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Big Love
Big love ver2.png
Promotional poster
Format Drama
Created by Mark V. Olsen
Will Scheffer
Starring Bill Paxton
Jeanne Tripplehorn
Chloë Sevigny
Ginnifer Goodwin
Željko Ivanek
Amanda Seyfried
Shawn Doyle
Melora Walters
Grace Zabriskie
Matt Ross
Mireille Enos
Cassi Thomson
Harry Dean Stanton
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 43 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 50 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel HBO
Original run March 12, 2006 (2006-03-12) – present
External links
Official website

Big Love is an American television drama on HBO about a fictional fundamentalist Mormon[1][2][3] family in Utah that practices polygamy. Big Love currently stars Bill Paxton, Chloë Sevigny, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Ginnifer Goodwin, Harry Dean Stanton, Željko Ivanek, Amanda Seyfried, Grace Zabriskie, Matt Ross, Mireille Enos and Cassi Thomson.

The series premiered in the United States on March 12, 2006 following the sixth-season premiere of the HBO series The Sopranos. The second season aired in 2007[4] and the third season began airing January 18, 2009 in the U.S. and Canada. The fourth season began filming in August 2009 and premiered on January 10, 2010.[5]

Contents

Overview

The show was co-created by Mark Olsen and Will Scheffer, who also serve as executive producers. Olsen and Scheffer spent almost three years researching the premise of the show,[6] with the intent of creating a fair portrayal of polygamy in America without being judgmental. The series' current theme song is "Home" by the band Engineers. During the first three seasons, "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys played during the opening titles. The musical score for the series is composed by Anton Sanko. Mark Mothersbaugh composed music for the first season, while David Byrne was in charge of music during the second season.

Cast and characters

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Leading cast

  • Bill Paxton – Bill Henrickson – Main character. A practicing polygamist and a new Utah Republican state senator.
  • Jeanne Tripplehorn – Barbara "Barb" Henrickson – Bill's first wife. Mother of Sarah, Ben, and Tancy.
  • Chloë Sevigny – Nicolette "Nicki" Grant – Bill's second wife, Barb's former caretaker (during her bout with cancer) and Roman Grant's daughter. Mother of Wayne and Raymond (with Bill), and Cara Lynn (with J.J.)
  • Ginnifer Goodwin – Margene Heffman – Bill's third and youngest wife. Mother of Lester, Aaron, and Nell.
  • Amanda Seyfried – Sarah Henrickson – Bill and Barb's first daughter, struggling with her father's polygamous faith. Sarah recently married Scott Quittman, even though her parents disapproved.
  • Douglas Smith – Ben Henrickson – Bill and Barb's son. Has expressed his sexual attraction to Margene, his third mother, who rejects it as incestuous. He has stated his desire to follow The Principle—to practice polygamy as his father does.

Supporting cast

  • Matt Ross – Alby Grant – Roman Grant's son and potential 'Prophet' of Juniper Creek, Alby is a closeted homosexual. When Lura discovered Alby's most recent affair, his lover, Dale Tomasson, commited suicide in Alby's secret apartment.
  • Shawn Doyle – Joey Henrickson – A former professional football player with the Dallas Cowboys, Bill's brother, Wanda's husband. He attempts to enter into polygamy like Bill and his forefathers.
  • Melora Walters – Wanda Henrickson – Bill's sister-in-law, wife to Joey Henrickson. Her psychological problems surface when she tries to poison people who cross her or her family. She is also the sister of Nicki's first husband, J.J.
  • Grace Zabriskie – Lois Henrickson – Bill's mother. She has been in a long-time feud — and even attempted homicide — against Bill's father, Frank Harlow. Lois, Frank, Jodeen and Ben were kidnapped by the Greenes while attempting to buy contraband parrots in Mexico.
  • Bruce Dern – Frank Harlow – Bill's abusive father who exiled Bill from Juniper Creek at age 14. He is in a strong, sometimes violent, perennial feud with Lois.
  • Mireille Enos – Jodeen and Kathy Marquart (deceased) – Kathy is Joey's second wife-to-be until her death via a car accident while being chased by Roman Grant in episode "Fight or Flight." She lived in Joey and Wanda's home and assisted with the care of their infant son. Her twin sister, Jodeen is Frank's newest wife.
  • Harry Dean Stanton – Roman Grant (deceased) – Nicki & Alby's father, self-proclaimed 'Prophet' and former leader of the Juniper Creek compound. He was smothered to death by Joey Henrickson to avenge Roman's involvement in the death of Joey's fiancée Kathy. Roman's body was later exhumed and burned by Joey to cover up any evidence of the murder.
  • Mary Kay Place – Adaleen Grant – One of Roman Grant's wives and Nicki and Alby's mother. Although sixth wife to Roman, she was his most trusted confidante and was able to influence Roman's political decisions. After Roman's death, Alby sends her to be a wife of J.J., against Adaleen's and Nicki's wishes.
  • Željko Ivanek – J.J. Percy Walker, Nicki's first husband and father of Nicki's first daughter, Cara Lynn.[7]
  • Cassi Thomson - Cara Lynn Walker - Nicki and J.J.'s daughter.
  • Bella Thorne – Tancy ("Teenie") Henrickson – Bill and Barb's younger daughter (formerly played by Jolean Wejbe - seasons 1 to 3).
  • Brian Kerwin – Eddie Henrickson – Lois' younger brother, Bill's uncle.
  • Keegan Holst – Wayne Henrickson – Bill and Nicki's first son.
  • Garrett Grey – Raymond Henrickson – Bill and Nicki's second son.
  • Joel McKinnon Miller – Don Embry – Bill's business partner and best friend. A polygamist until two of his wives ran away, leaving him a monogamist both in spirit and in fact. He was asked by Bill to take a 'bullet' — by confessing his polygamy to a TV reporter — to allow Bill's state senate candidacy to move forward.
  • Tina Majorino – Heather Tuttle – Sarah Henrickson's co-worker and best friend.
  • Branka Katic – Ana, Bill Henrickson's former fourth wife. She and Bill married, then she divorced the family (late in the third season). Bill and his wives recently discovered that she conceived a child with Bill prior to their 48 hour marriage.
  • Daveigh Chase – Rhonda Volmer – A young teenager who was to be married to Roman Grant. During Roman's trial, she was sent away so she would not take the stand and damage the defense's case. It remains unknown whether her "absence" led to Roman eventually being found not guilty of his crimes.
  • Adam Beach – Tommy Flute  - son of Jerry Flute and a manager at the Blackfoot casino. His wife and children were killed three years ago by a drunk driver.

Recurring

  • Aaron Paul – Scott Quittman, Sarah's new husband.
  • Judith Hoag – Cindy Dutton-Price – Barb's sister.
  • Patrick Fabian – Ted Price – Cindy's husband.
  • Aidan Gonzales and Andrew Gonzales – Joey Henrickson Jr.
  • Christopher Randazzo and Zachary Randazzo – Joey Henrickson Jr. (season 4)
  • Ailish O'Connor and Julia O'Connor – Nell Henrickson (season 4)
  • Anne Dudek – Lura Grant, one of Alby's wives, who tries to kill Roman.
  • Ellen Burstyn – Nancy, Barbara Henrickson's estranged mother.
  • Mark L. Young – Franky, Frank's son with Nita. Despite the significant age difference between Bill and Franky, Bill considers Franky to be as much his brother as Joey is.
  • Wendy Phillips – Peg Embry, Don's wife, Home Plus' head bookkeeper.
  • Kyle Gallner – Jason Embry, Don and Peg's son, Ben's best friend.
  • Annie Fitzgerald – Verna, Don's second wife.[8]
  • Renee Albert – Julep "Jo-Jo", Don's third wife.[8][9]
  • Carlos Jacott – Carl Martin, neighbor.
  • Audrey Wasilewski – Pam Martin, Carl's wife.
  • Jodie Markell – Wendy Hunt, Bill's secretary.
  • Sarah Jones – Brynn, Ben's ex-girlfriend.
  • Lawrence O'Donnell – Lee Hatcher, family attorney.
  • Jim Beaver – Carter Reese, business acquaintance of Bill.
  • Luke Askew – Hollis Singer Green, patriarch of a rival polygamist group.
  • Sandy Martin – Selma Green, Hollis' first wife and partner, Roman's youngest sister. A woman, but usually dressed in a man's suit with a male hairstyle and a masculine-deep voice.
  • Carli Coleman – Brandy Thissel, Bill's ex-con cousin.
  • Robert Beltran – Jerry Flute, business representative of a Native American reservation that wants to build a casino with Bill's collaboration.
  • Noa Tishby – Ladonna Flute, Jerry's assertive, opinionated wife.
  • Michele Greene - Sheila Jackson White, Channel 9 TV reporter.
  • Ben Koldyke - Dale Tomasson (deceased), Alby's lover who hung himself after Lura revealed his affair to his wife and family

Family tree

plural marriage
traditional or legal marriage
former marriage
offspring
Orville Henrickson
(deceased)
Unnamed woman
(deceased)
Unnamed Man Unnamed Woman
Frank Harlow
(b. 1941)[10]
Lois Henrickson
(b. 1942)[10]
Eddie Henrickson Rae Henrickson Unnamed Walker Unnamed Walker Adaleen Hallstrom Grant Roman Grant
(b. 1930 - d. 2009)[10]
Rhonda Volmer
(b. 1991)[10]
Daveigh Chase LF adjusted.jpg
Selma Grant Green Hollis Singer Green
William Orville "Bill" Henrickson
Bill Paxton.jpg
Margaret "Maggie" Henrickson
(deceased)[11]
Joseph "Joey" Henrickson
(b. 1967)[10]
Wanda Walker Henrickson JJ Percy Walker Nicolette Eugenia "Nicki" Grant
Albert "Alby" Grant
(b. 1972)[10]
Lura
Joseph Henrickson Jr. Cara Lynn Walker Wayne Grant Raymond Grant
(b. 2002)[10]
Unnamed Dutton Nancy Davis Dutton Johanssen
EllenBurstyn07TIFF.jpg
Ned Johanssen Unnamed Father Virginia "Ginger" Heffman (deceased)
Ted Price Cynthia "Cindy" Dutton Price Barbara "Barb" Dutton Henrickson Margene "Margie" Heffman
Ginnifer Goodwin by David Shankbone 2.jpg
Goran Petrovic Ana Mesovich
Kim Lee Price Scott Quittman Sarah Henrickson Quittman
Amanda Seyfried Up in the Air TIFF09.jpg
Benjamin "Ben" Henrickson
(b. 1991)[12]
Tancy "Teenie" Henrickson Aaron Heffman Lester Heffman Nell Heffman Unborn Henrickson Child

Plot

The series revolves around Bill Henrickson, his three wives (Barb, first/legal wife; Nicki, second wife; and Margene, third wife) and their (combined) nine children. Henrickson lives with his family in three neighboring houses in Sandy, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City.

