Big Love

The place for religious discussions -- doctrinal or cultural, Mormon or otherwise.

Moderators: Lady Celtic, Eric's Moderator Brother, seespot, Sara without the H

Karen
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon 18 Oct, 2004 01:03 pm
Location: Salt Lake City

Big Love

Postby Karen » Mon 27 Mar, 2006 03:55 pm

Does anyone know anything about this new HBO series about polygamists? I got an e-mail asking me to contact HBO and give them an earful for blurring the lines between polygamists and the LDS Church by setting it in/near Salt Lake City.
The only thing I've seen of it was a spot on the news that I found laughable because I've seen polygamists, and I'm not gonna lie, they're not that glamorous. I guess not everyone knows that, and might think poorly of Latter-day Saints as a result of this program, in spite of it saying there's no active connection between polygamists and the present day church.
Any thoughts (or did I already miss this boat)?

User avatar
Eric's Fat Brother
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 13 Aug, 2002 03:21 pm
Location: Pleasant Grove, UT
Contact:

Postby Eric's Fat Brother » Mon 27 Mar, 2006 04:06 pm

I laugh at those emails (I have gotten it a dozen times), because HBO isn't going to care about the opinions of people who don't subscribe anyway.
Jeff J. Snider
"I'm crazy but I get the job done."
***
My NEW weight-loss blog

User avatar
BeeDub
Posts: 4879
Joined: Sat 26 Oct, 2002 09:37 am
Location: Oklahoma City
Contact:

Postby BeeDub » Mon 27 Mar, 2006 04:09 pm

This doesn't seem like the type of program that will last long anyway. It seems like such a one-trick pony to me.
You can lead people to truth, but you can't make them understand it: the story of my childhood, as seen from the present.
-Bill Watterson

EricDSnider
Posts: 2166
Joined: Tue 13 Aug, 2002 03:13 pm
Location: Portland
Contact:

Postby EricDSnider » Mon 27 Mar, 2006 05:41 pm

BeeDub wrote:This doesn't seem like the type of program that will last long anyway. It seems like such a one-trick pony to me.


And "a bunch of strangers are stranded on a desert island" or "a guy tries to break his brother out of prison" doesn't? :-)

Another good reason for HBO to ignore those e-mails is that they're coming from people who haven't even seen the show. You're entitled to not watch something for any reason you choose, of course. But if you're going to COMPLAIN about it, and try to get it taken off the air -- well, then you really ought to have seen it. That seems like such a basic requirement that I don't know how people keep overlooking it.

I haven't seen "Big Love" either, but from what I gather, the show makes it clear that the polygamists are not Mormons because they're surrounded by characters who ARE Mormon. So there's a contrast: the Mormons, and the polygamists. Two separate groups.

Now, whether the Mormon characters are depicted realistically, I don't know. Probably not; the show's creators aren't LDS and probably have little experience with real LDS people. But so what? Ain't nothin' but a thing.

User avatar
InOregon
Posts: 2689
Joined: Tue 04 Mar, 2003 09:30 pm
Location: Oregon
Contact:

Postby InOregon » Mon 27 Mar, 2006 06:16 pm

I've been watching it. I didn't care for it at first, because I was busy being freaked out when they used proper Mormon vernacular. Then I realized that was stupid and started to enjoy it. It's not anti-mormon at all (so far). All the mormons portrayed in the show seem very true to life. Even the adults involved in polygamy are clear that they are not part of the mainstream Mormon church. I'm hooked.
"reading is polushun. someday it will kill me."

My Bonnie lies over at Flickr.

Karen
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon 18 Oct, 2004 01:03 pm
Location: Salt Lake City

Postby Karen » Tue 28 Mar, 2006 08:53 am

I'm glad to hear someone here enjoys the show. I don't have cable, but I am curious just to see how realistic it is. I'm not one to complain about something I haven't seen myself. Part of me was worried my Catholic family members with HBO would start giving me grief, or worse, privately believing weird things about me without asking.

