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April 19, 2014

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Review: 'Once Upon a Time's' Admirable Attempt to Bring Magic to Primetime

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 21st 2011 2:45PM
There's an earnestness to 'Once Upon a Time' (8PM ET Sunday, ABC) and while I find that quality winning, I can see how some people might be put off by not just the show's sincerity but its fanciful premise.

TV's finest dramas tend to feature modern (or modern-seeming) characters of ambiguous morality who often give in to their worst impulses. There's really not a Prince Charming in the bunch, but one of the leads of 'Once Upon a Time' is the actual Prince Charming. He's not what you'd call edgy.

In some ways, though, 'Once Upon a Time's' square-ish optimism is what sets it apart from everything else on television at the moment. Well, that, and the fact that half of it is set in a universe populated by fairy tale characters such as the Evil Queen, Snow White and Jiminy Cricket.

Toto, we're not in regular primetime any more. And that alone is reason to give this show a shot.

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How to Fix 'Big Love'

by Gary Susman, posted Mar 5th 2010 4:00PM
Has 'Big Love' jumped the shark?

'Big Love' has been so over the top this season, with so many plot twists and shocking revelations crammed in, that it's seemed to take a perverse pleasure in its own excess. Some fans (like Time critic Richard Corliss) relish the Emmy-nominated show's game of "can we top this?", while others balk at the show's more head-scratching developments. What may be most frustrating about the current season is that it provokes both responses, awe and irritation, at the same time.

With the season coming to an abrupt end this Sunday, March 7 (after just nine episodes), it's worth looking back at the new problems with 'Big Love' that emerged this season -- and how the show can solve them in season 5.

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'Big Love' - 'Next Ticket Out' Recap

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 1st 2010 9:02AM

(S04E08) "There is nothing about us that's the same and you know nothing about me." - Barb Henrickson

"Oh I know some...and I'm just getting started." - Marilyn Densham


The season is winding down and usually the plot endings that come to a predictable end do so just before the big shockers do. And that's what happened this week.

However, the surprise, one of many to come I'm sure, wasn't within the plot or the behavior of the characters or even the duality between good and evil of some of the supporting players in our little bigamy tragedy. It's the emotional reaction to the characters' connections and their endurance to endure that sneaks up on you and knocks your block off as you stand there all smug and self-aware that you were able to predict the ending. And it should. A show like this about much more than its plotlines and story shockers.

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'Big Love' - 'Blood Atonement' Recap

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 22nd 2010 1:45AM
Big Love
(S04E07) "My cope container is full. Do you hear me? It is ... FULL." - Barb to Margie and Nicolette after hearing ... well, everything


Believe me, honey, I know the feeling. My cope container is one of those extra large "Big Gulps" from 7-11 that can only be held in a car cup holder the exact circumference as an elephant's foot. And this week, even that wouldn't hold it.

It's natural for a show with 2,000 plus running plot lines to feel more overwhelming than an IRS audit, but it's starting to get a little less believable. That goes for both for the plots' plausibility and the surprise that none of the main characters has suffered the kind of complete nervous breakdown that can create the kind of police scanner activity that attracts the local "eyewitness" news crew.

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Cat Fight on 'Big Love'! (VIDEO)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Feb 8th 2010 5:15AM
Cat fight on 'Big Love'Oh dear. All is not well in the Henrickson household. The claws came out on 'Big Love' (Sun., 9PM ET on HBO) when Barb, Nicki and Margene fought like cats and, well, cats.

"You're a flirt, Margene!" yelled Barb. "And that's a polite way of putting it! Just like your floozy mother. You just flirted your way into our marriage as the babysitter, and now you're a cradle robber!"

"F You, Barb!" said Margene. And Nikki added, "Slap her to her senses!"

Watch the video after the jump.

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HBO Gives 'Big Love' Big Love

by Scott Harris, posted Feb 4th 2010 11:15AM
In the world of HBO's polygamist drama 'Big Love,' three's company but four's a family. But what does five make?

Five seasons, that is, not five wives: According to the Hollywood Reporter, HBO has already renewed 'Big Love' for a fifth season after just four episodes of its current arc. Despite the alacrity of the decision, however, it comes as little surprise given that the season premiere posted a 49 percent ratings increase over last year, while the season as a whole is up 13 percent compared to season 3.

