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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Big Love and Sister Wives: Comparing Bill H. with Kody B.

Since Sister Wives is on hiatus, I thought it would be fun to take a look at HBO's Big Love - the series that literally put polygamy on the prime time TV map.

So here's the first installment, a general comparison between Bill Henrickson and Kody Brown.
I know a lot of you were fans of Big Love, so feel free to add your own comparisons.

And for those of you who are in the process of watching Big Love, unfortunately, it would be difficult to prevent spoilers, so be warned...


SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT






KODY BROWN…
BILL HENRICKSON…


Is a reality show polygamist with 4 wives.
Was a fictional polygamist with 4 wives (one wife left him)

Use to live in a big house. wives now live separately in 4 houses on 4 different streets, but hope to purchase 4 adjacent homes in a cul-de-sac that will share a common backyard.

His wives live separately in 3 adjacent houses that share a common back yard, but hopes someday to move all his wives and children into a big house.

Was a sign salesman. Currently works in an unknown capacity for a MLM company.

Was a businessman, owned 2 retail stores called HomePlus.

Third wife Christine Allred is the granddaughter and grandniece of 2 leaders of the AUB, a polygamous religious group.

Second wife Nicolette Grant was a daughter of the prophet of the UEB, a polygamous religious group.

Refuses to discuss the subject of his sex drive or if he has to use Viagra to keep up with his wives sexual  needs.

Has to use viagra to keep up with wives sex drive.

Extremely autocratic in his approach to his family and wives.

Extremely autocratic in his approach to his family and wives.

Wives gave him a gun for Christmas.

Right after giving birth to his 17th child Sol, Kody's wife Robyn offers to be a surrogate for Meri.

Gave his wives guns for Christmas (season 5)

When Nicki discovers she has unexplained infertility, 3rd wife Margene offers her eggs to be implanted into Nicki. Nicki declines, saying (among other things) she didn't want to give birth to one of Margene's big headed babies.

Drives a $60K Lexus sports car while his wives drive clunkers that were falling apart (seasons 1-3). Kody's Chevy Suburban blew an engine on the way to Wyoming in season 2.

Drives a $60K GMC Denali while his wife Barb drives a well maintained but extremely ancient Ford LTD station wagon.


97 comments:

  1. Kody: Listens to current wives before bringing in a new wife. Does not court future wife without support of current wives. Has really bad hair and cannot accept aging gracefully with male pattern baldness. Think Michael Symon, Kody!

    Bill: Has affair with soon-to-be wife and convinces Wife #1 to convert to polygamy so that he can justify affair and marry Wife #2. Later, has affair with both Wife#3 and Wife #4 and marries them to make it "legit." However, Bill's hair is SOOOOO much better than Kody's.

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    1. table,
      I though Bill had pre-marital affairs with Margene and Anna, not Nikki.

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    2. Cody went out of town to visit Robyn, we don't know how physical they got. Christine was noy happy he kissed Robyn... So who decides what's considered an affair?? Robyn did kiss a married man..

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    3. SheilaAnn you are correct. Bill and Nikki married because Barb was dying of cancer, not because they were having an affair.

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    4. I may be wrong But I thought somewhere on the show it was said that BIll was living mono and when Barb got cancer. He felt like he was being punished for not being poly and took Nikki b/c her father Roman loaned him money.

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  2. Both Bill and Kody seem to have a much deeper connection or love for first wives that appears to be more intimate with a secretive element to it.
    Maybe it's just the nature of polygamy but it seems as its Bill/Barb and Kody/Meri's world and everyone after that is less than.

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    1. Interesting observation...even with the addition of tearful Robyn, this does seem to be so!

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    2. I think Bill/Barb's special connection is more explainable than Kody/Meri. Bill and Barb were together at least 12? years before Bill married Nikki. By the end of the series they had been together over 20 years compared to Nikki's 8 and Margene's 6. I think it was partially because they knew each other longer. I did say partially- I think Bill married Nikki because he needed a loan from Roman (fundie leader) for his Home Plus stores. Bill admitted he was "in lust" with Margene when they first met, but states that their relationship grew to love. It was pure lust with Anna- overlooking that she was really naive b/c she knew nothing about the religion. At least Margene knew about Bill/Barb/Nikki and had some knowledge of poly relationships before she married Bill.

