wait to see where things are going to go.
Big Love on HBO
Think having three wives is a dream come true? Meet Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton), a modern-day Utah polygamist who lives in suburban Salt Lake City with his three wives, seven children, and a mounting avalanche of debt and demands. The owner of a growing chain of home improvement stores, Bill struggles to balance the financial and emotional needs of Barb, Nicki and Margene (Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin), who live in separate, adjacent houses and take turns sharing their husband each night. While managing the household finances together and routinely sharing "family home nights," they try to keep simmering jealousies in check and their arrangement a secret — polygamy is illegal in Utah and banned by the mainstream Mormon Church. Adding to Bill's woes are a series of crises affecting his parents (Bruce Dern and Grace Zabriskie), who live on a fundamentalist compound in rural Utah, and his ruthless father-in-law, Roman (Harry Dean Stanton), the powerful head of the polygamist commune where his parents live. Bold, funny and wholly original, Big Love explores the evolving institution of marriage through a typical atypical family. The new series airs Sundays at 10pm beginning March 12th, immediately following Season Six of The Sopranos®.
I have caught a few episodes and really like this show. Anyone else watching?
Yes, because it seemed like such a freaky premise I have to see what they do with this topic! And what a great cast.
I have seen all the episodes so far. I'm definitely going to keep watching it. I thought the first 2 episodes were pretty racy. I'm not a prude but they really cut to the chase with how they handle their 'procreational' ways. HBO: Explain (and demonstrate) how a polygamist husband sleeps with multiple wives: Check.
Bill Paxton is very sincere and believable. All 3 wives are perfectly cast as well as spooky Roman. And wasn't the teenage daughter in Mean Girls, the beyond ditzy friend?
I have no idea if the premise mirrors reality at all. All I've read about polygamists is they tend to live in out of way, secretive communities since they're basically breaking the law. Juniper Creek reflects this. So I'm wondering how realistic it is for any family who believes in the principals of polygamy to live in mainstream society when it's seems easy to be called out and crucified.
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