HBO's new program Big Love should have Donald Wildmon's panties in a bunch.
Wildmon, head of the American Family Association and his pal James Dobson, director of Focus on the Family, you may remember, rattled the cages of their myrmidon followers and pressured NBC into dropping The Book of Daniel from their lineup because it depicted a priest with a drug problem regularly confiding in a physical, visible Jesus.
Big Love is part domestic comedy, part male fantasy, and part religious soap opera. Bill Paxton plays a Utah man with three attractive wives, who have amicably drawn up a schedule for who sleeps with him on which night. The family is portrayed as being very devout in their religious faith. In one episode, they pray: "Please bless us with good health and a successful store opening. Please bless us all as your loving family sealed together through time and all eternity."
Scheduled back-to-back with the ever-popular Sopranos, Big Love focuses on being "decent." The crudest the language gets is "oh, my heck," "you dumb-head" and "there's no way in H I'll do that."
The recurring bad-guy role goes to Harry Dean Stanton, who plays a "grim fundamentalist messianic prophet who has 31 children and 187 grandchildren by his multiple wives.
Being on pay-TV should keep this show around, at least long enough for it to fail or succeed on its own merit. Hopefully Wildmon and Dobson can't scare the sponsors on this one. HBO is owned by Time-Warner.
Big Love | Bill Paxton | Harry Dean Stanton
HBO | Mormons | Polygamy