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  3. Bill and TV Kody are both fictional characters...(I think the real Kody is alot darker than the goofy, happy TV Kody)

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    1. And Kody may be a better actor than Bill Paxton (sorry Bill)

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    2. It's very hard to see Bill and not remember when he played Chet In Weird Science.

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    3. It's very hard to see Bill and not remember when he played Chet In Weird Science.

      or Private "Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen" Hudson in Aliens!

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    4. I can't blame Kody for having a public persona... I would be on my best behavior in front of the camera too... I'm just sad for him & the everyone else that this is his best behavior...

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    5. I could never get beyond Bill being the sleazy car dealer in True Lies.

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  4. Did they ever bring up planets and such?

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    1. I don't remember if they mentioned it, other than saying for time and all eternity.

      The opening credits, with the Beach Boys singing God Only Knows ends with Bill and his wives sitting having dinner -- and the table is on what looks like a moon with several moons in the sky...(seasons 1-3). I'll check youtube to see if there's a clip.

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    2. Anon,
      Niki does mention spirit children (the kids a FLDS/ LDS couple has while on their own planet). After SPOILER ex-wife Anna's pregnancy is revealed and she's in danger of being reported Nikki says "maybe we weren't meant to have that spirit baby."

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  5. Bill is on a rotation schedule established by the wives. Kodouche sleeps around at his own whim.

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    1. I thought the Brown's did a rotation too? If true that must really stir up the pot of jealousy on a daily basis..

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    2. Hi Amy!

      The Brown wives do mention a "schedule" but I also remember Christine complaining that Kody spent too much time with Robyn. I'm too tired to look this up in the book, so does anyone else remember?

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    3. If I remember correctly, they definitely do have a rotational schedule. However Christine was not happy with Kody making his eagerness to see Robyn so apparent. IE. Arriving late or leaving early. Robyn was also pregnant during this time so he probably spent extra time with her for doctor's appointments.

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    4. On show I remember Kody saying he makes the schedule, which means he sleeps where he wants

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  6. GREAT job of comparing the two shows, CJ. And thanks for the concept of this thread.

    Barb, Bill's first wife, was a classy, intelligent woman who loved her husband perhaps to a fault and was willing to accommodate him. She did reign supreme in the overall household politics and management, but she rarely used her gavel. She was smooth and diplomatic. And she was very much her own person. It was obvious that Bill sincerely trusted her opinions and was most *comfortable* with her, both in sex and in adult communication.
    Meri lacks Barb's class, diplomacy and smarts. Meri's persona has always struck me as more like "the guy" of the wives. But she does have "first wife" status. That is very obvious.

    Nicki and Christine do share the "blue-blood" wife component, but for me, the similarity stops there. Nicki was shrewd, calculating, self-centered and loaded with demons. She was an interesting character even at her worst.
    Christine just seems to be trapped in a semi-adult mindset that keeps her always on the defensive and submissive. Nicki was never willingly submissive in the household.

    Margene was just a sweet, ditzy, kind and impressionable young woman who got caught in Bill's need for a younger conquest. She usually tried hard to fit into the family's process. Plus, she really was a peacemaker when things got heavy.
    I see no similarity with Robin. Robin had a very real agenda coming into KodyWorld. It was way more than being *hopelessly* in love with a man who already had three other wives, one of whom was near delivering his *13th* child. Robin needed a ticket out of her dismal post-divorce life. Kody, with the promise of available big money and fame, fit the bill perfectly. To hell with how her presence would tip the scales in the family, she didn't care.

    Other than mimicking Barb's handing and final say in the wifely finances, which Janelle does seem to shoulder, I can't find a Henrickson character who is similar to Janelle. Other than the fact that Nicki may have been brought in once Bill realized that Barb's cancer precluded any more children, so in that theory that was Janelle's purpose too.

    It is interesting and perhaps prophetic for the Browns, that in Big Love, the older kids eventually had serious issues with self-identity and solidarity with the Plyg lifestyle. They endured lack of understanding from their peers and were often ashamed and frightened about their family's identity.