Season 1

Season 1 introduces the main characters and revolves around the family's struggles to live their polygamous lifestyle while keeping it a secret from the outside world. While Bill goes about expanding his chain of home improvement stores ("Henrickson’s Home Plus"), he struggles to balance his three wives and his strained relationship with Nicki's father, Church prophet Roman Grant. From his compound on Juniper Creek, Roman seeks to gain a greater share of the profits from Bill's business ventures. Bill, who is resentful towards Roman for expelling him from Juniper Creek as a teenager, opposes this, and joins with his brother Joey, a former NFL player who returned to Juniper Creek after alcohol addiction to gain a seat on the Church's board of directors in order to undercut Roman's considerable influence and to maintain a level of autonomy from his controlling grasp.

Bill's first wife, Barb, is shown to be the anchor for the plural Henrickson family, but as the show progresses, it is revealed that Barb has mixed feelings about the concept of polygamy, and only her love for Bill makes her stay. Meanwhile, second wife Nicki (daughter of Roman) struggles to fit in with modern life outside the compound and her own desire for power within the family dynamic. Nicki compensates for her isolation by developing an addiction to shopping, leading her to accumulate $60,000 of debt in credit card charges. Third wife Margene, 23 years old, struggles to find her place within the family, as both Barb and Nicki look down upon her due to her youth and fertility.

Most of season one focuses on the family's struggle to keep their secret from their friends, neighbors, and coworkers. However, things come to a head when Barb is nominated for a "Mother of the Year" Award, resulting in her and Bill being outed as a polygamist couple. Meanwhile, Joey's mentally unstable wife, Wanda, poisons Alby Grant (Roman's son and chief minion) when Alby discovers that Bill is using Joey as a pawn in his scheme to undermine Roman's power within the Church, and threatens the two.

Season 2

Season 2 picks up two weeks after the end of season one, as Barb temporarily leaves home and then returns. Though the outing does not damage the family's reputation or the Henrickson business, it causes Bill to decide to take steps to ensure his family's financial security by trying to buy an electronic gambling company called Weber Gaming.

The second season also expands upon the political battles at Juniper Creek. When Roman and his wife inform Alby that they are willing to allow Wanda and Joey to get away with their attempt on his life in exchange for using them as leverage against Bill, Alby alerts outside authorities, who arrest Joey (who claims credit for poisoning Alby in order to protect Wanda), which ultimately leads to a raid of the compound.

Big Love promotional photo featuring (from left to right) Jeanne Tripplehorn, Bill Paxton, Chloë Sevigny, and Ginnifer Goodwin.

Meanwhile, Roman's newest intended bride, 15-year-old Rhonda Volmer, secretly leaves the compound to live with the Henricksons. The family is quick to take Rhonda in, thinking that she is an innocent trying to escape being forced to marry the elderly Roman. However, it is quickly revealed that Rhonda is a pathological liar and sociopath who left the compound only to exploit Roman's legal troubles in order to get media coverage for her story in the newspaper and on TV.

Rhonda's departure and Alby's actions lead to Bill's manipulating Roman and the Greenes (a renegade polygamist sect that operates on the fringes of society) against each other in order to claim Weber Gaming. Roman is shot by the Greenes when the police finally try to arrest the Greenes, forcing them to flee. With Roman hospitalized, Alby quickly seizes power, and—-thanks to Rhonda's statements to the police—-Roman is arrested by the police for violating the Mann Act. Alby's power is ultimately secured when he forces his mother to flee Juniper Creek (after realizing that she planned to use him as a puppet to secure her own power base at Juniper Creek) and by Bill's refusal to challenge Alby's claim of prophethood in order to claim the position for himself.

On the home front, Nicki struggles with Bill's decision to send their son to a Catholic school (which is far enough out of the way for Bill to claim Nicki as his sole wife) while Margene and Barb wage war against each other for the "head wife" position. This is complicated when Margene befriends Ana, a Serbian waitress and dental hygienist, after witnessing Bill flirting with her at a diner. Margene encourages Bill to bring Ana into the family as a fourth wife in order to gain an ally against Barb and Nicki.

Barb, after a tearful reunion with her estranged mother and a pep talk with Roman's wife, reasserts herself as first wife by outing the family as polygamist to her nosy neighbors and informing Bill that she will finally leave him once and for all if he tries to bring a fourth wife into the family.

Meanwhile, Sarah is seeking help in dealing with her family's lifestyle through a support group for ex- Fundamentalist Mormons, leading to her falling for a man ten years her senior. While Sarah ultimately gives up her virginity to her new boyfriend (mainly to spite her father, who is indifferent towards Sarah's growing disdain for him and polygamy), Ben gives himself over to his father's views on polygamy. At the close of the season, Ben is dating twin girls from Juniper Creek whose goal is to marry one man between them, causing Barb to consider sending him away to live with her nonpolygamist mother.

Season 3

In the third season of Big Love, Bill pursues Ana, a waitress he met in season two, despite his pledge to Barb to end the affair. Barb warms to the idea after she spends time with Ana, and sees in her a confidante without Margene's childishness or Nicki's manipulativeness. After Barb agrees to allow Bill to marry her, Ana finds herself chafing at Bill's authoritarianism and sees her presence causing Nicki, Barb, and Margene to fight repeatedly. At the end of season 3, Ana "divorces" herself from the family, citing her inability to deal with the polygamist lifestyle and her fear that her staying in the marriage would destroy the already fragile bonds among Bill's three wives.

Another focus in season 3 is on Roman Grant's trial, as Adaleen forces Nicki to infiltrate the prosecution's office building as a clerical worker (using Margene's name) to uncover the identities of the chief witnesses against Roman. The key witness is Joey's intended second wife Kathy, who Roman forced to marry when she was only 16. Two of the witnesses are intimidated into not testifying while Rhonda (who now seeks to sue Roman and Juniper Creek in civil court) is given $30,000 by Adaleen and ordered to flee town after Adaleen lies to her about Roman no longer loving her. Kathy's testimony is negated by her twin sister Jodeen, who lies on the stand to protect her son and tells the court that Kathy was married at age 19 and not 16. She argues that due to the Juniper Creek policy of not celebrating birthdays, Kathy is "unaware" of her true age. Roman is acquitted and Nicki — who the audience discovers was forcibly married off at 14 to an older man when her picture is seen in one of Roman's "Joy Books" — shoves her father down a flight of stairs in an unsuccessful attempt to kill him. Nicki's employment leads to a flirtation with the prosecutor Ray Henry (Chip Esten), who is prosecuting her father, but he does not know her true identity.

Meanwhile, Sarah is preparing to leave home for college at Arizona State when she discovers that she is pregnant. She tells Ben and Heather, but not Scott, the 28-year old father, or her parents. At first she plans to give her child up for adoption, but ultimately she decides to keep it. However, while on a family vacation, Barb finds Nicki's birth control pills and mistakenly thinks they belong to Sarah. Barb's tirade against her daughter leads to Nicki admitting that the birth control pills are hers, having purposely been on the pill for years while lying to Barb and Bill about wanting additional children. The commotion of Barb's outburst leads to Sarah's miscarriage the next day, with Nicki convincing Sarah to come clean about the pregnancy and miscarriage afterwards. While Bill attempts to be supportive of Sarah, by buying her a new car and refusing to judge her decision to be sexually active, Barb's relationship with Sarah is severely damaged as Barb attempts to bully Sarah into becoming more involved with the family in light of her promiscuity and its consequences. Sarah decides not to attend college, much to the dismay of Heather, who changed her future plans to attend the University of Utah to attend Arizona State to help Sarah with the baby.

Joey has announced to Bill that he, Kathy, and Wanda are getting married, and he asks Bill to seal them. Furious at Roman's acquittal, Kathy has been gathering resistance on the Juniper Creek compound against Roman, threatening his waning authority within the compound (due to Alby consolidating his own power base). Roman has Kathy kidnapped hours before her wedding in order to force her to marry rival Hollis Greene, who is revealed to be Roman's brother-in-law and who will be immediately shipped off to Mexico, where Kathy will never see Joey or Wanda again. After stabbing Hollis's wife Selma with a pitchfork, Kathy steals a pickup truck and tries to flee. Roman forcibly rams her vehicle from behind and it plows into an electrical pole. Due to the force of the collision and to Kathy's braid being caught in the door, her neck is broken by whiplash and she is killed instantly. Her body is subsequently dumped in a ravine and her death staged to look like an accidental fall. At the funeral a few days later, Joey accuses Roman of murdering his intended wife. Joey later confronts Adaleen in her hotel room and tries to coerce a confession out of her about what she knows.

While Nicki becomes entangled with her boss, due to Ray's attraction to "Margene", Bill attempts to forge an alliance to bring down Roman for his part in Kathy's death. Margene, furious that Nicki is continuing to see Ray in spite of promising to break up their relationship, ultimately outs Nicki and Bill, leading to Ray denouncing the entire family and vowing to prosecute Nicki for illegal actions during the Grant trial. Bill promptly demands a divorce from Nicki, forcing her to move back in with Alby. Meanwhile, Sarah reunites with Scott and after telling him about the miscarriage, the two decide to get married, much to Ben and Barb's dismay.

Elsewhere, Bill and Alby broker a deal with Bill's brother-in-law Ted, who is seeking a Mormon document implying that the Mormon Church faked renouncement of polygamy in order to get Utah formally recognized as a state. This leads to a war between Barb's family and Bill/Barb, culminating in Barb being excommunicated from the Mormon Church (of which Barb is able to get her mother and sister to sponsor her for one last visit inside the temple prior to being excommunicated). The Greenes also want the document and kidnap Ted's adopted daughter to force him to give it up. However, upon being given the document, they reveal that it is a forgery and that Alby faked the document in order to con money out of the church.

