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HBO's Big Love

 
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:40 am    Post subject: HBO's Big Love Reply with quote

+IHS+

I caught two random episodes of this last night and am kind of torn about what to think of it. On the one hand, I am impressed by the production values and see myself being hooked on the show, just to see what happens next. On the other hand, I am furious at Bill for not realising what his polygamy is doing to his first wife Barb. He's a good provider and a committed family man--and I'm desperately trying to be openminded about this Laughing --but he is no Romance hero. Not even close.
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 1129
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, to be honest I suspect that a drama about a polygamist and his family is not intended to be a romance in the current sense of the word, hence there is no requirement for the protagonist to behave like a romance hero.
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willaful



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 1551

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the show a lot, though it got a little too over-the-top in the second season, with the appearance of the Mormon mafia. Shocked

This is my take: I think both Barb and the husband (can't remember his name) regret the decision they made to become polygamous to some extent. (Her probably considerably more than him.) However, having made the commitment and added the other women to the family, had more children with them, etc., there is really no going back even if either of them wanted to.

There is probably some cognitive dissonance going on, especially for him--he has to really believe he is committed to "the Principle" and did the right thing so he doesn't have to acknowledge the fact that it hurt his relationship with Barb. Or can believe it was the right thing to do regardless.

I'm just talking about my interpretation of the show here, not having an opinion about polygamy in general.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I do think the show is very honest and very real, but (and here I'm being subjective) also very depressing.

willaful wrote:
There is probably some cognitive dissonance going on, especially for him--he has to really believe he is committed to "the Principle" and did the right thing so he doesn't have to acknowledge the fact that it hurt his relationship with Barb. Or can believe it was the right thing to do regardless.


At first I was surprised by your assessment, Willa, because I've mostly focussed on Barb's hurt and regret and been happy to paint Bill the villain all the way. (Mea culpa.)

Yet I did see that everything really is hanging on the thread of Bill's (and Barb's, and Nicki's, and Margene's) belief in "The Principle," and if ever that snaps, they all might not like themselves very much.

By the way, what is "the Principle"? I've tried Googling it and have gotten some weird articles, like "Mormons believe in sportsmanship, in principle" Laughing , so I'm kind of lost.
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willaful



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have a firm sense of what the Principle is but it seems to have something to do with multiple wives (or being one of multiple wives) guarenteeing your spot in heaven where you are all reunited. I think.
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Gwen G



Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 381
Location: Brooklyn, New York

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love this show. The interconnecting plot lines and characters are so well constructed. Its definately a roller coaster ride and a good oldfashioned soap opera. I can't wait to see what happens next.

I think that the kind of polygamy depicted is the "reform" modern middle class version that is kind of rare. But it is still heavily patriarchal - the men have all the spiritual and sexual power and choices. Obviously, God doesn't speak to the Wives or women in general. They can't take on new husbands or become active participants in the "priesthood". Though, even the teenage son can do that as an "elder".

The hope is that eventually Barb will leave. No matter how much Bill loves Barb, it seems evident he would choose "The Principle" over her and stay in the religion. Margene ( the youngest wife) seems to get the most benefit from their life. You feel that it totally works for her. Chloe Sevigny's character has been so damaged by growing up on the compound that she is psychologically locked in for life.

Since part of the "Principal" is that God wants the men to attain more wives and have more children ( although Bill seems distant and uninvolved with those kids) - Bill has said he plans to bring more wives into the family. Barb doesn't seem happy with that. I forsee trouble ahead!
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gwen G wrote:
The hope is that eventually Barb will leave. No matter how much Bill loves Barb, it seems evident he would choose "The Principle" over her and stay in the religion. Margene ( the youngest wife) seems to get the most benefit from their life. You feel that it totally works for her. Chloe Sevigny's character has been so damaged by growing up on the compound that she is psychologically locked in for life.


Margene is a real sweetheart, but I can't predict how things will change once she is no longer the newest, most exciting wife in the family. I have a feeling she has no idea how awful Barb feels whenever Barb looks at her.

Anyway, I do feel for Barb. Do you think it will get to the point where she will make Bill choose between her and the rest of his family?
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willaful



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schola wrote:

Anyway, I do feel for Barb. Do you think it will get to the point where she will make Bill choose between her and the rest of his family?


I think she's too honorable a person to do that, and genuinely loves her sister-wives too much, not to mention the tremendous gratitude she feels towards Nikki for taking care of her when she was sick. At the end of season 2, she did put her foot down about adding any more wives to the family, so it will be interesting to see how that conflict plays out.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do see friendship and true affection between Barb and Nicki, while Barb is more maternal where Margene is concerned. (Understandable!) At the same time, I feel it's because Nicki "knows her place" as the second wife and still defers to Barb in many ways. Margene is much more of a free spirit and is the youngest, hottest wife; so as much as Barb may love her, I think real resentment is growing.
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