This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Big Love For Big Love!

When reality shows hijacked the networks a few years ago, I thought intelligent television was over. What was bad became awful and when things got as low as they could go, they somehow got lower. Oddly enough, reality shows brought ratings up; someone was watching them.

Not me though. I cancelled my cable. I started watching the evening news and shutting the TV off, spending the rest of my evening curled up watching a big screen movie on my home-sized “little screen.”

Then something odd happened, movies got bad—really bad, and suddenly TV writing got really good. Some of the industry’s best film actors started relocating to the small screen in droves, instead of the other way around. I scratched my head and thought I was in some parallel universe where film was suddenly TV’s kid sister and entertainment’s patriarch was Tony Soprano and not Don Corleone (aka The Godfather).

Sure, the reality shows are still among us, but now there are a few television shows that even I, “jaded non-TV viewer” would deem worthy of my Netflix queue. Chiefly among them is the HBO series, “Big Love.”

“Big Love” chronicles the tale of Bill Henrickson, a hard-working Utah man that just so happens to have a family of three wives and seven children. Even for Mormon territory, Bill and the so-called “sister-wives” (Barb, Nicki, and Margene ) have to keep their polygamist lifestyle secret and their family sacred.

Sounds peachy, eh? I casually watched the first couple episodes until suddenly, I realized I’d finished all of Season One, courtesy of Netflix. Sadly, I came to learn that Season Two was still months away for me, the non-cable/non-HBO/non-premium TV subscriber.

It was like being cut-off from a serial, soap opera addiction.

“Wait,” I thought for a moment, “I’ve always hated soap operas…”

And that’s when I knew that I was totally hooked on “Love”, my so-called “soap opera of choice.”

The Henrickson’s lifestyle is what makes their situation (and the show itself) unique, but the relationships between the characters and the conflicts between the sister-wives, the community, and the fundamentalist Juniper Hill compound keep me coming back for more. Now, every time I hear the first few bars of “God Only Knows” and see the first few frames of the opening sequence, I’m primed for my delicious fill of intrigue in the increasingly complex world of “Big Love.”

Additionally, cinematographer, Jim Glennon, whom I worked with on the feature,“About Schmidt,” beautifully shot 5 episodes of the series' first season. Sadly, he passed away last October. “Big Love” was probably one of the last things he worked on, after a lifetime of contributions to the industry. As a finale, he chose well - and “Big Love” endures. I'll be back for more...

BIG LOVE airs on HBO.
Bill Paxton/Jeanne Tripplehorn/Chloƫ Sevigny/Ginnifer Goodwin

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