In the season 3 finale, Alby ultimately plots to kill both of his parents, in order to consolidate his power over the compound and to avenge a prior attempt on his life that Adaleen arranged. He and his wife Lura create a letter bomb and he leaves it outside his mother's hotel room; it explodes when a maid's cart rolls over it and the maid and Alby are injured. Selma is arrested for kidnapping Bill's adopted niece and reveals evidence to police about Roman's involvement in Kathy's death, and the DA plans to indict Roman for murder. But back at the compound Joey waits for Roman inside his home and appears to have suffocated him, avenging Kathy's death. Meanwhile Nicki, revealed to viewers as being Wanda's sister-in-law, is reunited with her former husband, J.J., and their daughter, a 14-year-old named Cara Lynn. When she learns that Cara Lynn is about to be placed within the "Joy Book" in order to be married off, Nicki returns to the family with Cara Lynn in tow, announcing that she is her daughter. His family reunited, the season ends with Bill declaring the beginning of their own new church with him as the leader.

HBO Canada premiered this season day-and-date with HBO in the U.S. on January 18, 2009.

In November 2008, the show's official site, launched a massive ad campaign for the third season of Big Love, including a preview of the new season, a behind-the-scenes look at the new season, and background videos of Bill Henrickson, Barbara Dutton-Henrickson, Nicolette Grant, and Margene Heffman. In the behind-the-scenes video, Ginnifer Goodwin says, "Anything you thought could happen happens." Bill Paxton states, "I thought Season 2 was vamped up, but Season 3 is even more explosive." On her character, Chloë Sevigny says, "There is definitely a power struggle that goes on between the wives. You see Bill and Barb find out about some things Nicki has been hiding from them."

In January 2009, ABCnews.com reported that the series had incorporated the YFZ ranch raid into the story line.[13]

Season 4

The fourth season of Big Love premiered on January 10, 2010[14] It was further announced that Amanda Seyfried, who plays Bill and Barb's daughter Sarah, will leave the show after the completion of the season in order to pursue a film career full time. It is unknown if she will make guest appearances in future seasons.[15]

Reuters reported that Bella Thorne will replace Jolean Wejbe who has played Bill and Barb's daughter Tancy for the first three seasons.[16] Another addition to the show is Adam Beach who plays Tommy Flute, the son of Jerry Flute (Robert Beltran), Bill's Indian gaming business partner.

In the premiere episode of season four, viewers learn that Roman Grant's body has been hidden in a freezer for several weeks by Adaleen. Alby and his wife, Lura move the body to Idaho to the Henrickson's newly opened - but still under construction casino. Bill is able to prevent the FBI from finding Roman before he returns Roman's body to Juniper Creek for burial.

The season presents Bill with two challenges — his campaign for public office, and his growing rift with his eldest son, Ben. Bill seeks a seat in the Utah State Senate as part of a plan to legitimize The Principle — which faces renewed and widespread animosity from the public. Bill learns of Ben's growing attraction to Margene, and agrees that Ben should spend some time away from the house, which Ben interprets as being 'cast out' of the family. This shocks Bill's family, who recently discovered Bill's own criminal past after his exile, revealed to the public by Bill's political opponent. Bill must also grapple with Marilyn Densham (Sissy Spacek), a powerful and conniving lobbyist whom he likens to a common criminal.

The season also develops a plotline involving J.J. marrying Adaleen. At first resistant, Adaleen accepts being "sealed" to J.J. and soon after finds that she's pregnant. Nicki is told she's infertile, even when treated by J.J.'s son, a fertility specialist. Eventually, it is revealed that J.J. has been using eugenics and inbreeding on an isolated community in Kansas where he is a leader, and that Adaleen's pregnancy is the product of that program.

On the eve of elections, Barb unsuccessfully tries to sabotage Bill's potential win by leaking paternity report of Ana's child thus proving Bill's extramarital affair to the media. This brings the growing rift between Bill and Barb to fore, with Barb declaring that, unlike the previous twenty years, she does not feel the need for Bill any more. To avenge J.J.'s eugenics experiments on her family with in-vitro fertilization, Adaleen sets fire to a fertility clinic office where she has trapped J.J. Walker and his cancer-stricken wife. Season 4 ends with Bill winning the election for the Utah State Senate seat and revealing to an obviously uncomfortable public that he has a plural marriage with Barb, Nicki, and Margene.

Season 5

It has been announced that HBO has renewed the series for a fifth season.[17]

The United Effort Brotherhood

The show's fictional fundamentalist group, the "United Effort Brotherhood", or UEB, is similar to the actual "United Effort Plan" established by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and taken over by the state in 2005.[18] The FLDS is one of the most prolific and well-known polygamist groups and regards itself as the legitimate successor of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who officially discontinued polygamy in 1890.[19][20] Creators Olsen and Scheffer included a drive through the twin FLDS towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona, as part of their research for the show.[21] The raid on Juniper Creek is reminiscent of the Short Creek raid, an actual historic event from 1953 where Arizona state police and National Guard troops took action against polygamists in Colorado City. Many of the businesses owned by the 'UEB' are similar to businesses owned by the Latter Day Church of Christ (aka the Kingston Clan), another Mormon fundamentalist church.

Production and crew

Although set in Utah, the series is primarily filmed at the Santa Clarita Studios in Valencia, California. The location used for filming "Henrickson’s Home Plus" scenes is The All American Home Center in Downey, California.

The outside scenes of the three homes that Bill owns are filmed on location on Shady Lane, in the small town of Fillmore, California.[22]

The mall scenes from Season one were filmed in the Fox Hills Mall, in Culver City, California. Other exterior shots are filmed in Downtown Salt Lake City, Utah and Sandy, Utah, as well as northeast Los Angeles, California.[23]

The head writers for the series are the co-creators: Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer. The writing staff includes: Patricia Breen,[24] Dustin Lance Black, Doug Jung,[25] Eileen Myers, Jennifer Schuur, Doug Stockstill, Jeanette Collins,[26] and Mimi Friedman.[27]

Directors of the series include Jim McKay, Adam Davidson, Rodrigo Garcia, Charles McDougall, Sarah Pia Anderson, Dan Attias, Burr Steers, Michael Spiller, Alan Taylor, John Strickland, Mary Harron, Steve Shill, Julian Farino, Michael Lehmann, and Alan Poul (former executive producer of Six Feet Under).

The show's producers are Alexa Junge[28], Ann Holm, Ron Binkowski, Bernadette Caulfield,[29] Jeanette Collins, Mimi Friedman, Shane Keller,[30] David Knoller,[31] Mark V. Olsen, Will Scheffer, Gary Goetzman,[32] and Tom Hanks.

Episodes

Season No. of episodes First Airdate Last Airdate
Season 1 12 March 12, 2006 June 4, 2006
Season 2 12 June 11, 2007 August 26, 2007
Season 3 10 January 18, 2009 March 22, 2009
Season 4 9 January 10, 2010 March 7, 2010

Soundtrack

David Byrne recorded a complete soundtrack to the second season, released as Big Love: Hymnal on August 19, 2008. The theme song to the series from seasons 1 through 3 was The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows". As of season 4, the song "Home", performed by the British band Engineers, was adopted as the show's theme song along with a new title sequence.

DVD releases

DVD Name Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Season 1 October 17, 2006 April 27, 2007 September 5, 2007
Season 2 December 11, 2007 TBA July 2, 2008
Season 3 January 5th, 2010[33] TBA March 3rd, 2010

Critical reception

Metacritic rated the show a 72 out of 100, indicating favorable reviews.[34]

Heather Havrilesky of Salon.com said of Big Love, "There are elements of this new series that have a quirkiness that might seem deliberate or overly clever against a different backdrop, but that feels natural in its own gracefully odd environment." [35]

Time magazine's James Poniewozik named it one of the Top 10 Returning Series of 2007, ranking it at #5.[36]

However, the Phoenix New Times's Robert L. Pela called the show a "hot-soccer-mom fantasy" and "about as down and dirty as the old sitcom Three's Company", and said its portrayal of polygamy was "just as tidy as a deodorant commercial".[37]

LDS Church response

In March 2006, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) issued a public statement citing concerns over the program's depiction of abuse, polygamy, use of stereotypes, and television's depiction of moral and civic values in general.[38] Among other things, the Church stated that, "Despite its popularity with some, much of today’s television entertainment shows an unhealthy preoccupation with sex, coarse humor and foul language. Big Love, like so much other television programming, is essentially lazy and indulgent entertainment that does nothing for our society and will never nourish great minds."[38] In March 2009, the LDS Church stated that HBO's writers, producers, and executives were displaying insensitivity to church members by choosing to display simulated segments of the LDS Church's Endowment ceremony in an episode of Big Love.[39][40][41] The LDS Church also stated that the show had continued to blur the distinction between the LDS Church and "the show's fictional non-Mormon characters."[39]

Awards and nominations

The second season was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Drama Series in 2007. Bill Paxton was also nominated for the Best Actor in a Television Drama Golden Globe for his role as Bill Henrickson.[42]

The third season was nominated for the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.

In 2010 Chloë Sevigny won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a TV role for her portrayal of Nicolette Grant in season 3 of Big Love.

