15. March 2006 · Comments Off on A Real Mormon On Big Love · Categories: That's Entertainment!

Over at Volokh, Randy Barnett’s comment thread concerning HBO’s new series Big Love, about a contemporary polygamist family from a Mormon splinter sect, seems to be about everything but (and no small part of the fault there lies with your’s truly 🙂 ). At BeliefNet, Linda Hoffman Kimball stays more focused:

The effect of “Big Love” on the Church’s image–especially for people unfamiliar with Mormon culture’s nuances–and the show’s graphic sexual content are serious problems. Those realities alone will and perhaps should keep Mormons away. In an odd way, the choice to watch this series may require the same kind of thought that went into deciding whether to see “The Passion of the Christ”: Do its problems outweigh its benefits?

But if you can get past those significant stumbling blocks, “Big Love” is an example of intricate, well-paced, finely acted storytelling. The three wives, in particular, are superb characters for the gifted actors who play them. Production values are high and the writing is clever, suspenseful, compelling, and at times profound. (And what a pleasure not to have to put up with swearing all the time!) With a delicate balance of wit and wisdom, “Big Love” wrestles with relationships and the deep human questions of commitment, unity, forgiveness, patience, and–of course–love, as well as the darker qualities of greed, jealousy, revenge, and manipulation. This is not a raunchy soap opera with a prurient twist. As Bill Henrickson would tell you, you have your agency. There is no coercion. You’ll have to choose for yourself.

There is a scene where Margene (Ginnefer Goodwin) says she’s a “fuck up” as a mother. But that’s in a private conversation with Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn), so I don’t think that’s inconceivable for a devout Mormon.

Comments closed.