Big Love, Season 2

My oh my, the Henricksons are a bunch of crazy nuts. And yet I love them. I had this notion of trying to mainline the whole series in time for the Season 5 premiere, and while I initially dreaded it, I’m actually looking forward to watching it now. This show totally grows on you.

I’m still under the impression that it was made explicitly for me and no one else, because of my weird fascination with Mormons and fundamentalists and cult-ish religions (none of those terms are interchangeable, by the way, just to clarify). This show delves into so many fascinating themes, though. The issue of the fourth wife, going public, creating a family for eternity, setting an example for your children, deciding what’s moral—and it’s all batshit insane but it’s so much fun.

The Henricksons worked themselves into a frenzy this seaosn, what with Bill biting off about 700% more than he could chew, going into business with Weber Gaming, dating a new hot woman, trying to cover up Wanda’s poisoning of Albie and Frank, gunning after Roman’s seat on the UEB… and then there’s the rest of the lot. It all seems so petty and weird until you get involved in it, and then you wind up rooting for this polygamist lot. The acting in it, I think, is what really hooks you. Bill Paxton is so normal that he’s almost boring, and it’s sort of curious why Barb, Nikki, and Margene go for him, but then you see just how screwed up they are, too.

I can’t decide who my favorite character is. Chloe Sevigny as Nikki is absolutely phenomenal—she’s almost as inconsistent personality-wise as Wanda, a character who was actually committed, yet everything she says reeks of Nikki’s classic self-centeredness. Amanda Seyfried is so innocent and wonderful as Sarah, Douglas Smith is so innocent and stupid as Ben, Grace Zabriskie as Bill’s mother is phenomenal with her mouth-acting alone, and then there’s Albie. I think Albie is my favorite, and he’s the evil one. Matt Ross is so deliciously creepy as the heir-apparent to the Juniper Creek throne.

This show is incredibly difficult to explain and critique, and I think that I’ve just dug myself a fantastic hole in trying to relay what I thought of it, because I’m honestly still not sure. All I can say is that a fictional fundamentalist LDS family can provide hours of entertainment if you let them. They’re not as straight-laced as you think. Let yourself get sucked into Big Love if you have the time and the interest. It’s fascinating stuff.

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