International broadcasting

Country Alternate title/Translation TV Network(s) Series Premiere Weekly Schedule
United States United States HBO March 12, 2006 Sundays at 9:00pm (ET)
Canada Canada HBO Canada
Showcase
March 14, 2006 Sundays at 9:00 p.m. (ET/MT)
Showcase runs Big Love in syndication - Season 1-2
Sweden Sweden SVT April 16, 2008 Fridays at 10.45pm
Arab League Arab World MBC 4
American Plus (HBO) Orbit Network
Argentina Argentina HBO
Australia Australia SBS TV June 3, 2007 Tuesdays at 8:30pm
Belgium Belgium Canvas (First run), BeTV (Reruns) September 2006
Brazil Brazil Amor Imenso HBO
SBT
Chile Chile HBO
Colombia Colombia HBO
Costa Rica Costa Rica[citation needed] HBO
Czech Republic Czech Republic HBO
Denmark Denmark Kanal 4 Mondays - Thursdays 20.00
Finland Finland Nelonen February 19, 2007 Mondays at 9.00pm
France France Canal+ September 13, 2007 Thursdays at 10:15pm
Germany Germany TNT Serie
Guatemala Guatemala HBO September 9, 2007 Sundays at 9.00pm
Hungary Hungary Hármastársak HBO/HBO2 January 5, 2007
India India HBO August 4, 2008 Mondays at 11:30pm
Israel Israel yes stars Drama
yes stars Drama HD
HBO on Demand
October 15, 2006 Sundays at 9:00 p.m.
Italy Italy Fox Life
Mexico Mexico HBO
Netherlands Netherlands NET 5 May 28, 2007 Mondays at 9.30pm
New Zealand New Zealand TV ONE Tuesdays at 11:00pm
Norway Norway FEM September 3, 2007 Mondays at 9.30pm
Paraguay Paraguay HBO/HBO Plus
Peru Peru HBO
Poland Poland Trzy na jednego (Three On One) HBO, HBO2
Portugal Portugal FX 2007 Season 2 Saturdays at 9:05pm and Wednesdays at 10:00pm

(Season 1 reruns every day except Sundays and Saturdays at 1:00am, 11:35am and 3:25pm)

Romania Romania Dragoste mare HBO
Scandinavia Canal+
Singapore Singapore StarHub TV Mondays at 11.00pm
South Africa South Africa M-Net
Spain Spain Canal+
Thailand Thailand HBO
HBO Signature
October 22, 2007
October 8, 2007
Republic of China Taiwan 大爱 HBO
Turkey Turkey Foxlife
United Kingdom United Kingdom Channel Five (First run), Five Life (reruns) June 2006 Mondays 22.00
Uruguay Uruguay HBO

References

  1. ^ Vince Horiuchi, "Dern turns to Utah's 21st governor for HBO role", Salt Lake Tribune, 2006-04-14.
  2. ^ Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa, "Mitt takes hit on 'Big Love'", Boston Herald, 2007-08-29.
  3. ^ Rebecca Dana, "Raise the Red-State Lantern", New York Observer, 2006-03-12.
  4. ^ "HBO sets new date for Second Series". HBO.com. http://www.hbo.com/apps/schedule/ScheduleServlet?ACTION_DATE=UpdateCalendar&DATE=6/11/2007. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  5. ^ "HBO's 'Big Love' to return on Jan. 10". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118009978.html?categoryid=14&cs=1&ref=bd_tv. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  6. ^ 'Big Love': Real Polygamists Look at HBO Polygamists and Find Sex
  7. ^ http://hbo.com/big-love#
  8. ^ a b "Big Love Episode Guide Viagra Blue". HBO.com. http://www.hbo.com/biglove/episode/season1/episode02.html. Retrieved 2006-07-30. 
  9. ^ "Episodes Cast for "Big Love"". imdb.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0421030/epcast. Retrieved 2006-07-30. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Cast and crew. Big Love. Retrieved on 2007-06-20. HBO.com.
  11. ^ Season 1, Episode 8, "Easter" Lois (Bill's mother) tells Sarah (Bill's daughter) that Maggie drowned in Lake Mead, Nevada
  12. ^ Sixteen birthday referenced on Episode No. 3, Season two, broadcast June 25, 2007
  13. ^ Friedman, Emily (Jan. 18, 2009). [Juniper Creek "HBO Drama Inspired by Real Polygamist Raid"]. Juniper Creek. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  14. ^ [www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/18/AR2009121800161.html Serjeant, Jill. "HBO's 'Big Love' to Start Season 4 With a Gay Story Line."] Washington Post. December 20, 2009.
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ http://www.reuters.com/article/televisionNews/idUSTRE58318T20090904
  17. ^ http://www.thetvstop.com/hbo/big-love/hbo-renews-big-love-for-a-fifth-season/
  18. ^ http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705317558/Judge-rules-for-court-supervision-in-UEP-case.html
  19. ^ http://scriptures.lds.org/chchrono/contents
  20. ^ http://scriptures.lds.org/en/od/1
  21. ^ Adams, Brooke (2006-03-08). "The real sources behind Big Love". The Polygamy Files: The Tribune's blog on the plural life (The Salt Lake Tribune). http://blogs.sltrib.com/plurallife/2006/03/real-sources-behind-big-love.htm. Retrieved 2006-08-12. 
  22. ^ [2], Shady Lane, Fillmore, CA
  23. ^ San Fernando Road: As Seen on TV, Atwater Village Newbie, June 13, 2007
  24. ^ Patricia Breen at the Internet Movie Database
  25. ^ Doug Jung at the Internet Movie Database
  26. ^ Jeanette Collins at the Internet Movie Database
  27. ^ Mimi Friedman at the Internet Movie Database
  28. ^ Alexa Junge at the Internet Movie Database
  29. ^ Bernadette Caulfield at the Internet Movie Database
  30. ^ Shane Keller at the Internet Movie Database
  31. ^ David Knoller at the Internet Movie Database
  32. ^ Gary Goetzman at the Internet Movie Database
  33. ^ HBO: Big Love
  34. ^ Big Love (HBO) - Reviews from Metacritic
  35. ^ Salon.com Arts & Entertainment | I Like to Watch
  36. ^ Poniewozik, James; Top 10 New TV Series; time.com
  37. ^ Pela, Robrt L.; Big Eeeewww!
  38. ^ a b "Church Responds to Questions on HBO's Big Love", press release, lds.org, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2006-03-06.
  39. ^ a b Jennifer Dobner, "HBO Vs. The Mormons In Battle Over Temple Ceremony", Huffington Post, 2009-03-11.
  40. ^ Vince Horiuchi, "LDS Temple secrets? 'Big Love' TV episode angers Mormons: TV show to air Sunday reportedly depicts faith's endowment ceremony", Salt Lake Tribune, 2009-03-12.
  41. ^ "LDS Church comments on 'Big Love'", Deseret News, 2009-03-09.
  42. ^ "Hollywood Foreign Press Association 2008 Golden Globe Awards For The Year Ended December 31, 2007". HFPA. 2007. http://www.goldenglobes.org/news/id/81. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 

External links


Big Love
File:Big love
Promotional poster for Season 1
Format Drama
Created by Mark V. Olsen
Will Scheffer
Starring Bill Paxton
Jeanne Tripplehorn
Chloë Sevigny
Ginnifer Goodwin
Shawn Doyle
Melora Walters
Grace Zabriskie
Matt Ross
Mireille Enos
Cassi Thomson
Željko Ivanek
Amanda Seyfried
Harry Dean Stanton
Opening theme "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys (Seasons 1-3)
"Home" by Engineers (Season 4-)
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 43 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 50 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel HBO
Original run March 12, 2006 (2006-03-12) – present
External links
Official website

Big Love is an American television drama on HBO about a fictional fundamentalist Mormon[1][2][3] family in Utah who practice polygamy. Big Love currently stars Bill Paxton, Chloë Sevigny, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Ginnifer Goodwin, Harry Dean Stanton, Željko Ivanek, Amanda Seyfried, Grace Zabriskie, Matt Ross, Mireille Enos and Cassi Thomson.

The series premiered in the United States on March 12, 2006 following the sixth-season premiere of the HBO series The Sopranos. The second season aired in 2007[4] and the third season began airing January 18, 2009 in the U.S. and Canada. The fourth season began filming in August 2009 and premiered on January 10, 2010.[5]

Contents

Overview

The show was co-created by Mark Olsen and Will Scheffer, who also serve as executive producers. Olsen and Scheffer spent almost three years researching the premise of the show,[6] with the intent of creating a fair portrayal of polygamy in America without being judgmental. The series' current theme song is "Home" by the band Engineers. During the first three seasons, "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys played during the opening titles. The musical score for the series is composed by Anton Sanko. Mark Mothersbaugh composed music for the first season, while David Byrne was in charge of music during the second season.

Cast and characters

Leading cast

  • Bill Paxton – Bill Henrickson – Main character. A practicing polygamist and a new Utah Republican state senator.
  • Jeanne Tripplehorn – Barbara "Barb" Henrickson – Bill's first wife. Mother of Sarah, Ben, and Tancy.
  • Chloë Sevigny – Nicolette "Nicki" Grant – Bill's second wife, Barb's former caretaker (during her bout with cancer) and Roman Grant's daughter. Mother of Wayne and Raymond (with Bill), and Cara Lynn (with J.J.)
  • Ginnifer Goodwin – Margene Heffman – Bill's third and youngest wife. Mother of Lester, Aaron, and Nell.
  • Amanda Seyfried – Sarah Henrickson – Bill and Barb's first daughter, struggling with her father's polygamous faith. Sarah recently married Scott Quittman, even though her parents disapproved. Sarah and Scott moved away from Utah to Portland, OR at the end of season four.
  • Douglas Smith – Ben Henrickson – Bill and Barb's son. Has expressed his sexual attraction to Margene, his third mother, who rejects it as incestuous. He has stated his desire to follow The Principle—to practice polygamy as his father does.

