Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mousings on Big Love S1E1 and 2

See what I did up there?  That pun?  "Mousings" - like "musings," but with a mouse?  Clever, dontcha think?

Since we're all living out in Utah now, I figured it was important to start watching HBO's series, Big Love, about a modern day family of closeted polygamists living in greater Salt Lake City.  I had been thinking about recapping it but after watching the first two episodes, I don't think I will do full recaps, although I'll collect some random thoughts after each ep and share them here.  (As an aside: I am at a loss as to what show to recap next.  If any of y'all have any requests/suggestions, I'll gladly entertain them - new shows, shows on DVD, what have you.)

Quick summary:  Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton) is an upstanding SLC-area businessman - reputedly living in Sandy, but I haven't found proof of that yet - who owns two local home improvement stores.  He is married to Barb (Jeanne Trippelhorn), his first wife with whom he has three kids, two teenagers, Ben and Sarah, and a younger daughter.  Bill married his second wife, Nikki (Chloe Sevigny), when Barb had uterine cancer six years ago and could no longer have kids; Nicki comes from a polygamist sect out in the wilds of Utah somewhere and dresses/acts exceedingly primly ... except that she's a tiger in the sack, is totally passive/aggressive with Barb.  Bill has two (badly behaved) young sons with Nicki.  Bill also married wife #3 a couple of years ago: the young and pretty Margene (Ginnifer Goodwin), who has already popped out two baby boys.  In the first two episodes, we get a glimpse into this family as the wives arrange their monthly calendars, divvying up chores and who gets to sleep with Bill when, and see Bill unable to keep up with the carnal demands of his three wives.  We also learn that at some point in the past, Bill borrowed money from Nicki's father, Roman (Harry Dean Stanton), the prophet of the polygamist sect, and Roman thinks Bill's current kickbacks are not quite enough. 

Part of the reason behind my not wanting to recap BL is that I didn't instantly connect with the show.  I have a good track record with HBO: I fell immediately in love with The Sopranos, Deadwood and True Blood, so it would not have been unreasonable for me to click with BL as well.  Except I didn't.  I just don't like any of the characters (yet).  Nicki is insufferable and greedy, Margene is young and unformed, Bill is pretty full of himself and I can't for the life of me figure out why Barb agreed to the plural life after 11+ years of solo marriage.  I did like Roman - he's eeeeeevil - and teenaged Sarah is fairly sympathetic: she does not approve of the polygamist lifestyle her parents have chosen.

There have been a few stock shots of the mountains of the Wasatch Front and Temple Square.  But twice characters have said they live in the "Wasatch Valley" which is wrong - we live in the Salt Lake Valley, along the [mountains of the] Wasatch Front.  I haven't been able to figure out where Roman's crazy polygamists live yet either: in E1, Bill said he'd "drive up" to see them, but in E2, he said he'd "come down." 

Interestingly, the Henrickson families, while polygamists, don't seem to worship at all.  One of Bill's business partners is also a polygamist and he told Bill that he'd love it if they'd join his congregation.  But Bill replies something to the effect that Barb isn't interested and still misses "LDS."  (Barb also hates Roman's polygamist sect - where Bill was raised as a boy but thrown out of when he turned 14 so as not to compete with the elders for the young girls.)

I'm going to stick with Big Love, at the very least through S1.  I'd like to see where it goes and am hoping that some of the characters will grow on me.  If nothing else, it's certainly anachronistic to watch an HBO show with no cussing.

1 comment:

  1. The Shield is the best show ever. You should recap that.