Big Love
I've come to realize that as much as I worry that I watch too much TV to feel adequately optimistic about the medium, I still turn on a new HBO show hoping they've scored another Sopranos or Deadwood and not just an Arliss. Never mind that I want to see Bill Paxton in something good. I have a soft spot for the guy, since pretty much every male of a certain age can, like myself, recite line after line of him as Chet in Weird Science, and as "Game over!" space Marine Hudson in Aliens. And that's not even mentioning other great stuff like One False Move and A Simple Plan. The short version: I'm primed to like this.

And like it I do, after Week 1. Given that Deadwood's debut was merely pretty good and the show then ascended to its current level of greatness, Big Love could be a real keeper if it follows the same curve. It is an example of the network shooting for another quirky angle, and it is, at its heart, a soap opera. But it's a good one, judging by this launch, with an interesting setup, good writing and a solid cast. And I'm betting that as we see what Roman's got in store for Bill if Bill doesn't fork over his 15 percent, what Sarah and Heather's friendship might shake loose, why Lois is poisoning Frank, and more, we may also receive an answer to the my biggest question: I love marriage myself, I really do, but why the hell would anyone want to juggle three of them at once? I look forward to being enlightened. (And I loved the use of David Byrne's "Miss America" to end the episode, too.)