'Big Love: The Complete Third Season'
(Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny, Ginnifer Goodwin, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / 2010 / HBO)
Overview: As if juggling three wives weren't tricky enough, Season Three of Emmy®- and Golden Globe®-nominated 'Big Love' finds modern polygamist Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton) tackling problems outside his three-house suburban home. Bill a practicing polygamist who lives in suburban Salt Lake City with his three wives and seven children. An independent businessman who runs a growing chain of hardware stores, Bill faces a myriad of challenges in meeting the emotional, romantic and financial needs of his wives Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn), Nicki (Chloe Sevigny) and Margene (Ginnifer Goodwin).
DVD Verdict: I keep watching this show every season even though I find these characters infuriating! Most infuriating is the effect this lifestyle has on their children. It's not so bad when they are young but when they become teens, any decisions they want to make about their own futures and lifestyles are stomped on because they have to follow in these polygamous footsteps. Talk about being in a straight jacket for life!
Salt Lake City businessman Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton) is our polygamist in chief and he usually drives me absolute bats. Servicing this guy, in any sense of the word, is a full time job for every other character. One must be a huge egomaniac to occupy this position. Anything less than having full egomania and you would be forced to find yourself insufferable.
When I am about to hurl something through my tv screen at his his head, I do remember though that he was brought up on an outlaw Mormon compound with a guru head and totally insane parents. Compared to them he is a model of decorum and the placid lifestyle. His entire business will collapse if he is discovered to be an outlaw polygamous Mormon. No one who is not one of these will patronize his business. So everyone faces complete financial ruin on a daily basis too.
Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn) is his original wife. This means all of her children are legitimate but she has two other houses attached to her house with two other wives and their children. This is not what she signed on for and she has lost her entire family of mother, sister and sister's children as a result of her husband's outlaw election. Nicki (Chloë Sevigny), and Margene (Ginnifer Goodwin) are the other two wives. Their children are illegitimate and can not be seen in public with their father as it would blow their cover.
In this third season, Bill, incredibly enough, starts dating a fourth woman whom he wants to make his fourth wife. Bill doesn't believe in affairs or pre-marital sex. No, it is marriage or nothing for him. This fourth recruitment of a wife particularly infuriated me and I was grousing at the set, "Why can't you go out and have an affair like a normal person?"
This "moralist" also is trying to get in on the casino gambling business and out of his other consumer products business. Reason? No one in the gambling business cares how he leads his life and if they discover his lifestyle, nothing bad will happen financially.
This is another series, like WEEDS, which I would love to grade down. However, if I have watched three full seasons, got so engrossed that I felt like throwing something through the tv set, then I suspect I must be enjoying it. HBO has done it to me again, I'm afraid, hooked me in for the duration with these outlaw Mormons. [CI] This is a Widescreen presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
"Three Past Midnight” – three mini-episodes that show the reactions of several of the characters to news that a polygamist compound in Kansas has been raided and state troopers have taken children into custody. The three pieces are titled “Margene and Nicki,” “Bill and Barb” and “Ben and Sarah.”
"Their Stories So Far” – vignettes that allow viewers to catch up to what’s going on in Salt Lake City as several of the characters provide their point of views on past storylines.