In TV time, it has been six weeks since the family's comeuppance at the mother-of-the-year ceremony, and things are still completely out of alignment in the Henrickson household. Barb, still "humbled" by the guilt and shame she has brought on the family, has fled the scene, resentful of Bill's domineering approach to problem-solving. Nicki, both enticed and terrified by the possibility of taking over as first wife, tries to appease and scheme her way into the post, bullying Margene all along the way. And the kids are just trying to live their lives the best way they can in the shadow of their family's secret.
No matter what you think about polygamy - as a way of life or as a premise for a television drama - you can't argue with the caliber of acting on display here in HBO's latest twist on the nuclear family.
Bill Paxton is incredibly effective as a man who is torn between his heart, his faith and his obligations. At times, I am confounded as to how the man is able to shuttle from one crisis to the next without having a complete and total meltdown.
Jeanne Tripplehorn offers a nuanced portrait of a woman so in love with her husband that she is able to embrace even the most unimaginable lifestyle and make it her own.
Chloe Sevigny is one of the few actresses who is able to arouse sympathy and disgust at the same time, and
Ginnifer Goodwin is absolutely believable as a naive and needy child bride.
The supporting players are also amazingly well cast. As the creepy, malevolent Roman Grant,
Harry Dean Stanton has banished all of my fond memories of the forlorn, lovable
Pretty in Pink dad.
Mary Kay Place, once the saracastic, sperm-donor-seeking gal pal in
The Big Chill is now an altogether chillier sort of mommy, barely able to muster even a small amount of compassion for her misguided daughter. But my favorite of the bunch is
Grace Zabriskie as Lois Henrickson, Bill's slightly off-kilter but wily mother. Her facial expressions and reactions alone are worth the price of admission.
I'm curious to see where this season takes us. The stresses of juggling three demanding wives is difficult enough, but when you add in a growing roster of kids, a somewhat hapless business partner, an emotionally vulnerable brother, a borderline sister-in-law, and that scary Roman, I'm not sure how Bill is going to make it through. Thankfully, at least for this week, Barb came through and showed up for the wacky dinner with the neighbors in order to throw off them off the scent. Bill was right when he said that she is the one who shines. Here's hoping that she regains her confidence quickly and helps Bill navigate the murky waters to come.
In TV time it has been six weeks since the familys comeuppance at the mother-of-the-year ceremony and things are still completely out of alignment in the Henrickson household Barb still humbled by the guilt and shame she has brought on the family has fled the scene resentful of Bills domineering approach to problem-solving Nicki both enticed and terrified by the possibility of taking over as first wife tries to appease and scheme her way into the post bullying Margene all along the way And the kids are just trying to live their lives the best way they can in the shadow of their familys secret No matter what you think about polygamy as a way of life or as a premise for a television drama you cant argue with the caliber of acting on display here in HBOs latest twist on the nuclear family Bill Paxton is incredibly effective as a man who is torn between his heart his faith and his obligations At times I am confoun