Big Love

More cul-cha here. Well, pop culture. Big Love is in its second season on HBO, and its got the three of us pretty well hooked. Its the story of a polygamist family in present day Utah. They’re not exactly Mormons, and they’re not exactly living the isolated lifestyle of the rural compounds in which some of the main characters were raised. But they endeavor to honor and live by “the Principle”, which is a patriarchal obligation to support as many wives as a man can. The family is led by Bill, a local retail entrepreneur, and his three adjoining households are trying to quietly blend into the SLC suburbs. The fun in this is seeing the family’s trials through their moral lens. And the trials are numerous. The kids face problems reconciling their upbringing; the dominant first wife is very publicly exposed; the newest wife can’t permit herself to make friends; their relatives are numerous (duh!) and have all sorts of conflicts going on; there’s a young runaway charging the family with child abuse; and there is the ongoing business and family feud with Bill’s father, the powerful leader of the rural isolated compound called Juniper Creek which is clearly modeled on the real life polygamist enclave of Hildale, Utah. Recently there has surfaced a dangerous polygamist fugitive modeled after Warren Jeffs, who was captured IRL just last fall in Nevada. His henchman like to brand their opponents on the backside, like cattle, and presumable like he does his wives. Sort of like The Sopranos out on the prairie.

The cast is great, the writing and production values are first rate. We PVR it in hi-def and don’t miss an episode. Look for the first season on DVD if you don’t have HBO.

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