    Also, just like Bill Hendrickson who had more than he could handle at home yet still couldn't stop looking and wanting fresh meat, Kody likely will follow the same pattern.
    For those just watching BL now, I don't want to add any spoilers...suffice to say, the finale of the whole series is shocking and very interesting, especially for "Barb."

    **Sorry for the length of this.....got on a roll.
    I really loved that show.

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    1. Janelle doesn't mirror one of the Henrickson's characters, but she does share similarities with Glory, one of Alby's wives (Nikki's creepy brother). Tried to be the dutiful poly wife, but was stricken from the schedule, belittled and mocked by Alby and his favorite/lead wife Lura.

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    2. You're right, SheilaAnn. Janelle is like Glory.
      I hope Janelle's lot doesn't ultimately turn out like Glory's did.

      Big Love was such a hoot to watch. My all time favorite character was Bill's mother, Lois. Not only was her character outrageously twisted, but at times, she was hysterically funny. The actress playing her, Grace Zabriskie, was brilliant.

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    3. Amused,
      I loved Lois! I also liked Adaleen (Mary Kay Place). I found it interesting to compare the two, since Lois was deposed poly royalty (her dad-Bill's grandad, was the FLDS leader), with Adaleen, whose husband- Roman- usurped power.

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    4. I loved Lois too! She was my absolute favorite, that crazy bitch! She was always up to something.

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    5. Late to the party but great comparisons of the 'characters'! Just finished watching the last of Big Love tonight and confess I will miss them dammit.

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  7. Bill was Sexy, ღ ღ ღ he had that ribbony voice that makes us melt. He was all man! & his wives felt protected, he was respected in the comunity. He made pationate love to his wive... ღ ღ ღ

    Cody is a big goof...

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  8. At least Bill was handsome! Kodouche just is kinda slimy.

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  9. I love Big Love! This is making me want to go back and rewatch some episodes :)

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  10. HUGE BL fan here, the first 3 seasons anyway. Season 4 they jumped the shark...totally losing all credibility. Ended up canceling HBO before the final season started, and followed the show online through the various recap sites.

    Season 1 was the best one IMO. Remember episode 5, "The Affair" where Barb and Bill snuck off to have time together...with snoopy Nicki (who had no qualms about having sex with Bill in Margene's bedroom) trying to figure out what was going on. I thought...so not right, so unfair, that a husband and wife had to sneak around and lie to be together. This episode to me in a nutshell is what is so very wrong about polygamy. And it was pretty obvious that Bill followed his lust. Neither Margene nor Ana were "of the faith". it was because he wanted them sexually. Not so far from real life, I'm thinking.

    I would bet that MANY people were interested in SW as a result of Big Love. If memory serves, TLC marketed SW as "the real life Big Love..." or words to that effect. of course that means that people jumped to the conclusion that the Henricksens were based on the Browns, which of course is totally false, according to the BL producers.

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    1. Bill and Barb's relationship was one of the main reasons I watched the show, I loved how Bill Paxton and Jeanne Tripplehorn played off each other.

      I wish they had gone in another direction for season four. Previously it seemed like the writers were setting up a three-way battle for control of the compound (Bill's mom and Nikki wanted him to take over)-I wanted that to happen, more than the splintered fourth season, which had too many things going on at once. Remember the casino plot that, while anchored in reality (with the political swindling) went absolutely nowhere and was scrapped for season 5? The only good thing about the casino plot was that it served as a vehicle for Margene maturing, fighting to be taken seriously not succumbing to Barb's pressuring or Nikki's bullying and trying to do what was best for her kids.

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    2. BL, IMHO, was a victim of the writer's strike. They never recovered. There were so many great shows that met this fate.

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  11. MUST rent this series! Had no idea it featured such big name actors. Love them all.

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    1. It's on iTunes and amazon View on Demand (cheaper than iTunes).

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    2. And if you subscribe to HBO, you can watch online at hbogo.com for free.