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Do you have any love for Big Love's new opening credit sequence?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 12th 2010 11:30AM
The new season of HBO's Big Love also brought with it a new opening sequence for the first time in its history and not everyone is in love with it.

Some readers of my review of the show's season four premiere made some well reasoned arguments both for and against the new sequence, something I didn't do because it wasn't included in the screener review HBO sent out before the show hit the airwaves last Sunday. It not only has a much different look and feel but it also has a new theme song, "Home" by the Engineers replacing "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys.

It's still early in the season, but I like the new sequence just as much as the old one. As for the song, well at least they didn't go with Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'."

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Do You Love New 'Big Love' Opening Credits?

by Michael D. Ayers, posted Jan 11th 2010 2:45PM
Big Love on HBOFans of 'Big Love' were greeted last night with an unexpected change: the usual opening sequence in which Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton) skates around with his three wives to the tune of the Beach Boys' 'God Only Knows' was replaced with a much darker opening sequence.

In the new opening, which is similar to the season 4 teaser trailer below, we're greeted with Bill falling towards the camera, surrounded by nothing but black.

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'Big Love' Season Four Spoilers and Predictions

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jan 8th 2010 4:30PM
Big Love, Bill PaxtonSeason four of 'Big Love,' HBO's juicy drama about volatile life in a Mormon community, premieres Sunday, Jan. 10 at 9 PM. The tagline for the new season is "Hold on Tight," and we can't wait to do just that.

If you prefer not to know a single thing about the new season, do not read any further! Spoilers ahead ...

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Big Love season four premieres in January

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 15th 2009 1:01PM
big_love_family_HBO
It feels like forever since Bill Hendrickson announced that he and his family would form their own religion and live apart from Juniper Creek and LDS and the rest of the state of Utah. And we also know that Roman Grant is dead, and unless Big Love is going in the direction of resurrecting the prophet like he's the real deal, that means Alby will be taking over for his father. Then there's all the business with the casinos, Nicki's teenaged daughter and her weird former husband, not to mention Margene's new business, Sarah getting married to Scott...

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HBO is big on Big Love

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 6th 2009 9:02AM
big loveIn the immortal words of Lennon and McCartney, all you need is love. That's especially true for the Hendrickson family of Utah, also known as Big Love. The polygamist clan that's been the center of more complicated stories than most daytime dramas has taken hold and HBO has given Big Love a fourth season renewal.

The Tom Hanks produced series recently returned to HBO after an extended lay-off -- thanks in part to the Writers Strike -- and it's come back stronger than ever. I know for me, it's one of the main reasons I haven't dropped HBO.

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Big Love: Circle the Wagons

by Jen Creer, posted Aug 7th 2007 2:09AM
Big Love wives(S02E09) Things are certainly heating up on Big Love. I don't know for certain what big finale we are gearing up for. I used to think that it was Bill taking over as head of the U.E.B. (United Effort Brotherhood). I thought last season was leading Bill toward being the prophet. But now I'm not so sure. Now, more and more, I think things are careening toward Bill losing everything. I don't think he'll lose the store (though, that would make Margie's concerns foreshadowing), but I think he is going to lose Barb. And that, in Bill's world, would be everything.

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Big Love: Good Guys and Bad Guys

by Jen Creer, posted Jul 24th 2007 2:04AM
Frank(S02E07) Sorry about my absence last week. I was actually in Utah, visiting family who do not have HBO. Things were complicated and I also did not really have an Internet connection before this afternoon, so I couldn't do a review. I have seen last week's episode "The Dating Game," though. I liked Ana, and I thought her friendship with Margene was very sweet. I admired Bill, though, for realizing that maybe it was just lust on his part and ending the relationship. I also admire him for not sleeping with Ana, though can making out with her without two of his wives knowing he is seeing someone really be part of an eternal principle? Just curious about this protocol.

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The Golden Globes: Best Television Series - Drama

by Brett Love, posted Jan 15th 2007 1:23PM
HeroesNBC brings us the Golden Globes tonight, and this is the last in our series of preview posts looking at the television categories. Sandy will be blogging live updates of the show here on TV Squad, so if Jack and 24 already have your attention, keep a browser open to play along. That said, let's look at the award for Best Television Series - Drama.

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.

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