On the other hand, I wondered if the show might not do some good. It seems like polygamists always get portrayed as deluded at best, creepy and evil at worst. I wonder what life is like for them for real. There has to be a whole spectrum, and it would be interesting to see it.

User avatar
Jersey Girl
Posts: 1357
Joined: Thu 12 Sep, 2002 08:31 am
Location: Virginia
Contact:

Postby Jersey Girl » Tue 28 Mar, 2006 10:06 am

Sometimes bad publicity is a good thing. At least, it makes people interested in what the "real" story is. It may peak intellectual curiousity about the LDS Church and provide a jumping point for those of us who want to share the gospel with others.

The Church has its own concerns. Mormons are always going to be associated with polygamy no matter what we say or do. We just have to inform people that the Mormon Fundamentalists are not us.
Last edited by Jersey Girl on Tue 28 Mar, 2006 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Chicken legs were moved, roads were crossed, motives were questioned."--EFB

User avatar
nick
Posts: 882
Joined: Tue 10 Feb, 2004 10:12 am
Location: Centerville, UT
Contact:

Postby nick » Tue 28 Mar, 2006 10:11 am

Because of one of Eric's past columns, I still secretly pronounce it "Porygamy."

I got one of those emails from my former mission president, and deleted it. First of all, I haven't seen the show. Second of all, um, we stopped practicing polygamy in 1890 and people still associate us with it. People are acting as if "Oh, we were just on the brink of convincing everyone the truth, and now this show came along and ruined everything!" People are gonna believe what they want. From what people who have actually seen the show have said (thanks, InO) it doesn't seem like a big deal to me. In fact, it looks like the LDS church was ahead of its time now that polygamy is the new "civil rights battle."

User avatar
Momma Snider
Posts: 9072
Joined: Wed 14 Aug, 2002 08:50 am

Postby Momma Snider » Tue 28 Mar, 2006 11:31 am

I think making a big deal out of protesting this show would be counterproductive. It would just make it look like we're a bunch of fanatics who protest when we don't know what we're protesting.

User avatar
WiseNLucky
Posts: 2796
Joined: Thu 22 Sep, 2005 09:50 am
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Contact:

Postby WiseNLucky » Wed 29 Mar, 2006 08:20 am

InOregon wrote:I've been watching it. I didn't care for it at first, because I was busy being freaked out when they used proper Mormon vernacular. Then I realized that was stupid and started to enjoy it. It's not anti-mormon at all (so far). All the mormons portrayed in the show seem very true to life. Even the adults involved in polygamy are clear that they are not part of the mainstream Mormon church. I'm hooked.


I watched the first two episodes.

The good:
- There is clear distinction between Mormons and the main characters with the husband mentioning several times that he is concerned about Mormons "putting the Bishop on us" if they are too open about their situation.
- The main Mormon character (a co-worker of the oldest daughter) is played by the actress who played Deb in Napoleon Dynamite (and Mac on Veronica Mars). I like her.
- There is a clear distinction between this family group and the main group of polygamists (extended families of the main characters) who are much more true-to-form of polygamists in dress and attitude as we see them in the press. The "prophet" on the compound is married to a 14 year-old who looks 12 and acts 7. Very proud of her position and lording it over the other people in the compound.
- The characters are actually quite likable, my favorite being the teenaged daughter of the oldest wife (having caught her father sneaking out of the wrong wife's house remarked "you were a bad boy") who doesn't agree with polygamy.
- There is tension in the family and particularly between the wives who compete for time and money -- just what one would expect in a situation like that.
- The Utah scenery is beautiful.

The bad:
- There is a tremendous amount of nudity and sex. Most of the first two episodes were about this poor middle-aged guy trying to satisfy three wives who fight over "my night" to the point of him popping Viagra like the main character on House pops pain pills.
- The highly advertised disclaimer that the Mormon church does not espouse polygamy comes only at the very end and I had to scroll back through to see it. People not familiar with the LDS Church will be confused even though those of us in the church can see a clear distinction.