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  12. There was a writers' strike or something that caused about a year and a half lapse between seasons. I got tired of paying the high price for HBO and cancelled so didn't know that he'd married Anna or what happened to her. I saw the last 2 or 3 episodes so I got the idea of what happened with Margene and Barb. The end with Nikki confused me but I didn't care. I also loved Bill's mother. Best character ever! Actually I don't think missing all the episodes I missed was all that important since it seemed easy to pick up at the end. I probably missed the section where the writing starts to go downhill, as all series eventually do, which is a blessing really, since you don't miss them as much when they're gone.

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    1. Ahhhh Border Collie!

      SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT

      That infamous hiatus! Well, what I remember (if my memory serves me) was...Sometime between season 2 and 3, some of the actors were a bit perturbed about the writing...apparently Chloe Sevigny (Nicolette Grant) said it was like acting in a telenovella...OUCH!! Anyway, the head writer who was 1)Mormon and 2)kept the show "authenic" left (I think he won an Oscar for the screenplay Milk). So the remaining writers basically scanned the headlines for whatever fundamentalist and mainline Mormon storylines they could incorporate into Big Love.

      The result was a muddled mishmosh. The viewers got the Greenes, The Casino business venture, Margene's venture into business (jewelry and MLM), Barb's transformation from dutiful Mormon wife to drunkard to her quest to be a priesthood holder. And supposedly as punishment to Sevigny's telenovela slam, the writers tried to changed Nicolette Grant into something less likable. Her character changed into a villain out to break up the happy Henricksen home with an affair and the revelation she had been married before AND had abandoned a daughter. And most important, Bill transformed from a semi-likable character into a loathsome, dictatorial, almost maniacal character hellbent to get his way. He became a totally unsympathetic character.

      So it came to every viewer's surprise that Olsen and Scheffer, the creators and "head writers" stated that THEY were surprised at the backlash against Bill Henrickson. They thought he had been portrayed as a strong family man who wanted the best for his family and wives...boy, did THEY dial the wrong number on that one!

      Supposedly, HBO had enough and gave Olsen and Scheffer an ultimatum: Rewrite the show, uncomplicate the storylines and return to the storytelling style of the early seasons, or else. Season 4 had already been completed, ready to be shown, but HBO "claimed" they needed the Big Love time slot for a new shows being premiered AND they would need to cut down the number of episodes from 12 to 9. Because of the complicated storyline, this delayed the premiere of Season 4 because the entire season had to be reedited.

      Season 4 was the beginning of the end. Big Love was suppose to last at least 6 seasons in order to finish the original story arc. HBO, apparently unimpressed by the changes made to Season 4, officially ended the show, and declared just before the premiere episode that season 5 would be the last season. Rumor has it that the writers were told to tie up all loose ends in season 5. And the rest is history.

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    2. What irked me is the massive ego on Olsen and Scheffer-they got snippy at the bad reviews, stating that viewers didn't understand what they wanted from the characters.

      Dustin Lance Black was the guy who wrote MILK and wrote for the first couple of BL seasons (along with writer Eileen Miles and others).

      The good writers left and the loose ends weren't all tied up (especially with Joey/Wanda, the possibility that SPOILER Heather was gay but was pressured by the culture/religion to marry).

      I know it doesn't have anything to do with the KB/BH comparison, but I love how Don finally stuck up for himself by the end of the season-after all he lost the most (SPOILER almost murdered, lost two wives and their kids, mental health issues stemming from already being killed, Bill using him as a poly scapegoat in order to keep his own plural marriages under wraps).

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    3. I am already getting annoyed with the storyline. Why is that that every hbo show it good for 2/3 seasons and then goes to hell. True Blood is going the same way. What is a telenovella? I have a little over 2 and a half seasons to go. I hope I can stick it out. lol (This is Footupkodysass)

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    4. A telenovela is a soap opera popular in Latin American countries. It is an over the top, Dynasty/Dallas style of storytelling. When I was trying to brush up on my spanish, I started watching telenovelas - in particular one about El camino real or something like that. Anyway, all the actors overact, the situations are outrageous. Everything is exaggerated to the extreme.

      I used to feel the same way about HBO...the shows are good and suddenly HBO cancels for no good reason. Carnivale was an excellent example and I swore I would never watch another HBO drama.

