Big Love

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 12, 2006 on HBO

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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out of 10
204 votes
  • The pilot.

    There are certain pilots where you can tell from the beginning that the series is going to be something special. Big Love was not one of those shows.

    The show moved a little faster here than it does in later episodes, but that is not necessarily a good thing. A little too much was thrown at the viewer and the show opted for comedy too much over drama, a position it will switch in later episodes. Not that the third season was not humorous, but scenes did not end on a joke sitcom style like they did here.

    Yet even those was a bit underwhelming and less than spectacular, these characters still draw you in and leave you wanting more. People should really keep watching as the show gets better after this.
  • Pilot episode.

    A very promising start to HBO's "Big Love" and this show definitely is original, which I always seek for in a new series, and it definitely has some great potential.

    Who knew delving in to the lives of polygamists can be so entertaining? I've always been interested in the Mormon's belief system, and I'm intrigued to see what they do, how they do things, how it is to have three wives, and many kids. Of course, we've got the obvious jealousy factor from all the wives.

    Then we've got the husband who isn't able to satisfy all of them. Amanda Seyfried was not terrible, and I must say her performance here is better than her "big time" movie roles. The moment I knew I'd be a fan of this show was when they entered the fundamentalist's town, I was completely intrigued.

    A compelling pilot with potential, sure it was slow paced, but I think that's a good thing, and what HBO show isn't slow paced, really? Great pilot episode.
  • Promising

    Think life as a polygamist is a dream come true? Think again.

    Big Love follows HBO’s unprecedented knack for creating brilliant and promising shows. Meet Bill Henrickson, husband to three, father to seven, and just opened up the second of his ‘Wal-Mart’-esque superstore; ‘Henrickson’s Home Plus’. It all sounds a little too perfect, and in fact is… balancing the needs of his three wives is quite the daunting task. Due to all the stress he is going through, Bill is having problems ‘getting it up’ for Margene (the third wife), or so she thinks, due to her baby fat… but really he’s just unable. Nicki, his second wife, shows jealousy towards Barbara (first wife), because Bill gave her the money to work on her house, and now Nicki wants the money to do hers.

    Bill gets a call at work from his shady brother Joey, with the news that their father is very sick, and needs to be taken to the hospital. The only problem is that their mother refuses to bring him, or let anyone for that matter, mostly due to the fact that she doesn’t want attention attracted to them. Bill is forced to make a trip to his birth place, the Juniper Creek compound… bringing along Barbara and Nicki, who are really not happy with each other at the time being. Inside his mother’s home, Bill finds his father on the ground foaming at the mouth, but Lois still won’t allow hospitalization. When Lois leaves the house for work, Bill and Joey sneak their father to the hospital. What are the kids up to you say? Well, Bill’s son Ben wants a new gun, his oldest daughter Sarah becomes friends with an apparently religious girl who’s father is none other than a state trooper, daughter Teenie needs food for her pet lizard, and two of the younger boys are begging for someone to play with them in the shared family pool. All three houses are interconnected through the backyard, including a family pool.

    In the parking lot of his new store, Bill runs into Nicki’s very creepy father Roman, who is also the head of the Juniper Creek compound, who wants compensation for helping Bill open up his first store, by demanding 15% income from the second. Bill says he won’t do so, adding great tension between the two, this isn’t the last you will be seeing him. Bill receives more news about his father, and apparently he has arsenic poisoning. While lying in bed, Bill ponders the fact that his mother may have poison him.

    Is the thought of multiple wives still appealing? I would sure hope not.

    Overall Big Love looks to be an incredibly promising and very unique show. The possibilities for the show are seemingly endless, and I have full faith that HBO will deliver (as they always do).
  • Good beginning. Now let's see if it can deliver.

    I felt that this was a good starter episode as far as grabbing your attention. However, it lacked any real depth or detail. But, it definitly wasn\'t boring. I look forward to learning about these characters and why a couple that was married for ten years in a tradional marriage would decide to change their lives (and that of their children) in such a dramatic way. I hope that it turns out for the best. But how long can a family like this exsist in suburbia without getting caught. If they lived outside of town, I would find it much more plausible.
  • Great show with definite potential!