Supporting cast

  • Matt Ross – Alby Grant – Roman Grant's son and potential 'Prophet' of Juniper Creek, Alby is a closeted homosexual. When Lura discovered Alby's most recent affair, his lover, Dale Tomasson, committed suicide in Alby's secret apartment.
  • Shawn Doyle – Joey Henrickson – A former professional football player with the Dallas Cowboys, Bill's brother, Wanda's husband. He attempts to enter into polygamy like Bill and his forefathers.
  • Melora Walters – Wanda Henrickson – Bill's sister-in-law, wife to Joey Henrickson. Her psychological problems surface when she tries to poison people who cross her or her family. She is also the sister of Nicki's first husband, J.J.
  • Grace Zabriskie – Lois Henrickson – Bill's mother. She has been in a long-time feud — and even attempted homicide — against Bill's father, Frank Harlow. Lois, Frank, Jodeen and Ben were kidnapped by the Greenes while attempting to buy contraband parrots in Mexico.
  • Bruce Dern – Frank Harlow – Bill's abusive and domineering father who exiled Bill from Juniper Creek at age 14. He is in a strong, sometimes violent, perennial feud with Lois.
  • Mireille Enos – Jodeen and Kathy Marquart (deceased) – Kathy is Joey's second wife-to-be until her death via a car accident while being chased by Roman Grant in episode "Fight or Flight." She lived in Joey and Wanda's home and assisted with the care of their infant son. Her twin sister, Jodeen is Frank's newest wife.
  • Harry Dean Stanton – Roman Grant (deceased) – Nicki & Alby's father, self-proclaimed 'Prophet' and former leader of the Juniper Creek compound. He was smothered to death by Joey Henrickson to avenge Roman's involvement in the death of Joey's fiancée Kathy. Roman's body was later exhumed and burned by Joey to cover up any evidence of the murder.
  • Mary Kay Place – Adaleen Grant – One of Roman Grant's wives and Nicki and Alby's mother. Although sixth wife to Roman, she was his most trusted confidante and was able to influence Roman's political decisions. After Roman's death, Alby sends her to be a wife of J.J., against Adaleen's and Nicki's wishes.
  • Željko Ivanek – J.J. Percy Walker (deceased), Nicki's first husband and father of Nicki's first daughter, Cara Lynn. He is domineering, and with Alby's pull, forces the widowed Adaleen to marry him. Adaleen kills him at the end of season 4.[7]
  • Cassi Thomson – Cara Lynn Walker - Nicki and J.J.'s daughter.
  • Bella Thorne – Tancy ("Teenie") Henrickson – Bill and Barb's younger daughter (formerly played by Jolean Wejbe - seasons 1 to 3).
  • Brian Kerwin – Eddie Henrickson – Lois' younger brother, Bill's uncle.
  • Keegan Holst – Wayne Henrickson – Bill and Nicki's first son.
  • Garrett Grey – Raymond Henrickson – Bill and Nicki's second son.
  • Joel McKinnon Miller – Don Embry – Bill's business partner and best friend. A polygamist until two of his wives ran away, leaving him a monogamist both in spirit and in fact. He was asked by Bill to take a 'bullet' — by confessing his polygamy to a TV reporter — to allow Bill's state senate candidacy to move forward.
  • Tina Majorino – Heather Tuttle – Sarah Henrickson's co-worker and best friend.
  • Branka Katic – Ana, Bill Henrickson's former fourth wife. She and Bill married, then she divorced the family (late in the third season). Bill and his wives recently discovered that she conceived a child with Bill prior to their 48 hour marriage.
  • Daveigh Chase – Rhonda Volmer – A young sociopath (possible psychopath) teenager who was to be married to Roman Grant. During Roman's trial, she was sent away so she would not take the stand and damage the defense's case. It remains unknown whether her "absence" led to Roman eventually being found not guilty of his crimes.
  • Adam Beach – Tommy Flute  - son of Jerry Flute and a manager at the Blackfoot casino. His wife and children were killed three years ago by a drunk driver.
  • Luke Askew – Hollis S. Green, patriarch and proclaimed "prophet" of a rival polygamist group. He serves as one of show's antagonists. His sect frequently uses violence and kidnapping for its political ends.
  • Gregory Itzin – Senator Richard Dwyer, The Republican Senate Majority Leader of the Utah State Senate.[2]
  • Robert Patrick - Bud Mayberry, Leader of a polygamist fringe group. [3]

Recurring

  • Aaron Paul – Scott Quittman, Sarah's new husband.
  • Judith Hoag – Cindy Dutton-Price – Barb's sister.
  • Patrick Fabian – Ted Price – Cindy's husband.
  • Aidan Gonzales and Andrew Gonzales – Joey Henrickson Jr.
  • Christopher Randazzo and Zachary Randazzo – Joey Henrickson Jr. (season 4)
  • Ailish O'Connor and Julia O'Connor – Nell Henrickson (season 4)
  • Anne Dudek – Lura Grant, third and favorite wife of Alby; helps Alby try to kill Roman in both the second and third season.
  • Ellen Burstyn – Nancy, Barbara Henrickson's semi-estranged mother.
  • Mark L. Young – Franky, Frank's son with Nita. Despite the significant age difference between Bill and Franky, Bill considers Franky to be as much his brother as Joey is. Franky is the boyfriend of Rhonda Volmer during the first half of the third season.
  • Wendy Phillips – Peg Embry, Don's wife, Home Plus' head bookkeeper.
  • Kyle Gallner – Jason Embry, Don and Peg's son, Ben's best friend. Jason isn't fond of polygamy.
  • Annie Fitzgerald – Verna, Don's second wife.[8]
  • Renee Albert – Julep "Jo-Jo", Don's third wife.[8][9]
  • Carlos Jacott – Carl Martin, neighbor.
  • Audrey Wasilewski – Pam Martin, Carl's wife.
  • Jodie Markell – Wendy Hunt, Bill's secretary.
  • Sarah Jones – Brynn, Ben's ex-girlfriend.
  • Lawrence O'Donnell – Lee Hatcher, family attorney.
  • Jim Beaver – Carter Reese, business acquaintance of Bill.
  • Sandy Martin – Selma Green, Hollis' first wife and partner, Roman's youngest sister. A woman, but usually dressed in a man's suit with a male hairstyle and a masculine-deep voice.
  • Carli Coleman – Brandy Thissel, Bill's ex-con cousin.
  • Robert Beltran – Jerry Flute, business representative of a Native American reservation that wants to build a casino with Bill's collaboration.
  • Noa Tishby – Ladonna Flute, Jerry's assertive, opinionated wife.
  • Michele Greene - Sheila Jackson White, Channel 9 TV reporter.
  • Charles Esten - Ray Henry, the Head Prosecutor for the Roman Grant case.
  • Ben Koldyke - Dale Tomasson (deceased), Alby's lover who hanged himself after Lura revealed his affair to his wife and family
  • Kevin Rankin - Son of a Hardline Group of Polygamists[10]
  • Christian Campbell - A high school math teacher who has Cara Lynn as a student.[10]

Family tree

Plot

The series revolves around Bill Henrickson, his three wives (Barb, first/legal wife; Nicki, second wife; and Margene, third wife) and their (combined) nine children. Henrickson lives with his family in three neighboring houses in Sandy, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City.

Season 1

Season 1 introduces the main characters and revolves around the family's struggles to live their polygamous lifestyle while keeping it a secret from the outside world. While Bill goes about expanding his chain of home improvement stores ("Henrickson’s Home Plus"), he struggles to balance his three wives and his strained relationship with Nicki's father, Church prophet Roman Grant. From his compound on Juniper Creek, Roman seeks to gain a greater share of the profits from Bill's business ventures. Bill, who is resentful towards Roman for expelling him from Juniper Creek as a teenager, opposes this, and joins with his brother Joey, a former NFL player who returned to Juniper Creek after alcohol addiction to gain a seat on the Church's board of directors in order to undercut Roman's considerable influence and to maintain a level of autonomy from his controlling grasp.

Bill's first wife, Barb, is shown to be the anchor for the plural Henrickson family, but as the show progresses, it is revealed that Barb has mixed feelings about the concept of polygamy, and only her love for Bill makes her stay. Meanwhile, second wife Nicki (daughter of Roman) struggles to fit in with modern life outside the compound and her own desire for power within the family dynamic. Nicki compensates for her isolation by developing an addiction to shopping, leading her to accumulate $60,000 of debt in credit card charges. Third wife Margene, 23 years old, struggles to find her place within the family, as both Barb and Nicki look down on her, due to her youth and immaturity.

Most of season one focuses on the family's struggle to keep their secret from their friends, neighbors, and coworkers. However, things come to a head when Barb is nominated for a "Mother of the Year" Award, resulting in her and Bill being outed as a polygamist couple. Meanwhile, Joey's mentally unstable wife, Wanda, poisons Alby Grant (Roman's son and chief minion) when Alby discovers that Bill is using Joey as a pawn in his scheme to undermine Roman's power within the Church, and threatens the two.

Season 2

Season 2 picks up two weeks after the end of season one, as Barb temporarily leaves home and then returns. Though the outing does not damage the family's reputation or the Henrickson business, it causes Bill to decide to take steps to ensure his family's financial security by trying to buy an electronic gambling company called Weber Gaming.

The second season also expands upon the political battles at Juniper Creek. When Roman and his wife inform Alby that they are willing to allow Wanda and Joey to get away with their attempt on his life in exchange for using them as leverage against Bill, Alby alerts outside authorities, who arrest Joey (who claims credit for poisoning Alby in order to protect Wanda), which ultimately leads to a raid of the compound. [[File:|thumb|290px| Big Love promotional photo featuring (from left to right) Jeanne Tripplehorn, Bill Paxton, Chloë Sevigny, and Ginnifer Goodwin.]] Meanwhile, Roman's newest intended bride, 16-year-old Rhonda Volmer, secretly leaves the compound to live with the Henricksons. The family is quick to take Rhonda in, thinking that she is an innocent trying to escape being forced to marry the elderly Roman. However, it is quickly revealed that Rhonda is a pathological liar and sociopath who left the compound only to exploit Roman's legal troubles in order to get media coverage for her story in the newspaper and on TV.

Rhonda's departure and Alby's actions lead to Bill's manipulating Roman and the Greenes (a renegade polygamist sect that operates on the fringes of society) against each other in order to claim Weber Gaming. Roman is shot by the Greenes when the police finally try to arrest the Greenes, forcing them to flee. With Roman hospitalized, Alby quickly seizes power, and—-thanks to Rhonda's statements to the police—-Roman is arrested by the police for violating the Mann Act. Alby's power is ultimately secured when he forces his mother to flee Juniper Creek (after realizing that she planned to use him as a puppet to secure her own power base at Juniper Creek) and by Bill's refusal to challenge Alby's claim of prophethood in order to claim the position for himself.

On the home front, Nicki struggles with Bill's decision to send their son to a Catholic school (which is far enough out of the way for Bill to claim Nicki as his sole wife) while Margene and Barb wage war against each other for the "head wife" position. This is complicated when Margene befriends Ana, a Serbian waitress and dental hygienist, after witnessing Bill flirting with her at a diner. Margene encourages Bill to bring Ana into the family as a fourth wife in order to gain an ally against Barb and Nicki.

Barb, after a tearful reunion with her estranged mother and a pep talk with Roman's wife, reasserts herself as first wife by outing the family as polygamist to her nosy neighbors and informing Bill that she will finally leave him once and for all if he tries to bring a fourth wife into the family.

Meanwhile, Sarah is seeking help in dealing with her family's lifestyle through a support group for ex- Fundamentalist Mormons, leading to her falling for a man ten years her senior. While Sarah ultimately gives up her virginity to her new boyfriend (mainly to spite her father, who is indifferent towards Sarah's growing disdain for him and polygamy), Ben gives himself over to his father's views on polygamy. At the close of the season, Ben is dating twin girls from Juniper Creek whose goal is to marry one man between them, causing Barb to consider sending him away to live with her nonpolygamist mother.