      Until Big Love.

      Like I mentioned in my comment to Border Collie, I have to agree with HBO's actions - the creators were warned but they didn't listen and as a result the show's demise was a mercy killing by HBO in my opinion. But stick with it...there are still some gems to be found, especially with Adaleen, Barb, Nicki, Alby, and (shaking my head sadly) Margene...

      And on the topic of True Blood, this is Executive producer Alan Ball's last season. So get ready for some major changes to take place if another season is ordered. I think HBO should cancel the series and just make a True Blood movie once a year. Kind of like the Star Trek franchise.

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    5. PS Modest...(formerly known as footup) I simply ADORE your avatar! One of my most favorite movies, evah!!!

      Helga, I'm not mad at you, I'm mad at the dirt!

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    6. Cynicle Jinx...
      I watched BL regularly, but have no memory of barb turning to drunkard.... can you remind me?

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    7. BIG SPOILER ALERT BIG SPOILER ALERT BIG SPOILER ALERT BIG SPOILER ALERT BIG SPOILER ALERT BIG SPOILER ALERT BIG SPOILER ALERT

      Season 5. Barb bought a bottle of wine, telling Nicki she needed it to cook beef bourguignon. Nicki raised her eyebrow, and told Bill after seeing Barb drinking a glass. After the disastrous Christmas dinner, the family and Bill went to work at the woman's center. Barb had a fight with Nicki and left the center upset. When the rest of the family got home later, they found Barb sitting in the dark drunk from drinking her wine while eating plum pudding.

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    8. OMG Carnivale is one of my all time favorite TV shows. Sure it drug a bit during season 1, but it was still addictive, and it really picked up in season 2. I could not wait to tune in every Sunday night, and then watch the reruns during the week to try to figure out what was going on. That show also had an awesome blog where people would explain all sorts of related mythologies.

      I was SOO disappointed when they canceled Carnivale.

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    9. There is a Carnivale Blog? I loved that show. It was so creepy.I have been wanting to watch that show again b/c I only got to see a few episodes.

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  13. Thanks so much For doing this CJ, I am only on season 3. I no longer respect Bill. I really do like Barb And Margene. I think that Nikki needs slapped and then made to get a job to pay off her debt. (I know she is working now. But she should have done it sooner). I am starting to think she is getting a gambling addiction. But not sure yet. I can't wait to finish to see If I come to the same conclusion that CJ did about Albie. Truthfully when I see him. I just want to run and hide. I prefer Roman. But I guess I'll have to see. I did notice that Albie has the same haircut that Hitler wore. only styled differently. I like watching scenes from the compound more. I love when Nikki's mom told someone to give Nikki a good slap and then said that's what I do. lmao. I love Mary Kay Place. and I like Bill's mom too. I like Grace Zabriskie too. she is good at playing crazy women.oh and did any of you finding yourselves wanting to adopt Ben and Sara?

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    1. Bill's shift wasn't handled well-I get that the writers were trying to show that Bill was more like Roman than he had realized, but still it was presented poorly.

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    2. My pleasure Footup...

      Just wait...Alby will get a new hairdo!

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    3. ***SPOILER ALERT****

      Bill IMO becomes more odious as the seasons progress. Like Kody, he has a head bigger than the planet and arrogant self-entitlement. As a Native American (half anyway) I found the way he treated the tribe who had his company run the casino on their land incredibly bigoted and egotistical. Of course, from what I read historically about Mormons, they considered both Native Americans and black people to be significantly below them on the Celestial Ladder, and fundamentalists tend (IMO) to be less progressive than regular LDS, so I would bet Bill would still feel this way. Sure, Bill dressed better, might have had more money, and so forth, but he treated people just as poorly as Kody, maybe more so. After all he scammed people into voting for him...THEN informing them after the votes were in about his lifestyle (although, really, it should have been common knowledge by then...the finale of S1 did have an "outing" take place so the Powers that Be WERE aware that Bill was a polygamist...)

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    4. So far he hasn't built the casino yet. But I did laugh my ass off when The Tribal Leaders Wife asked Bill something about him thinking that Natives were Laminites. If I wasn't so lazy I would have skipped around the room. And then Margene saying the Native was being a bigot for not doing business.