I like the characters but will probably not go back to the show. I don't need all the sex scenes.
WiseNLucky

Horizontally gifted since . . . .

Karen
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon 18 Oct, 2004 01:03 pm
Location: Salt Lake City

Postby Karen » Wed 29 Mar, 2006 11:26 am

Thanks, WiseNLucky, that was a really helpful assessment. And thanks also to Jersey Girl for the link. That e-mail I got linked to the Church's website and I wasn't sure what I was looking for. Good job, guys.

User avatar
Steve S
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed 15 Dec, 2004 06:49 am
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Postby Steve S » Fri 31 Mar, 2006 02:58 pm

I don't get HBO and probably wouldn't watch Big Love anyway. The best thing I've ever seen about a polygamous household is Raise the Red Lantern.

I am tempred to go to this event at the National Constitution Center, though. I'm sure that HBO never dreamed they'd inspire a discussion more suited to the C-SPAN crowd.

(And if the wording of event description is anything to go by, I'm not sure the show's "disclaimer" is working. From the Church's point of view, I'm sure that anything written which includes both Mormon and polygamy is problematic.)

User avatar
BeeDub
Posts: 4879
Joined: Sat 26 Oct, 2002 09:37 am
Location: Oklahoma City
Contact:

Postby BeeDub » Wed 05 Apr, 2006 02:39 pm

My mom got one of those "ask HBO to cancel this show" emails and immediately did so. (She doesn't subscribe to HBO and has never seen the show.) She asked me if I was going to email HBO as well, and I told her I wasn't (giving reasons we've gone over in this thread). It was as if I'd just told her I was going apostate. Based solely on the (rather misleading) information given in the email she recieved, she was SURE the show was worthy of cancellation, and it was the duty of every good LDS member to do as she was doing.

Sigh.
You can lead people to truth, but you can't make them understand it: the story of my childhood, as seen from the present.

-Bill Watterson

User avatar
Coolboyharrell
Posts: 1153
Joined: Tue 05 Apr, 2005 02:35 am
Location: Fork. American Fork

Postby Coolboyharrell » Wed 05 Apr, 2006 04:11 pm

I got my first one of those last week. It was from my brother's exgirlfriend, who I didn't even know had my email, and has been married for two years. I think maybe I'll email her back about the reasons why I will not email HBO.
If you call me cheap, I'll call you correct.
I'm now blogging, like a good little library worker

Ryan Reeder
Posts: 1720
Joined: Wed 14 Aug, 2002 03:01 am
Location: Utah
Contact:

Postby Ryan Reeder » Thu 06 Apr, 2006 02:08 am

I don't do what forwarded e-mails tell me to do on general principle.

I've probably got about 83 billion years worth of bad luck stored up by now.

I got the email from my mother, too, and ignored it. Who watches HBO anyway? Besides, there's no such thing as bad publicity, right?

User avatar
WiseNLucky
Posts: 2796
Joined: Thu 22 Sep, 2005 09:50 am
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Contact:

Postby WiseNLucky » Thu 06 Apr, 2006 03:45 am

I think any active opposition by church members will just encourage people to see who normally wouldn't. Ignoring is often the best policy.
WiseNLucky



Horizontally gifted since . . . .

User avatar
Matt
Posts: 1776
Joined: Tue 03 Dec, 2002 03:31 pm
Location: Provo, UT

Postby Matt » Thu 06 Apr, 2006 08:59 am

Since I'm not on too many LDS mailing lists (go figure), I haven't seen the email. Would anyone mind posting the text to satisfy my curiosity?
goto 10

User avatar
nick
Posts: 882
Joined: Tue 10 Feb, 2004 10:12 am
Location: Centerville, UT
Contact:

Postby nick » Thu 06 Apr, 2006 10:35 am

Here ya go:
I'm asking for your help- for about 3 minutes of your time.

