3/21/2011-No gaming talk, just some Big Love

Hey everyone, I know today’s blog is not a gaming topic; but it is so rare for me to stick-it-out long enough with a series to actually watch the finale, that I just had to write about Big Love.

In reading many of the Big Love’s finale reviews, I am amazed how many people disliked Bill and the comparisons to the likability Tony Soprano, from the Sopranos, and Don Draper, from Mad Men.  I think the problem I have always had with Big Love is that it is a completely alien setting to me.  The initial concept of multiple wives raised my curiosity and I watched the show to understand what it was like.  Unfortunately, there was nothing for me to anchor onto so I could start relating to any of the characters.  With the show’s finale, I still feel like I have no understanding what it would be like to live in polygamy because I do not know if I have been shown any of that with this show.  I do feel like I have a good idea what it would be like to live in a household with a very ambitious and conservative man.  I am not an ambitious man nor am I conservative; I don’t know anyone who is.  Also I do not know any highly religious people, whose beliefs put them in a minority.  However, I can relate with Tony Soprano, because there are times where I wish I could send a few guys over to somebody’s house to “fix” a problem and I have known people who have fallen to violence as a solution.  Additionally, I can understand Don Draper’s infidelities because I have had the same thoughts and know people who have fallen to their lust.  I relate to these two characters; despite never acting like them, because I have felt the same impulses that they act on.  Bill Henderson, I cannot relate too; I have not felt anything that would tempt me to be that highly ambitious in public life nor multiply the work in maintaining a household by having more than one wife. 

Furthermore, Bill’s story is about him moving up in the world, not falling from the top.  Sopranos and Mad Men start their stories with the leading men at the top and the question is how they will stay there.  We do not see messy cost and sacrifice that they had to make to get there, all we see is the repercussions after the fact.  Why? Because, it is easier for us to like a guy and find out that he did some bad stuff in the past; instead of watching that good guy doing some bad stuff to get ahead. 

I think the long term success of Big Love is that we continually want to understand this family and we cannot, coming back season after season with the hope of “getting it.”  Each season, all we are given are new things that we cannot relate to. Sure, these things develop character, make sense, and move the plots; but that is part of the lure.   We understand part of the family so we must be closer to get that emotional relation that would put us into the story.  I think this is why so many people are dissatisfied with the finale, after five years of watching this family, they still cannot relate to them.

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One Comment on “3/21/2011-No gaming talk, just some Big Love”

  1. boccobsblog Says:

    I guess I’ll have to add this one to the Netflix que. Thanks for the heads up.

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