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    5. I was hoping that Barb would get it on with the sexy tribal elder! By Season 4, Barb was obviously desperately unhappy with her life.

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    6. I see a comparison between the Casino and living in Sin City.... looking for money, fame, glamour.

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    7. Good Idea Dj. that would really upset King Bill. and Barb would have a revelation that she should take HALF of Bill's assets to help the Indian's.

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  14. BTW, How many of you females actually dressed and did your hair like Nikki's in the 1990's? I am guilty!

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    1. I was more of the oversized Eagles Eye sweater, with turtleneck, and stirrup pants...topped with a slightly puffed french braid. I had the hair down, but the stirrup pants? Scandalous! ;)

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    2. Ditto Captain Planet--except, I had the short-Asymmetrical-permed-with hair-over-half-my-face thing going on. Also, don't forget the suede minnetonka moccasinsMy sister's a 24-yo hair stylist and says it's supposed to be coming back--God help us all. :D

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  15. I was a HUGE fan of Big Love. Though sometimes quite exasperating, Bill H. was much more likeable, sincere and genuine. I, also, think Bill was much more diligent in providing for his family and driven. He had his stores, casino, etc. He worked hard and kept pushing for more. Kody, on the other hand, does not work hard from the outside looking in.

    The wives on BL, were each likeable in their own ways. By the end of the series, I even liked Nikki. I like Janelle, and feel pity for Christine. But the other two, I have a hard time finding something I like about them.

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    1. I thought one of the best Nikki scenes was in season 5 when SPOILER she's trying to talk Alby out of killing her and talks about how he saved her from drowning. Once it was revealed MORE SPOILERS that she had been married off to psychopathic JJ at fifteen and had a weird, seemingly inappropriate relationship with Roman that I understood why she had so many behavioral issues. END SPOILER

      Her addictions pointed to a massively unhappy person trying to fill a hole in themselves with stuff and I thought once the show started to focus on Nikki fighting her demons, rather than succumbing to them was one of the most compelling arcs on the show.

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    2. I agree totally with you. She truly redeemed herself, and fought for the family. I actually ended up liking her the best!

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    3. One of my favorite scenes is in the second (?) season, when she stands up to Alby, after he chokes Ben. In a crowd of people, she was the only one to get Alby to back off.

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    4. One of my favorite scenes is in the second (?) season, when she stands up to Alby, after he chokes Ben

      I believe that was a scene from the first season, that happened when Bill and Barb went on a late night hotel tryst. Alby was ordered by Roman to harass the Henricksons (something he was really good at), and Ben tried to protect the families.

      Yes, this was one of the BEST scenes of Alby and Nicki together...she calmly said something to the effect that Alby had to rough up teenage boys because he wasn't tough enough to handle a man. All Alby did was stare at her, with a sick smile and then she let go the zinger "Take your one testicle and fly back to that cave you came from" or something to that effect. Alby walked away and then BITCHSLAPPED one of his henchman. Right there, that one scene set up the complicated love-hate relationship between Alby and Nicki!

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    5. I wondered about Roman and Nicki. When at Nicki's boys party. Bill caught Nicki and Roman on the bed. I mean I'm sure that fathers and daughters do that it just seemed kind of icky. I do feel sorry for Albie. I think he has a lot of anger b/c of the way Roman treats him as well as fighting the fact that he's a closet homosexual and not being able to act on it. Remember the scene where he takes that guy to the motel and the guy tried to kiss him or something and he starts banging his head on the wall?

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  16. The Hendricksons had their money issues but really Bill was able to support the entire family and they never used public assistance. With the wife meetings every week or so it seemed that they were extremely well organized in that regard (except of course for Nikki's credit card debacle).

    It also seemed that all the wives helped raise the children, while with the Browns I don't see much cooperation in the day to day-ness of running a family. It seems to me that the wives don't really help each other much with kid's appointments and such.

