What I am not getting from Big Love

So Big Love, the drama about Mormon polygamy (and polyamory) running on HBO, has a great cast and a nice pace, but there are a couple of central questions that just haven’t been answered, and the lack of context is undercutting the impact of the show for me.

I get the circle of wives and understand their small social network, but I want to know:

  • Why does the main character have 3 wives?
  • Is it a religious conviction?
  • Does he love them all, or is it that he wanted to have more sexual variety?
  • Or prove he could afford more families?
  • How does he get emotional fulfillment from three relationships? (Seems like all he does is rush and worry, cept when he is having sex with the wife it’s his turn to be with)
  • Does he see women as chattel? Surrendered wives?
  • How important is his faith in his life–and does it make him feel entitled? If so, how?
  • And finally, is this guy having any fun?

I am enjoying the show, but more because of the interplay between the actresses and the Gee Whiz treatment of the (beyond the pale) sect the hero was raised in–but there could be much more depth if the writers addressed these questions.

Latest Comments

  1. Jay says:

    Susan–I’ve been watching it from the start and it is a great show.
    It is all about his religious conviction of being a Mormon. Faith is a big part of his life. He seems to have a very competitive attitude towards life. He was dumped on the street by his parents at age 14 and I think he is trying to show his parents how successful he can be with business and family.

  2. Michael says:

    I want to correct you on a very critical point. The character in this show is not a Mormon, nor are his family members. They couldn’t be Mormons, as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not support polygamy and excommunicates any of its members that are found to be practicing it.
    It is true that there are people practive polygamy and claim to be Mormons, but they are simply doing as they please in defiance of church teachings.
    Michael

  3. Nicole says:

    See I see the wives as three different stages of womanhood. I’m not sure what they’re saying about women, but I think it might not be good. I’ll wait until the whole season ends before I pass judgement.
    PS Love your blog girl!

  4. anonymous (for now) says:

    He has three wives because he has not found a fourth yet.

  5. Tish Grier says:

    Interesting questions, Susan!
    I don’t think the show has all that much to do with LDS inasmuch as it has to do with the Hollywood idealization of an outdated LDS practice that suits the Hollywood Male desire to have more than one woman in his life *and* have them all get along.
    It’s alot of promoting an agenda to suit a secular desire.
    Now, they’d be *really* daring if they had a show about a woman who had more than one lover! wouldn’t that be interesting!

  6. Narie says:

    1) He has three wives because he is FLDS (fundamentalist off-shoot of Mormanism) and believes he must be polygamous to get into the highest level of heavon.
    2) Yes
    3) He is in love with the first wife. I think he loves the other two, in different ways.
    4) I don’t think it is about proving he can afford more families.
    5) He is following “the Principal.” He thinks he is following what God wants and the women need him to pass through the veil in the Celestial Kingdom.
    6) Pretty important. I think he believes his first wife almost died of cancer because he wasn’t following the principal.
    7) not too much

  7. NealB says:

    I’d be much more interested in a series with central characters who happened to be mainstream, modern LDS. I know nothing about the the tradition. From everyting that is known unless you drink their kool aid, it seems to be an early new age cult, so it would be interesting to learn more about it. Some historical background (without the prostelized idealization the church offers or the polemical treatment like Angels in America) would be interesting.

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