Saturday, September 11, 2010

More Big Love mousings: S1E3-5

Episode 3 is largely concerned with the completely inappropriate birthday party Nicki throws for one of her sons.  First she tries to have it at a fancy hotel with a guest list of 150+ people; when Bill shoots her down on that, she invites enough of her relatives in "prairie garb" to raise eyebrows in the neighborhood, plus her little son Wayne is sad that she didn't invite any children for him to play with, just adults.  The show has failed as far as the houses go - the street looks like Wisteria Lane in Desperate Housewives, all pretty colors and clapboards and trim - and the houses around here are stucco and stone and brick.

Episode 4 sees tensions rising among the three wives when Barb wants to take a long-term substitute teaching job.  Nicki's credit card debt is staggering (nearly $60,000) but she continues to try to hide it from her family.  She is an extremely unlikeable character - sneaky, sullen and manipulative - but you can understand her struggle to fit in: she no longer belongs up at the compound, having embraced the material life outside of it; but she's so very different from Barb and Margene.  Bill, meanwhile, decides to stand up to Roman's extortion. 

Episode 5 is the first time that I actually like some of the main characters as Bill and Barb find their passion for each other reignited and start sneaking around, having sex with each other in the middle of the day ... even when it isn't Barb's day.  They're very sweet and cute with each other.  Margene strikes up a friendship with a neighbor, which makes everyone nervous about Margene's ability to stick with the cover story.  And Nicki is actually likeable when she stands up to [her brother?] Albee when Roman sends him to put a scare into the Henricksons ... but then she immediately chucks my good graces when she tells the family that she wants to have another baby.  She's clever and has figured out Bill and Barb's affair - and knows the one thing she can do that Barb can't is get pregnant.

This show is growing on me (I particularly like Sarah's new friendship with uber-Mormon Heather, played by the awesome Tina Majorino - Veronica Mars would be so pleased that Lily and Mac are friends!) but I cannot for the life of me find Bill Henrickson charismatic enough to make me believe that Barb would allow a plural marriage.  Plus, I miss Bill Paxton as a badass/Hudson in Aliens.  This businessman in tidy whities just doesn't do it for me.

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