Season 3

In the third season of Big Love, Bill pursues Ana, a waitress he met in season two, despite his pledge to Barb to end the affair. Barb warms to the idea after she spends time with Ana, and sees in her a confidante without Margene's childishness or Nicki's manipulativeness. After Barb agrees to allow Bill to marry her, Ana finds herself chafing at Bill's authoritarianism and sees her presence causing Nicki, Barb, and Margene to fight repeatedly. At the end of season 3, Ana "divorces" herself from the family, citing her inability to deal with the polygamist lifestyle and her fear that her staying in the marriage would destroy the already fragile bonds among Bill's three wives.

Another focus in season 3 is on Roman Grant's trial, as Adaleen forces Nicki to infiltrate the prosecution's office building as a clerical worker (using Margene's name) to uncover the identities of the chief witnesses against Roman. The key witness is Joey's intended second wife Kathy, who Roman forced to marry when she was only 16. Two of the witnesses are intimidated into not testifying while Rhonda (who now seeks to sue Roman and Juniper Creek in civil court) is given $30,000 by Adaleen and ordered to flee town after Adaleen lies to her about Roman no longer loving her. Kathy's testimony is negated by her twin sister Jodeen, who lies on the stand to protect her son and tells the court that Kathy was married at age 19 and not 16. She argues that due to the Juniper Creek policy of not celebrating birthdays, Kathy is "unaware" of her true age. Roman is acquitted and Nicki — who the audience discovers was forcibly married off at 14 to an older man when her picture is seen in one of Roman's "Joy Books" — shoves her father down a flight of stairs in an unsuccessful attempt to kill him. Nicki's employment leads to a flirtation with the prosecutor Ray Henry (Chip Esten), who is prosecuting her father, but he does not know her true identity.

Meanwhile, Sarah is preparing to leave home for college at Arizona State when she discovers that she is pregnant. She tells Ben and Heather, but not Scott, the 28-year old father, or her parents. At first she plans to give her child up for adoption, but ultimately she decides to keep it. However, while on a family vacation, Barb finds Nicki's birth control pills and mistakenly thinks they belong to Sarah. Barb's tirade against her daughter leads to Nicki admitting that the birth control pills are hers, having purposely been on the pill for years while lying to Barb and Bill about wanting additional children. The commotion of Barb's outburst leads to Sarah's miscarriage the next day, with Nicki convincing Sarah to come clean about the pregnancy and miscarriage afterwards. While Bill attempts to be supportive of Sarah, by buying her a new car and refusing to judge her decision to be sexually active, Barb's relationship with Sarah is severely damaged as Barb attempts to bully Sarah into becoming more involved with the family in light of her choice to have sex and its consequences. Sarah decides not to attend college, much to the dismay of Heather, who had changed her future plans to attend the University of Utah to attend Arizona State to help Sarah with the baby.

Joey has announced to Bill that he, Kathy, and Wanda are getting married, and he asks Bill to seal them. Furious at Roman's acquittal, Kathy has been gathering resistance on the Juniper Creek compound against Roman, threatening his waning authority within the compound (due to Alby consolidating his own power base). Roman has Kathy kidnapped hours before her wedding in order to force her to marry rival Hollis Greene, who is revealed to be Roman's brother-in-law and who will be immediately shipped off to Mexico, where Kathy will never see Joey or Wanda again. After stabbing Hollis's wife Selma with a pitchfork, Kathy steals a pickup truck and tries to flee. Roman forcibly rams her vehicle from behind and it plows into an electrical pole. Due to the force of the collision and to Kathy's braid being caught in the door, her neck is broken by whiplash and she is killed instantly. Her body is subsequently dumped in a ravine and her death staged to look like an accidental fall. At the funeral a few days later, Joey accuses Roman of murdering his intended wife. Joey later confronts Adaleen in her hotel room and tries to coerce a confession out of her about what she knows.

While Nicki becomes entangled with her boss, due to Ray's attraction to "Margene", Bill attempts to forge an alliance to bring down Roman for his part in Kathy's death. Margene, furious that Nicki is continuing to see Ray in spite of promising to break up their relationship, ultimately outs Nicki and Bill, leading to Ray denouncing the entire family and vowing to prosecute Nicki for illegal actions during the Grant trial. Bill promptly demands a divorce from Nicki, forcing her to move back in with Alby. Meanwhile, Sarah reunites with Scott and after telling him about the miscarriage, the two decide to get married, much to Ben and Barb's dismay.

Elsewhere, Bill and Alby broker a deal with Bill's brother-in-law Ted, who is seeking a Mormon document implying that the Mormon Church faked renouncement of polygamy in order to get Utah formally recognized as a state. This leads to a war between Barb's family and Bill/Barb, culminating in Barb being excommunicated from the Mormon Church (of which Barb is able to get her mother and sister to sponsor her for one last visit inside the temple prior to being excommunicated). The Greenes also want the document and kidnap Ted's adopted daughter to force him to give it up. However, upon being given the document, they reveal that it is a forgery and that Alby faked the document in order to con money out of the church.

In the season 3 finale, Alby ultimately plots to kill both of his parents, in order to consolidate his power over the compound and to avenge a prior attempt on his life that Adaleen arranged. He and his wife Lura create a letter bomb and he leaves it outside his mother's hotel room; it explodes when a maid's cart rolls over it and the maid and Alby are injured. Selma is arrested for kidnapping Bill's adopted niece and reveals evidence to police about Roman's involvement in Kathy's death, and the DA plans to indict Roman for murder. But back at the compound Joey waits for Roman inside his home and appears to have suffocated him, avenging Kathy's death. Meanwhile Nicki, revealed to viewers as being Wanda's sister-in-law, is reunited with her former husband, J.J., and their daughter, a 14-year-old named Cara Lynn. When she learns that Cara Lynn is about to be placed within the "Joy Book" in order to be married off, Nicki returns to the family with Cara Lynn in tow, announcing that she is her daughter. His family reunited, the season ends with Bill declaring the beginning of their own new church with him as the leader.

HBO Canada premiered this season day-and-date with HBO in the U.S. on January 18, 2009.

In November 2008, the show's official site, launched a massive ad campaign for the third season of Big Love, including a preview of the new season, a behind-the-scenes look at the new season, and background videos of Bill Henrickson, Barbara Dutton-Henrickson, Nicolette Grant, and Margene Heffman. In the behind-the-scenes video, Ginnifer Goodwin says, "Anything you thought could happen happens." Bill Paxton states, "I thought season 2 was vamped up, but season 3 is even more explosive." On her character, Chloë Sevigny says, "There is definitely a power struggle that goes on between the wives. You see Bill and Barb find out about some things Nicki has been hiding from them."

In January 2009, ABCnews.com reported that the series had incorporated the YFZ ranch raid into the story line.[14]

Season 4

The fourth season of Big Love premiered on January 10, 2010.[15] It was further announced that Amanda Seyfried, who plays Bill and Barb's daughter Sarah, will leave the show after the completion of the season in order to pursue a film career full time. It is unknown if she will make guest appearances in future seasons.[16]

Reuters reported that Bella Thorne will replace Jolean Wejbe who has played Bill and Barb's daughter Tancy for the first three seasons.[17] Another addition to the show is Adam Beach who plays Tommy Flute, the son of Jerry Flute (Robert Beltran), Bill's Indian gaming business partner.

In the premiere episode of season four, viewers learn that Roman Grant's body has been hidden in a freezer for several weeks by Adaleen. Alby and his wife, Lura, move the body to Idaho to the Henrickson's newly opened, but still under construction casino. Bill is able to prevent the FBI from finding Roman before he returns Roman's body to Juniper Creek for burial.

The season presents Bill with two challenges — his campaign for public office, and his growing rift with his eldest son, Ben. Bill seeks a seat in the Utah State Senate as part of a plan to legitimize The Principle — which faces renewed and widespread animosity from the public. Bill learns of Ben's growing attraction to Margene, and agrees that Ben should spend some time away from the house, which Ben interprets as being 'cast out' of the family. This shocks Bill's family, who recently discovered Bill's own criminal past after his exile, revealed to the public by Bill's political opponent. Bill must also grapple with Marilyn Densham (Sissy Spacek), a powerful and conniving lobbyist whom he likens to a common criminal.

The season also develops a plotline involving J.J. marrying Adaleen. At first resistant, Adaleen accepts being "sealed" to J.J. and soon after finds that she's pregnant. Nicki is told she's infertile, even when treated by J.J.'s son, a fertility specialist. Eventually, it is revealed that J.J. has been using eugenics and inbreeding on an isolated community in Kansas where he is a leader, and that Adaleen's pregnancy is the product of that program.

On the eve of elections, Barb unsuccessfully tries to sabotage Bill's potential win by leaking paternity report of Ana's child thus proving Bill's extramarital affair to the media. This brings the growing rift between Bill and Barb to fore, with Barb declaring that, unlike the previous twenty years, she does not feel the need for Bill any more. To avenge J.J.'s eugenics experiments on her family with in-vitro fertilization, Adaleen sets fire to a fertility clinic office where she has trapped J.J. Walker and his cancer-stricken wife. Season 4 ends with Bill winning the election for the Utah State Senate seat and revealing to an obviously uncomfortable public that he has a plural marriage with Barb, Nicki, and Margene.

Season 5

It has been announced that HBO has renewed the series for a fifth season. It will premiere sometime in 2011.[18]

The United Effort Brotherhood

The show's fictional fundamentalist group, the "United Effort Brotherhood", or UEB, is similar to the actual "United Effort Plan" established by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and taken over by the state in 2005.[19] The FLDS is one of the most prolific and well-known polygamist groups and regards itself as the legitimate successor of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which officially discontinued polygamy in 1890.[20][21] Creators Olsen and Scheffer included a drive through the twin FLDS towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona, as part of their research for the show.[22] Like the FLDS, the UEB has the distinction of possessing a temple of its own on its Kansas compound. The raid on Juniper Creek is reminiscent of the Short Creek raid, an actual historic event from 1953 where Arizona state police and National Guard troops took action against polygamists in Colorado City. Many of the businesses owned by the 'UEB' are similar to businesses owned by the Latter Day Church of Christ (aka the Kingston Clan), another Mormon fundamentalist church.

Production and crew

Although set in Utah, the series is primarily filmed at the Santa Clarita Studios in Valencia, California. The location used for filming "Henrickson’s Home Plus" scenes is The All American Home Center in Downey, California.