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  17. I think Kody is more like Frank (Bill's dad). He doesn't take care of his wives, financially, physically, or emotionally. He used their welfare checks to buy an expensive car, had affairs (and got an STD)/ sex outside of marriage and physically assaulted at least two of his wives. Remember when he sent Frankie's mom to a work camp in Nicaragua, because she prevented him from hurting Lois?

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  18. ****SPOILER ALERT!!!**** I liked Nikki the most when she was crushing on the attorney...remember when he gave her a present of a water bottle? I was so hoping that he would come back the last season (which I didn't watch, but followed through various recap sites online) and whisk her away. Like Alby, Nikki changed once she found out what it felt like to really be in love and have someone truly desire her. It was obvious Bill cared about her, not passionately however - she tried to substitute with shopping.

    Same with Alby. I kept hoping that Dale and him would run away and move to San Francisco or somewhere else they could live in acceptance and happiness. It is a credit to the actor who played Alby (name escapes me at the moment) how he could make a villianous character become sweet and sympathetic in the blink of an eye. I never could feel scorn for Alby after that, he was irrepairably damaged by the end of his only real love relationship. :(

    I think HBO tried to blow up the whole Margene-Ben thing which was really nothing. Basically Ben was your typical 15-16 year old boy, and Margene was HOT STUFF of course he's going to get a little infatuated with her. The promos HBO aired at the beginning of S2 and 3 kind of had Ben and Margene giving each other sidelong looks, but of course anytime that any type of relationship was insinuated in the show, it was Ben being a horny kid and Margene always putting a stop to it right away. Like the time he wrote her a love letter after he caught her changing into her bikini...and Tancy or whatever they decided to call the baby sister at the time found the letter and made a big deal about it...etc.

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    1. My fantasy was for Alby to embezzle all of the UEB millions, and disappear. The last scene of the last episode would be of Alby sitting on a beach, tanning, while drinking a mai tai. His new lover would be tanning himself on Alby's left. And on his right would be Adaleen, all dolled up and looking fantastic feeding grapes to some young stud!

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    2. haha CJ not so different from my fantasy of Alby and Dale running off (Alby maybe thinking about embezzlement, but Dale talking him out of it - being an honest man), and the two of them getting married (Alby always struck me as being the wife of the relationship, myself) and buying a townhouse in the Castro, making LOTS of new friends, feeling truly accepted for the first time in both their lives, and actively participating in the gay community. In real life, they would have been accepted with open arms in the Castro District. That story arc would have made me soooooo happy :)

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    3. It was sad SPOILER I remember Nikki trying to get him to leave the compound and seemed to support him coming out and starting a new life, but he rejected her and delved deeper into fanaticism and mental illness.

      I thought MAJOR SPOILER Adaleen was delusional at the end for calling Alby's incarceration "political." Nikki witnessed one of his murders and can point them toward the body. Before that he kidnapped Nikki and almost killed her. He almost shot Margene and missed Bill and murdered a security guard ( which he broke into a federal building to do). Murder, attempted murder, and terrorism (attempting to assassinate a gov official)? Not getting out of prison, ever. END SPOILER

      But I guess that was just Adaleen trying to cling to the last vestiges of power, however tenuous they were (although she did rat Alby out to the police).

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  19. Hi fantastic piece and very interesting. I've watched BL since the beginning even though it was off screens in the UK for more than four years. A terrestrial channel got the rights for the first season but were not given the rights to any subsequent seasons by HBO as HBO were planning to make a channel in partnership with Sky satellite TV. Only thing is this didn't go according to plan and took over 4 years to finally be launched, needless to say of course in the meantime I found other ways of watching.


    Just one teeny correction about the article, the UEB in Big Love is not the sect but the financial wing of the sect, just like the UEP (united effort plan) of the FLDS. The sect in Big Love is not named except for as far as I remember in one safety net meeting in the last season. My computer is broken ATM so I cannot remember what they called themselves but it was a slight variant on FLDS. The crazy sect in the show known colloquially as The Greens were given a name similar to the official name of The Kingston clan.

    Interestingly enough in the first 2-3 seasons and in the mind of the writers when starting out Roman's sect was more meant to be based on the AUB than FLDS and I heard their main advisor when it came to making things authentic was ex-AUB. Juniper Creek was meant to be more Pinesdale than Short Creek. Then after the raids in 2008 they decided to take advantage of current events and base the sect solely on the FLDS, hence the female characters starting to wear more typically FLDS clothing as opposed to cowboy and western style separates as they wore in the first few seasons.

