New City Movement

Future Forward Living in Salt Lake City, Utah. Since 1998.

Big Love Premiers

Film & TelevisionJesse Walker13 Comments

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I wonder how many Utahan's caught the premier of "Big Love", HBO's new series about a modern day Polygamist family. I caught it last night and aside from the show being almost hard to watch at times, with some details being SO reminiscent of true life here in the Mormon West, I do think the show was handled pretty well and has a chance of succeeding.

Obviously the writers had to use some broad brush strokes to appeal to a general audience but quite a few elements of the design, including establishing shots of the mountains and temple along with culture specific dialog had me wondering if some of it was actually shot in Utah. That was until we come to a scene where the temple is green-screened behind the actors in an imaginary office building that must be directly above the "Supernacle".

I thought it clever how the main characters resemble something like affluent Provo suburbanites, at least on the surface. Underneath they have their "big" secret of course, but they also have many of the humanistic qualities and daily trials that might elicit empathy from a TV audience. So very many possibilities to the shows story-line lurk in the dusty distance, such as the oldest daughters wavering support for the church, the second wife's sneaky shopping habits (played by Chloe Sevigny) and most importantly, the revelation of Bill the husband's spooky flea-ridden parental clan. Add plenty of in-fighting between the ladies, their families, some shady business dealings and an intriguing dose of religion and you've got a show that might rival a version of Dynasty on BYU/KUED. No doubt polygamy is the subject of culty interest, but is the country ready for it as entertainment? My Tivo thinks yes.