The outside scenes of the three homes that Bill owns are filmed on location on Shady Lane, in the small town of Fillmore, California.[23]

The mall scenes from season one were filmed in the Fox Hills Mall, in Culver City, California. Other exterior shots are filmed in Downtown Salt Lake City, Utah and Sandy, Utah, as well as northeast Los Angeles, California.[24]

The head writers for the series are the co-creators: Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer. The writing staff includes: Patricia Breen,[25] Dustin Lance Black, Doug Jung,[26] Eileen Myers, Jennifer Schuur, Doug Stockstill, Jeanette Collins,[27] and Mimi Friedman.[28]

Directors of the series include Jim McKay, Adam Davidson, Rodrigo Garcia, Charles McDougall, Sarah Pia Anderson, Dan Attias, Burr Steers, Michael Spiller, Alan Taylor, John Strickland, Mary Harron, Steve Shill, Julian Farino, Michael Lehmann, and Alan Poul (former executive producer of Six Feet Under).

The show's producers are Alexa Junge,[29] Ann Holm, Ron Binkowski, Bernadette Caulfield,[30] Jeanette Collins, Mimi Friedman, Shane Keller,[31] David Knoller,[32] Mark V. Olsen, Will Scheffer, Gary Goetzman,[33] and Tom Hanks.

Episodes

SeasonNo. of episodesFirst AirdateLast Airdate
Season 1 12 March 12, 2006 June 4, 2006
Season 2 12 June 11, 2007 August 26, 2007
Season 3 10 January 18, 2009 March 22, 2009
Season 4 9 January 10, 2010 March 7, 2010

Soundtrack

David Byrne recorded a complete soundtrack to the second season, released as Big Love: Hymnal on August 19, 2008. The theme song to the series from seasons 1 through 3 was The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows". As of season 4, the song "Home", performed by the British band Engineers, was adopted as the show's theme song along with a new title sequence.

DVD releases

DVD Name Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Season 1 October 17, 2006 April 27, 2007 September 5, 2007
Season 2 December 11, 2007 TBA July 2, 2008
Season 3 January 5, 2010[34] TBA March 3, 2010

Critical reception

Review aggregate Metacritic awarded the series' first season an average score of 72 out of 100, indicating favorable reviews. The second season was awarded a rating of 71 out of 100, indicating similarly favorable reviews. The third season was awarded a score of 79 out of 100, also indicating favorable reviews. Season four was awarded a score of 70 out of 100, continuing the series' trend of positive critical response.[35]

Heather Havrilesky of Salon.com said of Big Love, "There are elements of this new series that have a quirkiness that might seem deliberate or overly clever against a different backdrop, but that feels natural in its own gracefully odd environment."[36]

Time magazine's James Poniewozik named it one of the Top 10 Returning Series of 2007, ranking it at #5.[37]

However, the Phoenix New Times's Robert L. Pela called the show a "hot-soccer-mom fantasy" and "about as down and dirty as the old sitcom Three's Company", and said its portrayal of polygamy was "just as tidy as a deodorant commercial".[38]

In contrast, the San Francisco Chronicle's Tim Goodman called Bill Paxton a "wonderfully underappreciated actor" and the show itself "compelling, but not easy".[39]

LDS Church response

In March 2006, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) issued a public statement citing concerns over the program's depiction of abuse, polygamy, use of stereotypes, and television's depiction of moral and civic values in general.[40] Among other things, the Church stated that, "Despite its popularity with some, much of today’s television entertainment shows an unhealthy preoccupation with sex, coarse humor and foul language. Big Love, like so much other television programming, is essentially lazy and indulgent entertainment that does nothing for our society and will never nourish great minds."[40] In March 2009, the LDS Church stated that HBO's writers, producers, and executives were displaying insensitivity to church members by choosing to display simulated segments of the LDS Church's Endowment ceremony in an episode of Big Love.[41][42][43] The LDS Church also stated that the show had continued to blur the distinction between the LDS Church and "the show's fictional non-Mormon characters."[41]

Awards and nominations

The second season was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Drama Series in 2007. Bill Paxton was also nominated for the Best Actor in a Television Drama Golden Globe for his role as Bill Henrickson.[44]

The third season was nominated for the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.

In 2010 Chloë Sevigny won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a TV role for her portrayal of Nicolette Grant in season 3 of Big Love.

References

  1. ^ Vince Horiuchi, "Dern turns to Utah's 21st governor for HBO role", Salt Lake Tribune, 2006-04-14.
  2. ^ Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa, "Mitt takes hit on 'Big Love'", Boston Herald, 2007-08-29.
  3. ^ Rebecca Dana, "Raise the Red-State Lantern", New York Observer, 2006-03-12.
  4. ^ "HBO sets new date for Second Series". HBO.com. http://www.hbo.com/apps/schedule/ScheduleServlet?ACTION_DATE=UpdateCalendar&DATE=6/11/2007. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  5. ^ Levine, Stuart (October 15, 2009). "HBO's 'Big Love' to return on Jan. 10". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118009978.html?categoryid=14&cs=1&ref=bd_tv. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  6. ^ 'Big Love': Real Polygamists Look at HBO Polygamists and Find Sex
  7. ^ "Big Love: Homepage". HBO. http://hbo.com/big-love#. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  8. ^ a b "Big Love Episode Guide Viagra Blue". HBO.com. http://www.hbo.com/biglove/episode/season1/episode02.html. Retrieved 2006-07-30. 
  9. ^ "Episodes Cast for "Big Love"". imdb.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0421030/epcast. Retrieved 2006-07-30. 
  10. ^ a b [1]
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Cast and crew. Big Love. Retrieved on 2007-06-20. HBO.com.
  12. ^ Season 1, Episode 8, "Easter" Lois (Bill's mother) tells Sarah (Bill's daughter) that Maggie drowned in Lake Mead, Nevada
  13. ^ Sixteen birthday referenced on Episode No. 3, Season two, broadcast June 25, 2007
  14. ^ Friedman, Emily (Jan. 18, 2009). [Juniper Creek "HBO Drama Inspired by Real Polygamist Raid"]. Juniper Creek. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  15. ^ Serjeant, Jill. "HBO's 'Big Love' to Start Season 4 With a Gay Story Line." Washington Post. December 20, 2009.
  16. ^ 06:21 PM ET (2009-12-17). "Amanda Seyfried to leave 'Big Love' at the end of the season | EW.com". News-briefs.ew.com. http://news-briefs.ew.com/2009/12/17/amanda-seyfried-to-leave-big-love-at-the-end-of-the-season/. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  17. ^ Nellie Andreeva (September 4, 2009). "Big Love gives bigger role to Bella Thorne". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/televisionNews/idUSTRE58318T20090904. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  18. ^ New Season in 2011
  19. ^ "Judge rules for court supervision in UEP case". Deseret News. 2009-07-18. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705317558/Judge-rules-for-court-supervision-in-UEP-case.html. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  20. ^ "Chronology of Church History". Scriptures.lds.org. http://scriptures.lds.org/chchrono/contents. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  21. ^ "Official Declaration 1". Scriptures.lds.org. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/od/1. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  22. ^ Adams, Brooke (2006-03-08). "The real sources behind Big Love". The Polygamy Files: The Tribune's blog on the plural life (The Salt Lake Tribune). http://blogs.sltrib.com/plurallife/2006/03/real-sources-behind-big-love.htm. Retrieved 2006-08-12. 
  23. ^ Shady Lane, Fillmore, CA on WikiMapia
  24. ^ San Fernando Road: As Seen on TV, Atwater Village Newbie, June 13, 2007
  25. ^ Patricia Breen at the Internet Movie Database
  26. ^ Doug Jung at the Internet Movie Database
  27. ^ Jeanette Collins at the Internet Movie Database
  28. ^ Mimi Friedman at the Internet Movie Database
  29. ^ Alexa Junge at the Internet Movie Database
  30. ^ Bernadette Caulfield at the Internet Movie Database
  31. ^ Shane Keller at the Internet Movie Database
  32. ^ David Knoller at the Internet Movie Database
  33. ^ Gary Goetzman at the Internet Movie Database
  34. ^ HBO: Big Love
  35. ^ Big Love (HBO) - Reviews from Metacritic.
  36. ^ Salon.com Arts & Entertainment | I Like to Watch.
  37. ^ Poniewozik, James; Top 10 New TV Series; time.com.
  38. ^ Pela, Robrt L.; Big Eeeewww!
  39. ^ Goodman, Tim; Sex, Wives, and Religion: HBO Tries Polygamy; San Francisco Chronicle.
  40. ^ a b "Church Responds to Questions on HBO's Big Love", press release, lds.org, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2006-03-06.
  41. ^ a b Jennifer Dobner, "HBO Vs. The Mormons In Battle Over Temple Ceremony", Huffington Post, 2009-03-11.
  42. ^ Vince Horiuchi, "LDS Temple secrets? 'Big Love' TV episode angers Mormons: TV show to air Sunday reportedly depicts faith's endowment ceremony", Salt Lake Tribune, 2009-03-12.
  43. ^ "LDS Church comments on 'Big Love'", Deseret News, 2009-03-09.
  44. ^ "Hollywood Foreign Press Association 2008 Golden Globe Awards For The Year Ended December 31, 2007". HFPA. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-12-14. http://web.archive.org/web/20071214020838/http://www.goldenglobes.org/news/id/81. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Big Love (2006-) is an HBO television drama about a fundamentalist Mormon family in Utah that practices polygamy.

Contents

Season 1

Pilot [1.1]

Sarah: Why can't we just hire a babysitter like everyone else?
Barb: Because we're not everyone else.

Bill: [seeing his father lying on the floor] Oh good lord!
Lois: He's better today. He's gonna be fine. I don't know why everyone's so up in arms.
Frank: [hoarsely] Don't let me die.

Bill: [about his father] He's gotta get to a doctor.
Lois: No! Remember when he got his fingers caught in the fan? You said doctors and he was fine!
Bill: He needed 23 stitches!

Heather: You know, when I'm 21, I really wanna go on a mission and I wish I could go to an Islamic country because I think post-9/11 that part of the world needs our help the most. Don't you think?
Sarah: I think the whole world needs help.

Roman: [to Bill] Listen to me, son, carefully. There's man's law and there's God's law... and I think you know which side I'm on.

Viagra Blue [1.2]

Barb: [to Nicki and Margie] We're never too far apart when we're holding hands.

Nicki: [to Barb, about Margie and Bill having loud sex] Can you believe it? It's like a train whistle!