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  20. Hi Poppy,
    Just a quick correction- JJ's group was mirrored after the incestuous Kingston clan, who are notorious for marrying close relatives (brother-sister, neice-uncle). The Greene's were supposed to be the LeBarons-the writers lifted Hollis' botched assassination attempt from Ervil LeBaron's successfully assassination attempt on Christine's grandfather -including Hollis' repeated warnings for Roman to submit to his rule as the true prophet, the Mexico headquarters of the LeBaron group/Ciudad Greene, and the usage of the wives to ambush Roman/Rulon Allred.

    The only thing they switched between Roman's group (FLDS) and the Greenes (stand-in for LeBarons) was that the LeBaron group had the Nicaragua satellite, on the show it was the FLDS, and it was one of their "keep sweet" work camps.

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    1. When does JJ come in? The place where I'm at now is Kathy Just died b/c Roman was chasing her. SHe tried to escape from her forced sealing with Hollis Greene.

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    2. JJ is season 4 so it sounds like you are still in season 3.

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    3. Ok, well, I have met JJ. I prefer Albie to him

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  21. OMG just caught an episode of Big Love Season 5, this is just like the Browns, except Bill Paxton is much more handsome.

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    1. Just like the Browns? Other than the polygamy angle and the entitlement issues of both Bill and Kody, I see very few similarites other than coincidentals. However, I am sure that Kody would be flattered by the comparision!

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  22. Is there any way we could get a BL/SW comparison focused on the wives/kids? I loved this one.

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    1. Working on it, plus one on the grandmothers!!!

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  23. The first two seasons were recapped by TWOP back in the day. The archives of the recaps (quite good and funny, just like CJ's CW recaps!) can be found at this link:

    http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/show/big-love/recaps.php

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  24. You guys, We have forgot about Joe. (Bill's Brother). I actually like him. I would take him over Bill or Kody. I thought it was weird that he was a Dallas Cowboy and he kinda reminds me of Joe Nameth.

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    1. I sincerely thought that Joey would have ended up running Ciudad Greene by the end of the series. Or the FLDS Kansas satellite compound.

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  25. ***********SPOLIER ALERT*********** The documents that Alby has been selling tothe Church are fake. I remember seeing a show on Identification Discovery about this guy that was selling false documents to the Church. Does anyone remember that scandal?

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    1. Yes, just another example of how the writers rewrote news items into the Big Love story arc.

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  26. Which of the Sister Wives do you think is the secret shopaholic of all the wives?

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    1. It certainly would not be Janelle, my guess would be Meri.

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    2. Robin, since she already has debt from Victoria's Secret.

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    3. I think they all have had debt, but we tend to focus more on Robyn's because of the notorious VS debt. Being a shopaholic means spending outside one's means, not necessarily going to malls and buying lingerie or what have you. IMO of course! they are all spendaholics...maybe Janelle was able to put aside a little bit, but i doubt it was a huge amount. They probably blew through her "retirement fund" in about a month or two, if that, but exaggerated for TV.

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  27. Anyone who hasn't seen Big Love can find it free on fastpasstv!! I have been watching an episode or two a night. Addictive stuff!

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    1. I am on season 4 episode 3 and I am SOOOOO sick of Bill. I could puke!!!!

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    2. LOL!!! Wait until Season 5! You literally will want to slap the taste right of his mouth (as my grandmother would say)!

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    3. I am starting to think of Bill as The Polygamist AntiChrist. DId you ever see the very last Omen movie where Damian Thorn runs for President?

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    4. oops, that should be "slap the taste right out of his mouth"

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  28. Ok you guys were right! I hated Nicki through most of the show. I thought she was a cold bitch!. I am now seeing that she was traumatized *******SPOLIER ALERT***** by her marriage to JJ. She just rescued Karilynn from the horrid Man*******ENd Spolier Alert*******. I am starting to respect her now.

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  29. thanks for sharing.

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