DVD Review: Dramatic Depth of ‘Big Love: The Complete Collection’

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CHICAGOHBO’s “Big Love” never quite got the attention it deserved. It’s the bridge from the “Sopranos” era of HBO to the “Boardwalk Empire” and “Game of Thrones” one that we live in now and the rollercoaster of quality in terms of seasons never allowed the program to really find a groove. I’m happy it existed. And I’m even happier to own “Big Love: The Complete Series,” a volume of quality drama to which history will be very kind.

HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 4.0/5.0
DVD Rating: 4.0/5.0

The fact is that, outside of HBO, AMC, FX, and Showtime, you simply don’t see a lot of room for character depth of the kind crafted by the ace writing team behind “Big Love,” including Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black (“Milk,” “J. Edgar”). Quality writing is nothing without the performers to pull it off and not only did Bill Paxton, Chloe Sevigny, Jeanne Tripplehorn, and especially Ginnifer Goodwin never get the appropriate critical or Emmy recognition but the extended ensemble proved invaluable over and over again with great turns by Bruce Dern, Graze Zabriskie, Harry Dean Stanton, Amanda Seyfried, and many more. This was a true ensemble, bringing to life complex, well-written characters. A truncated fourth season caused a dip in quality from the series-best third but there was something of value every single year. For TV fans in your family, this would make a stellar holiday gift.

Note: The fifth season was also released this week stand-alone for the people on your Xmas list who already have the first four. This set offers nothing new outside of what the five individual seasons provided in terms of special features other than a nifty slip case.

Big Love: The Complete Collection
Big Love: The Complete Collection
Photo credit: HBO Pictures

Big Love: The Complete Collection brings together the series’ uniquely crafted story arc about modern day polygamists Bill Henrickson, his three wives (Barb, Nicki and Margene), and nine children as they struggle to overcome the myriad of challenges brought about by their beliefs, lifestyle and Bill’s entrepreneurial and political ambitions. The complete collection includes all 53 episodes from all five seasons, plus all of the extra features from the individual releases that offer additional insight into the Henrickson family dynamics. Features include “Inside the Episodes,” “Their Stories So Far,” “Big Love: A Balancing Act on Ice,” “Big Love: End of Days,” three pre-quels, three mini-episodes and audio commentaries.

“Big Love: The Complete Collection” stars Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny, and Ginnifer Goodwin. It was released on December 6th, 2011.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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