Lois: [about Frank's arsenic poisoning] How can he suspect me when I didn't do anything? That's crazy!
Bill: Fine, fine. So who is gonna pick him up?
Lois: Why don't you go pick him up?
Bill: I hate him as much as you do.
Lois: Then maybe you did it!

Bill: There's one more thing. My house is three houses.
Ronnie: What, rentals?
Bill: No, I live in all three houses.
Ronnie: In all three?
Bill: With my family, they're connected...
Ronnie: All three houses?
Bill: That's right. Big family.

Bill: [to Margene] I've been thinking about you. We are links to eternity. Ahead of us, family yet to come, souls to be born; behind us, ancestors — ancestors who sacrificed. We are making those sacrifices to live the principle, to keep faith. Margie, you are a valued member of this family. We weren't complete, not until you. You made us complete. I wasn't complete until you, and our fine sons. What happened was a mistake. It'll never happen again, all right? All right?

Home Invasion [1.3]

Bili: [about the size of the guest list for Wayne's birthday party] Are you crazy?! How many people?!
Nicki: Just immediate family!... [pause] 153.

Adaleen: [to Bill, about Nicki] I would never, ever tell you how to run your affairs--she's your wife--but she's always needed a firm hand. She takes well to a good smacking. You too, Barb--just give her a nice little swat!

Sarah: What's it like being married?
Rhonda: It's a pre-marriage placement. That's what it's called now, to get around the law until I'm 16.
[Sarah looks horrified.]
Rhonda: I wasn't forced! [smugly] The other sister-wives hate me because old Roman likes me best.
Sarah: Do you love him?
Rhonda: He's sweet to me. The greatest freedom we have is obedience.

Eclipse [1.4]

[Bill comes home late at night and snuggles up to Margie in bed.]
Margie: [half asleep] Where's Nicki?
Bill: What??
Margie: It's Nicki's night. You gotta go.
[Bill sneaks through the house, across the backyard and up to Nicki's bedroom.]
Nicki: Honey, what are you doing here?
Bill: It's our night!
Nicki: It was. Didn't you get my message? See the Post-It?
Bill: Post-It?
Nicki: I traded with Barb.

Heather: [to Donna] You know what, I've upped my standards, so up yours.

Bill: [to Ben, instructing him for the hunting trip] Hey, remember tomorrow: no deodorant, no soap, no mouthwash.
Sarah: [chuckles] Like you really have to tell him that.

Ben: How do you know if God's talking to you or if you're just talking to yourself?
Bill: That's one of the most important challenges in life.

Affair [1.5]

Ben: I think about sex all the time!
Brynn: But that's good.
Ben: No, I can't control it. I get hard-ons in woodshop!

Nicki: [about Bill] He's been so happy! And he saw me in the car and pretended he didn't see me. And then he gave us flowers to throw me off the trail. I mean, don't you see? Do you see it?
Wanda: You don't think he's...?
Nicki: He is, yes! He is seeing a fourth wife. This is exactly what he did when he got interested in Margene. Honestly, I knew even before I knew, you know?
Wanda: It's so easy to see through them. They're kind of cute that way.

Nicki: You're the weak link, Margie.
Margie: What?
Nicki: We have to be realistic. You can't keep a secret like me and you're not a good liar like Barb.
Barb: [alarmed] What do you mean I'm a good liar?
Nicki: With the neighbors. You're so effortless; you're pro.

Margie: [to her son who's prancing around with no pants on] Aaron! [to Pam] I'm sorry, he just discovered his penis.
Pam: Don't they all!

Roberta's Funeral [1.6]

Barb: [to Peg] I don't like the sneaking around. [pause] Actually, I love the sneaking around; it is so exciting.

Barb: I'm having an affair.
Peg: With who?
Barb: Bill.
Peg: Your husband Bill?

Margie: Your father said we cannot call a plumber.
Ben: I know.
Margie: Do you think he's a cheapskate?
Ben: Umm, I believe the word is thrifty.

Nicki: [thinking about baby names] What do you think of the name Noel?
Bill: I think it says "Kick me and take my lunch money."

Nicki: [about Barb] Do you think she's happy for me? About the baby?
Margie: Of course. She loves babies. Sometimes I think she wishes my boys were hers.
Nicki: Sometimes I think they wish the same thing.

Eviction [1.7]

Barb: [about sneaking sex] We can't keep doing what we're doing.
Bill: But I need you.
Barb: You have me.

Barb: Who's that?
Bill: Just Nicki.
Barb: Oh. What'd she want?
Bill: No, nothing. [pause] She's ovulating.

Bill: I promise you, you will not have the baby in this motel.
Wanda: Oh, I could give birth in a potato patch, I'd survive. It's Joey I'm worried about.

Heather: You know, I really have some strong opinions about polygamy and I would love to sit down and talk to you about it one day.
[Sarah looks down, embarrassed.]
Barb: Wuhh... We should do that sometime.

Easter [1.8]

Wanda: [to Barb, about Frank] I wouldn't let him in your house if I were you. He makes Joey crazy, Bill hates him, and he doesn't pee in the toilet.
Nicki: Bill's not very good about lifting the seat either.
Wanda: No, Nicki. He pees in the sink.

Frank: [to Bill, about Lois] What are you being over-protective of her for? She's like one of Roman's Humvees, you know. The woman is a tank!

Frank: [to Joey] I'll have some beans there, Fumbles.
Wanda: I told you, old man, you lay off Joey or else.
Frank: Or else what?
Wanda: Or else I'll finish the job someone else started: I'll kill you!

A Barbecue for Betty [1.9]

Nicki: I love you, Bill.
Bill: I love you, too.
Nicki: How much?
Bill: I say it's astronomical, beyond all measure.
Nicki: I have $58,000 in debt.

Margie: Benny, do you remember a few years ago, a vote about me?
Ben: Which one?
Margie: The one about me joining the family.
Ben: Which one?

Sarah: [to Bill] It hurts to see you lie, Dad. I hate that about this life. Watching you and Mom hide, all of us having to hide.

The Baptism [1.10]

Margie: I am a terrible wife. I should've never married your father. And your mother.
Sarah: And Nicki.
Margie: Especially Nicki.

Nicki: Margene, you're grounded.
Margie: Excuse me?
Nicki: Or you're on probation. You do not involve our kids in your filthy habits.
Margie: No, no way. You have no authority over me.
Nicki: Authority? Wait just one minute. I'm second, you're third, get it?
Margie: Second's not first. It's nothing.

Cindy: Polygamy one hundred years ago was quaint; polygamy today is foul.

Where There's a Will [1.11]

Ernest Holloway: [about the UEB Council] They also talked about negotiating a contract with NASA to sell clay from one of the mines we own in Moab for the heat shields on the shuttle.
Bill: They don't believe we even went to the moon and yet they're in business with the agency that didn't go there.

Barb: I do not want the kids to go to the compound!
Nicki: All the kids or just your kids?
Barb: Any kids and certainly not mine. And mine include yours!

Governor's Aide: Your charity work was important, to be sure, but truthfully it was your cancer that sealed the deal. The first lady is trying to shine a light on survivorship this year. You and your fellow finalists are all survivors.
Barb: So many people are.
Governor's Aide: True, but most are merely tumors. Luckily for you, yours had metastasized.

The Ceremony [1.12]

Adaleen: [to Rhonda] The competition is over. Of course I found out. What kind of sister-wife do you take me for? Get in. Your little Roman holiday is over.

[Nicki sneaks in on Barb and Margene talking; they don't hear her.]
Barb: Has she said anything to you about what she's wearing?
Margie: Nuh-uh.
Barb: Just try to get her to wear something a little more...I mean, she sticks out like a sore thumb.
Margie: Oh...
Barb: I don't want to hurt her feelings, but it's like walking into the Governor's mansion with a sign that says "Practicing Polygamist." She'll never listen to it coming from me, she'll think I'm attacking her. I mean, even just offer to do her hair.

[Talking about the Mother of the Year event.]
Rhonda: Why did they pick Barb? Is she more important than you two?
Margie: Uh, no.
Rhonda: Well, was there something lacking in you two?
Nicki: Only one person can be mother of the year. Teenie nominated Barb, so that's how it happened. Here.
[She hands Rhonda a sandwich.]
Rhonda: What is it?
Nicki: Breakfast. To go.
[Rhonda turns to walk away, then turns back to Nicki.]
Rhonda: You're irritable, Nicki. Try to find time for a nap this afternoon.

Season 2

Damage Control [ 2.01]

Sarah: [to Barb, about polygamy] I don't think anybody knows, Mom, and not everybody cares.

The Writing on the Wall [2.02]

Nicki: I didn't marry for love. I married for the principle.
Barb: I didn't. I tried. I don't know if I have a testimony for the principle. But I love you, I love our family more and more.
Nicki: That frightens me. I don't know that a marriage based on love can go the distance. The secret holiness of the institution. The sanctity of marriage. Without it, it's just random couplings, with no purpose or stick-to-it-iveness. How will we survive the bad times on just love?

Nicki: [to Margie] Poor Joey and Wanda. They're all they've got. No other spouses to lean on. How are they going to make it through this crisis with only each other?

Reunion [2.03]

Adaleen: [to ten year old girl] Okay, here's how it goes; it's complicated, so try to follow along. I'm thirty-two of fifty-six children, and when I married Roman I became my own step-grandma, because my father married Roman's daughter, Baylene. [conversation continues off screen] So little Josie, that makes you my step-grandma, and I'm your step-mom. And when I had Alby he became my great-uncle and I became his great-great grandmother. Which of course makes me my own grandmother.

Rock and a Hard Place [2.04]

Vision Thing [2.05]

Dating Game [2.06]

Bill: You're my wife, Margene. You can't be seeing the girl I'm dating.

Good Guys and Bad Guys [2.07]

Margie: Nicki doesn't have a mom anymore, so she's trying to steal mine.

Kingdom Come [2.08]

Margie: Nicki, can I tell you a secret?
Nicki: If you must.

Circle the Wagons [2.09]

The Happiest Girl [2.10]

Take Me as I Am [2.11]

Oh, Pioneers [2.12]

Season 3

Block Party [3.01]

Empire [3.02]

Prom Queen [3.03]

On Trial [3.04]

For Better or for Worse [3.05]

Come, Ye Saints [3.06]

Wayne: He was really scary, Mom!
Nicki: All Baptists are, honey.

Fight or Flight [3.07]

Rough Edges [3.08]

Outer Darkness [3.09]

Sacrament [3.10]

Cast

External links

Wikipedia
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