HBO's new series, "Big Love", is about a polygamous family and is set in a Salt Lake City suburb. About the likely impact of this sexually driven show, the New York Times said, "We may never look at Utah and think
white bread again."

Parodies of beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints occur- belief in priesthood by a man blessing his hunting rifle, belief in personal revelation from the Holy Ghost by dramatic visions that the polygamous leader discusses casually with a friend. Talk of "celestial kingdom", "free agency", and the "Choose the Right" slogan are included.
There is a brief disclaimer stating that the polygamists don't have an
active connection with the LDS Church. But if the writers don't intend for
viewers to make the connection, one wonders why they set the show
in Salt Lake City, the Church's world headquarters, and why they included
distortions of LDS beliefs.

NBC recently cancelled a show about a dysfunctional Episcopal priest who saw a "Jesus", after almost 700,000 people emailed and complained. Couldn't we do the same for this show? If you agree, will you:- forward this email to at least 8 people- email a polite protest to HBO:

Go to www.hbo.com, scroll to bottom of page, click Contact Us, click on The Sopranos (unless Big Love is listed when you do so), scroll to the light blue box near page bottom, on the line just under Submit an Email, click on Contact Us.Then enter your information, specify it's about Big Love, and leave a message asking them to cancel this offensive show.

One or two sentences is all it takes. Or feel free to copy or edit this
message:

I am offended that you would produce the series Big Love. It demeans and
distorts sacred beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
By setting the show in Salt Lake City, it blurs the line between the Church
and the long renounced practice of polygamy. Please cancel the show
immediately.

For "extra mile" effort and effect, call HBO's operator at 212 512 1208
from 9am to 5pm Mon-Fri EST and ask to leave a message asking them to cancel Big Love.

Thanks!

User avatar
lilcis
Posts: 1778
Joined: Wed 13 Aug, 2003 02:33 pm
Location: Long Beach, CA

Postby lilcis » Thu 06 Apr, 2006 11:00 am

Parodies of beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints occur- belief in priesthood by a man blessing his hunting rifle, belief in personal revelation from the Holy Ghost by dramatic visions that the polygamous leader discusses casually with a friend. Talk of "celestial kingdom", "free agency", and the "Choose the Right" slogan are included.
There is a brief disclaimer stating that the polygamists don't have an
active connection with the LDS Church. But if the writers don't intend for
viewers to make the connection, one wonders why they set the show
in Salt Lake City, the Church's world headquarters, and why they included
distortions of LDS beliefs.


Here's my problem with the letter:

1. Most of those references are only going to stand out to actual Mormons, or people who have a close relationship to Mormons. And for those people there's no question about whether or not the church practices polygamy.

2. I'm pretty sure all churches have had their beliefs represented on TV at one point or another. Do we get upset when someone says "Hail Mary's" or confesses their sins to a Bishop? Yeah, the beliefs are distorted a bit and used incorrectly, but maybe that's how polygamists really are. Their beliefs are a distortion of the Mormon church anyway, so who's to say they don't use some of the same ordinances we use, only in a different (and in our opinion, incorrect) way.

Therefore,

3. If anyone should be getting upset, it's the polygamists themselves. Only they have the right to assert an opinion about whether this show is a true representation of their culture.
Why are you the way that you are? Honestly, every time I try to do something fun or exciting, you make it not that way. I hate so much about the things that you choose to be. Michael Scott

User avatar
Matt
Posts: 1776
Joined: Tue 03 Dec, 2002 03:31 pm
Location: Provo, UT

Postby Matt » Thu 06 Apr, 2006 11:14 am

The polygagmous groups likely use many of the same terms and practices as the LDS Church. "Free agency" and "celestial kingdom" are not just the domain of the LDS Church - they're part of every/most offshoot sect.
goto 10


Return to “Religion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests