Well, a Michigan woman does. In fact, Michele Gazzolo said in a Chicago Tribune essay that she covets the fictional Big Love wives' coziness and says she and her neighbors refer to one another as "sister wives," even though they don't share a hubby. "We found ourselves confessing that plural marriage didn't look so terrible, even in a drama filled with suffering and intrigue," Gazzolo wrote.
I loved the creepy, thought provoking and exquisitely acted freshman season of HBO's Big Love and am eager to find out what the writers have come up with for the Henrickson family, now that their polygamist lifestyle has been publicly exposed.
Well, fans won't have to wait much longer to find out how Barb handles the humiliation of being disqualified from the state Mother of the Year contest because her husband Bill is also married to two other women, or whether Bill's string of home improvement stores will suffer from the news.
Inertia is a powerful thing. And it is one of the big problems with Emmy nominations. Too often the same show will get nominated year after year because that's just what they do, while newer, more deserving shows, are overlooked. The Golden Globes doesn't fall into that particular trap quite as often, but they have their own issues. The Globes have a tendency to favor shows with a lot of buzz, or big ratings, whether their quality is up to snuff or not. I think it's something we see again in the list of nominees this year.
Down to the nitty gritty. Sure, supporting actors supplement a show and often times turn in performances that trump the leads. Usually, though, it's the leading man (or woman) that carries a show for the long haul. You know an award means something when it's either handed out right away at the ceremony (so you miss it before you tune in) or it's saved right until near the end so that you have to sit through all the other awards you don't care about to get to it. You know it's important if you're willing to let your butt go numb from sitting too long to see who wins. The best actor in a television drama is one of those awards.
This year's competition isn't as tight as I think it could have been. First off, I'm appalled that Michael Chiklis didn't get a nom for his portrayal of Vic Mackey in the latest season of The Shield. It was hands down his best performance since the first season. Likewise, I'm very surprised that no one from The Wire received a nomination. No one on that show has ever received an acting nom for a Golden Globe (or an Emmy). If there was a season for it, this past one was it. What we did get was a mix of veteran actors from old shows and new. Some have won. Some have only been nominated. Read on for my thoughts and see if you agree.
Best TV Series - Drama
Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Drama
Patricia Arquette, Medium
Edie Falco, The Sopranos
Evangeline Lilly, Lost
Ellen Pompeo, Grey's Anatomy
Kyra Sedgewick, The Closer
Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Drama
Patrick Dempsey, Grey's Anatomy
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Hugh Laurie, House
Bill Paxton, Big Love
Kiefer Sutherland, 24
Best Television Series - Musical Or Comedy
Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Musical Or Comedy
Marcia Cross, Desperate Housewives
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds
Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Musical Or Comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Zach Braff, Scrubs
Steve Carell, The Office
Jason Lee, My Name Is Earl
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
(UPDATE: One of our readers, Zachary, was kind enough to look up the miniseries nominees -- they weren't announced during this morning's ceremony. He posted them here.)
(SECOND UPDATE: Our sister site Cinematical is covering the movie nominations, if you're curious.)
(S01E12) Well, you just knew that the Henrickson family secret was going to be exposed. What makes it so surprising is that they all seem shocked by it. But I guess they deluded themselves into thinking that they were a "normal" family, at least in their own community.
The season finale of Big Love certainly had its share of twists and turns but, at its core, there's no getting around the fact that Bill Henrickson and his hypocritical lifestyle of polygamy was going to get him sooner or later. In a way, you almost felt sorry for Barb, the first wife, for being devastated about being disqualified from the Mother of the Year competition, but she does support the practice of polygamy, which doesn't give her much of a moral ground to stand on.
The battle between Bill and Roman spilled into nearly tragic consequences, with brother Joey's wife Wanda poisoning Roman's psychotic son Alby with antifreeze. In addition, we learned that Wanda was one who poisoned Bill and Joey's father early on in the season, and we also learned that Wanda has a penchant for poisoning people who come across as threatening. Obviously, the war between Bill and Roman is going to get a lot nastier and it looks like someone is going to get seriously hurt. The fact that Bill now has a seat on the U.E.B. Council will lead to Roman taking drastic measures to protect his turf.
(S01E11) It's getting harder and harder to watch this show without feeling more contempt for Bill Henrickson. He is a hypocrite to the nth degree--he fancies himself as a pious and moral man who wants to become a benefactor to others, but he also is a lying sack of s**t who can't deal with the truth about himself.
He gets all gooey over being invited to become a member of the Salt Lake Leadership League, where it's nothing more than a club of backslappers and gladhanders who help each others' businesses get some breaks. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!) However, no matter how hard Bill tries to convince his friends and families that his membership will be a good thing, he learns that his polygamist lifestyle will only bring unwanted scrutiny and shame to himself and his families. He then sheepishly pulls out of the running after watching an old tape of himself speaking of the evils of the compound and polygamy. A hypocrite to the nth degree!
(S01E10) "Acceptance" and "love" were two major themes of this latest episode. Margene, feeling a bit unwanted and unappreciated, is having thoughts of leaving the Henrickson home(s) and heading out on her own, mostly due to the fact that she was accepted into the family by a 2-1 vote and not unanimously, with Nicki casting the dissenting vote. One definitely gets the feeling that she is still maturing and married Bill and had two babies before she knew it, and at 23 years of age and a polygamist, it could be that she still needs time to grow and find herself.
We are introduced to Barb's sister Cindy, who is obviously disapproving of Barb's situation and is doing all she can to ingratiate herself into the family so she can "educate" the kids about "choosing the right path" and not becoming like their parents. Her involvement leads to a huge scene when she enters into Barb's home and Nicki angrily confronting Cindy and throwing her out. It'll be interesting to see if Cindy continues trying to influence Ben, Sarah, and Teenie away from acceptance of their parents' lifestyle.
(S01E09) Paranoia. Deceit. Anger. Seems like just another "normal" day in the Henrickson household(s). Nicki finally tells Bill about her massive credit card debt, but chooses to do it after she and her husband have sex. (I guess breaking bad news to your partner after great sex doesn't make it easier to take,)
Bill obviously is pissed off, especially since he and his tormentor Roman Grant have come to some sort of agreement to settle their financial dispute and fresh on the heels of a big deal to open a third Henrickson's Home Plus store (which he later loses out on). Nicki fears that she will be thrown out of the house, and Bill's attitude toward her plays on her paranoia.
Bill's friend, business partner, and fellow polygamist Don Embry is ready to take on wife number 4, and the Henrickson's decide to have a lavish barbecure for the future Betty Embry. Bill spends thousands of bucks on lobsters imported from Maine for the occasion (they eat lobster in Utah?), but later the plans are dashed when Don's three wives blackball Betty and vote her down. Margene has been acting paranoid about the vote for her to join the Henrickson family, and learned that she "won" by a 2-1 majority. She is constantly freaking out over who voted against her, and she can certainly relate to Betty.
(S01E08) If anyone has ever had famliy over for an extended stay, sooner or later tensions will arise and there will be many uncomfortable situations to navigate. But how many guests in your home have urinated in your kitchen sink, borrowed your spouse's car and put a huge scratch in it, or undermine your plans for a holiday dinner with their own menu ideas?
Frank Henrickson (as played by Bruce Dern) was especially obnoxious this week, as witnessed by his tendency to use alternate means of going to the bathroom. In addition, there is no love lost between his sons Bill and Joey. He has some grduging respect for Bill, since he is a businessman and, more importantly, has money. However, he especially taunts Joey about his past football failures, and the time will come where either Joey or his wife Wanda will take severe umbrage with Frank.
(S01E07) Bill Henrickson wasn't kidding when he told his first wife Barb in bed at the end of last night's episode, "Everything is spinning out of control." Talk about an understatement!
His other two wives Nikki and Margene are indulging in behavior that Barb feels will draw unwanted scrutiny to their family unit. Margene seems to be increasingly desperate for attention and her very-forward neighbor Pam is showing up any time, anywhere. (Think Marie Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond.)
Nikki is battling with her own issues, including her mounting credit card debt ($58,000 and counting) and her jealousy over Barb getting the most attention from Bill. It also appears that her religious beliefs are being called into question, whether from some very annoying missionaries (who would even allow these knuckleheads onto their property a second time?) or her own father, the cunning Roman Grant.
Speaking of Roman, his battle with Bill over his expected "tithing" from the Home
Plus stores is getting nastier and could explode into violence before long. Roman's minions end up bulldozing the homes
of Bill's family, and they end up in a fleabag motel. To top things off, if Bill's brother Joey ends up going off the
deep end, his wife Wanda is going to hold Bill responsible.
The viewership for Big Love hasn't been impressive, with about 50% of Sopranos' viewers not sticking around for the show. It has been averaging about 4 million viewers each Sunday night. Those numbers are comparable to HBO's Deadwood.
Season two of Big Love begins filming in August.
(S01E06) Fathers and sons often have awkward conversations, especially during the teenage years. Any of us who have had them with our Dads can relate. However, in all the conversations that I have either read about, heard, seen, or experienced myself, none ever gave me the chills more than when Ben Henrickson asked his father Bill if he was worthy of "living the principle" i.e. having the ability to have more than one wife, just like dear old Dad.
And dear old Dad Bill is having a rough go of it lately. Nicki last week said she wanted to bring "another soul" into the family, so Bill does his best to make that happen. However, Nicki is seen taking birth control pills, so what exactly is Nicki up to? If you remember a couple of weeks ago, Bill found Nicki in a somewhat compromising position with her father, his nemesis, Roman Grant, so could Nicki be doing her father's bidding in her own wacky way?
(S01E05) Can a man with three wives love them all equally? From what I gathered in this episode, it doesn't seem so. Bill and Barb definitely spent a lot of time getting busy with each other. One now begins to wonder why exactly does Bill have three wives anyway? He has made a few "Scripture-ish" references over the last few weeks, but it doesn't seem to make any sense.
It isn't a stretch to say that both Nicki and Margene are both major pains in the a**, are very needy, and don't seem very mature or capable of any independent thought. Again, after viewing what has been going on so far in these first five episodes, it seems that many of the "sister-wives" of the other polygamists we've come to know (Roman, Don, etc.) are extremely subservient to their husbands and are either "brainwashed" or just haven't been exposed to any other way of life.
This whole situation becomes even stranger when Bill and Don decide to call the Utah Attorney General's
"Polygamy Czar" to alert him of Roman's suspicious activities vis-a-vis some shady real estate deals to
unsuspecting senior citizens. As Bill said in the last episode, he's taking his fight to Roman, and things are going to
get a lot heavier as the season moves forward. Seems a bit hypocritical when a polygamist tattles on another one?
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