    The first episode show a ton of promise! I think the premise of the polygimist family is very unique to television and is only the intial draw to the show. When you get past the polygomy 'Big Love' is really just a show about relationships and family and life. It's got all the quality of a family is without the boring basis of your average show! I give Big Love two thumbs up!
  • Although it is slow-paced, I think it generally shows a lot of promise and seems fascinating.

    I watched the first three episodes back-to-back and I have to say, although I have absolutely no idea how realistic this show is or how much of an insider's view it gives, it's fascinating anyway. It is a little slow; however, once you're immersed in the stories and characters, you ignore the slow pace. It almost gave me time to digest everything that was going on because there are so many characters and histories and stories. Which brings me to my next point...this show can literally go ANYWHERE! It has enough characters and is so quirky that it can truly distinguish itself from other family shows, but it still has a human element of family and relationships that draws you in. There are endless possibilities for stories and I personally am enjoying receiving little bits of information about the characters slowly. Once you look past the polygamy, with which some people (including myself) might feel uncomfortable, this show is really just about the struggles of family, which everyone and anyone can relate to. If anyone has a problem with how creepy the show can get...hello! Six Feet Under wasn't beyond weird?!!? And yet we loved it anyway!

    I love Bill, Barb, Margene, and the kids. I'm not so fond of Nicki; maybe I just really really don't like Chloe Sevigny, or maybe I just feel like her character is so irritating and I have yet to understand why Bill is married to her. She's clearly faithful to her creepy prophet father, she's materialistic and whiny, and she just overall grates on my nerves (my annoyance is probably a combination of all of the above).

    Generally, I think HBO has done it again. They've managed to create a completely, wholly unique and quirky show that has never been made and probably could never be made again. This show fits in nicely with Six Feet Under and The Sopranos, in my opinion. If people don't like the writing (which is great), the pace, the characters, or the stories, nobody can deny that this show is entirely original, and in an age where remakes seem to be more prevalent than new material (yawn), and new material seems uninspired, this show is a stand-out because it boldly goes where no show has gone before.
  • Slow-paced and soapy. Wake me up when it gets better.

    Here's my verdict after seeing the pilot:

    It was quite slow-paced but I'm not terribly disappointed. But it isn't as edgy as I hoped it would be and certainly not as edgy as we've gotten used to expecting from HBO.

    What I don't get is the big fuss about Mormons and polygamy. Honestly, I couldn't care less. To me, they're just an interesting and quite unusual backdrop for the show but what I'm more interested in is the characters and their relationships.

    Not a bad start but it needs to pick up in pace to get in par with other HBO shows. Right now I'm willing to stick with the first 12 episodes but if that's all, I won't be terribly upset.
  • How Disappointing

    Let me preface my remarks by stating upfront that A) we\\\\\\\'ve been polyamorous (not polygamous) for about 6years and B) I didn\\\\\\\'t get to see the pilot but our co-spouses did. Having said that, you\\\\\\\'ll see that our comments are coming from \\\\\\\'been there and done that\\\\\\\'.

    We had actually hoped that Big Love would be a serious treatment of the joys and pains of living in a non-traditional relationship. From the pilot, however, it appears that the script writers are going for soap-opera treatment. Say it aint so!

    From the lack of buzz in the Polyamory community it's evident that the writers haven't touched bases with anyone who is actually involved in a non-traditional relationship. This leads me to believe that the scripts will continue to be written from the \\\\\\\'everyone knows\\\\\\\' perspective rather than being based on the realities of such a relationship. (sigh) What a shame, when the premise holds such promise.

    Qquoting our co-spouses "If this were my only contact with poly, I would run screaming from the scene. The 3 wives lack the kind of bonding and open sharing that you would expect to be present in this marriage. This would make a great soap opera or episode from Desperate Housewives, but I don't think its a realistic view of polyfidelity."

    Let's give credit, though, for being willing to even tackle the subject of non-traditional marriages in a public forum! Kudo's to you!!

    Since this is still new, however, there's still time to amend the treatment. How 'bout it, scriptwriters? Are you up to the challenge of talking to people who have been there and done that and injecting a little reality into things? Or would you prefer to continue in the Soaps manner...lots of entertainment value but absolutely no basis in reality?

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