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The Big Love Series Finale: What a Stinker!

Just some dashed-off thoughts about the Big Love series finale. I'll leave the legitimate criticism to the big guns, but I needed to register my discontent. 

When Big Love first started, I thought it was going to be as good as Six Feet Under. It certainly had the potential. The first two seasons were amazing! But then the bottom dropped out. The characters stopped being believable. No matter how frustrated I got with any of the Fishers, I still empathized with them. Over the years, the Henricksons have become unrecognizable as humans. They have no limits -- to their self-sacrifice, to their insanely irritating behavior, to their megalomania, to their gullibility. 

The only remotely satisfying thing to happen on Sunday's Big Love series finale (I'm late, I know) was that Bill was murdered. When the shots rang out, my boyfriend and I turned to each other and yelled, "Hooray!" If only, God willing, someone stakes Vampire Bill in the season opener of True Blood, then all the wooden Bills on HBO would be dead and I would be so very happy to see their tyranny of boredom and lousy acting come to an end. How we're supposed to think that reasonably attractive women find these annoying ciphers remotely attractive is beyond me but, you know, such is television. 

So Bill -- who, unlike Vampire Bill, is an actual psycho -- bleeds to death in the street (hooray!). Before that, he has a vision where these olde-timey sepia-toned Mormons tell him that Barb should be allowed to hold the priesthood. Any possible satisfaction I derived from this revelation was robbed by the preceding scene, in which Barb refuses to get baptized in her new reform church. If Barb were one of my friends (which she would never be), I'd kick her so hard. Grow a spine, Barb! All that leadup to the possiblity of you maybe someday having a spine was dashed -- dashed! -- when you refused to be baptized. Ultimately, you couldn't disassociate from your family, a family which consists of a sociopath, a narcissistic harridan, and an adorable box of rocks. What gives, Barb? Maybe you're an asshole?

Oh yeah, and all the people on this show are assholes, except Lois, who is sort of an asshole, but for clear reasons. Then she dies. That was sad. I liked Lois. 

Was this ending feminist? I guess so. Barb got to preside over the weird church and Margie's hair was short. I liked that Heather was holding Sarah's hand in a sexy way -- that seemed subversive. But nothing made up for the fact that Barb stuck with those jerks.

I don't really buy that anyone would hang out with Nikki if they didn't have to. And how did the wives afford to keep their houses when Home Plus went under? Did any of them, I dunno, get jobs? It's not like they could sue Murderin' Carl, since he broke.

And where was Brother Selma? It's a total crock they didn't bring her back. Also: Teenie. Is it any coincidence her name sounds like Tino?  

Almost forgot: my absolute favorite part of the episode was the Godfather reference. That part where Bill went "Muuuh! Muuuuh!" with an orange in his mouth and a kiddo on his lap was really funny, especially because Bill is just as gross as an aging Marlon Brando.

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  • Jason said:

    Whoa! What an edgy biting funny review! I guess you can patch together a bunch of pointless observations and call it fit to publish -- but I'll never make the mistake again of thinking this writer has anything worthwhile to say.

    March 22, 2011 3:09 PM
  • mike9912 said:

    What a sour-puss. "All the people on the show are assholes." What happened-- one would have thought you loved the show in your Jan 12 article. Since a review is now apparently nothing more than a string of superficial, subjective ejaculations, let me say BL is the best show on TV and the finale deeply satisfying. There-- look: I just made a review.

    March 22, 2011 3:17 PM
  • Eugenia Williamson said:

    Ha! I do love the show. I would never have gotten this upset over something I didn't care about. Mind, I wrote that article before this horrible season. It was so unsatisfying! Also, this wasn't a review, it was an angry blog post. :)

    March 22, 2011 4:22 PM
  • Philly_Special said:

    I loved the finale; it worked for me for several of reasons. Number one all I wanted was for Barb to find her way WITHOUT Bill and that happened. It happened because Bill died, which was the only way Barb could reach her true potential. Barb chose not to get baptized because she was loyal to her family til the very end, that shows just how much she loved them. And the women chose to stay together because they were sister wives and their children were siblings; they were a family with or without Bill. But the writers said we should not assume they stay together forever. I would like to think Barb remarries.

    Second, the scene of Bill dying and asking Barb for a blessing was very moving. I don't understand how anyone couldn't be touched by that scene; it was very poignant.

    And finally, how did they afford to keep their homes? Ever heard of life insurance. A man like Bill surely had a multi-million dollar policy. Had he not died and went to prison, they would have definitely lost the homes. So ultimately everyone benefitted from Bill's death- Barb becoming priesthood holder, Margene going on missions to Africa, the daughter rejoining the church & having her child baptized by Barb, Ben and his girlfriend getting married (they were wearing wedding bands). I thought it was a brave and fine ending.

    March 22, 2011 5:30 PM
  • FeministFury said:

    Yes, please leave the "legitimate criticism" to the big guns, because your review is an epic fail. Your review is a stinker! I'm too lazy to point out the reasons why at this point in time, but I'm sure I'll find time later.

    You -> #NOT WINNING. (on this subject)

    March 22, 2011 7:25 PM
  • izaroo said:

    I agree with all of your comments  PhillySpecial. Well said. In my opinion the ending would have been trivial and shallow had all of the characters just gone their own way, From comments I've read in other posts I find it disconcerting that our society finds it so difficult to understand that someone could find meaning in living up to your promises and  obligations by sticking with something rather than following your own bliss. The title "Big Love is not random. The family was stronger together than apart. I too got frustrated with Barb's character at times thinking she should just say enough, but in the end I see her as a women of great character and strength.


    March 22, 2011 7:30 PM
  • Genevieve said:

    I was disappointed with the ending because Bill had realized that "Faith comes from love, not the other way around."  In other words.. .Faith comes from FAmily... The creators (Scheffer & Olsen) spoken in various interviews that they always knew they were going to keep this Family intact. This show was about Family and no matter what that they would stay together until the end. That the secret to the show was that it was a "feminist" show. Well, if it really was all the above, then wouldn't it have been better to see if the women were able to "thrive" on their own with Bill still alive?  That would have shown a true-testament that Bill really had a revelation that women could be priesthood holders, that the would have allowed Margene to finally "blossom." I am sad that she show is over, but I really believe that the creators wanted to leave Bill a martyr... I get that, but it would have been more satisfying to this dedicated viewer if I could have seen the Family together living on this earth and thriving at the end.

    March 23, 2011 11:05 AM

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