Big Love

Somehow I missed this show until it was ending. If you missed it, go back to the beginning and watch it! It’s the most bizarrely fascinating show ever. The plot: Bill Henrickson grew up on a polygamist compound, until he was kicked out at the age of fourteen by Roman Grant, the Prophet who runs the compound. He grows up to be a polygamist with three wives, though with some vastly different ideas of how to go about his faith and lifestyle to the compound that he cannot quite seem to escape. Well, that’s the official summary, but though Bill Henrickson businessman, visionary, priesthood holder, husband, father, and maybe prophet is the technical center of the show, it is the three wives that really steal the show.

Barb, the first wife grew up in the LDS church, which is opposed to polygamy. They had two children together and about eleven-twelve years into their marriage, she got sick. In order to pay for her medical bills, Bill sought out help from Roman. What he got from that, aside from needing to pay a percentage to Roman of all his sales is his second wife–

Nicki, Roman’s daughter. She gives birth to two sons (Barb can no longer have children). Living with Bill is her first real experience in the outside world, forcing her to confront the harsh, mixed up world she grew up in. She is not an easy person to live with–she’s critical, self-righteous, and something of a liar, but most it stems from the insecurity and betrayals she has experienced on the compound. She had a babysitter to watch her kids, leading to wife number three–

Margene, former employee at Bill’s Home Plus store. Margie is a young naive woman from a broken home (ever-drunken mother, absent father) who finally found a home in the polygamist lifestyle. She has, at the start of the series, two boys. As the youngest, she is the wildest and most sexual with the least complaints.

The dynamics between the sister wives are interesting, as they never quite see eye to eye. They each go on journeys of self discovery over the course of the show which comes to fruition in a shocking but well managed way in by the end of the series finale. (I can’t think of a more satisfying or well-executed series finale.)

Nicki is easily my favorite character because she makes perhaps the greatest change and comes from the most difficult background that she has to overcome. (Chloe Sevigny earned a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for this role.) Sometimes her actions are baffling but she stirs up trouble in a way that no TV character has before. And for all her awfulness, you can see her moments of tenderness and true love that she doesn’t know how to properly express because she doesn’t come from that type of home.

The show also gave me an opportunity to see Amanda Seyfried in another light. Until I could not get passed her stint as the delightfully moronic Karen in Mean Girls. I know she’s been in other things since that movie, but I have not seen any of them so all I could think of was “I can’t go out…(cough cough) I’m sick.” But now I’ve seen her as the spunky, sometimes rebellious oldest child of the Hendrickson brood.

So, as I was saying, if you haven’t seen this show, GO WATCH IT! I will miss it.


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