HBO Sunday: The New “Must See TV”

Well, Tony Soprano and the gang are finally back where they belong, gracing TV sets on Sunday nights. It’s great to see nothing has changed–The Sopranos is still riveting, cracking good drama with twists and turns and punches to the gut along the way.

While I’m sorry that Adriana won’t be around (the glimpse of her last night reaffirmed how much her character will be missed from the mix) I am looking forward to Julianna Margulies joining the cast. Not so much Ben Kingsley–excuse me, Sir Ben Kingsley–but we’ll see. He could be a snakey good bad guy. If last night’s episode is any indication, this final season should be an exciting ride.

I also enjoyed the premier of Big Love, the Mormon polygamy drama. Bill Paxton plays Bill Henrickson, a man juggling three wives, each with their own household and kids, and a stressful, successful business. The family drama with a twist is interesting enough, but things really kick up a notch at the halfway mark when Bill is called back to “the compound” to see his dying father. Juniper Creek compound is the remote Mormon community Bill and his family have left behind to live a fairly conventional life in the burbs, but family and religious ties that bind are about to make life much more complicated, interesting and dare we say, sinister for the Henrickson family.

I think Big Love shows big promise. The cast is strong (Bill Paxton, Chloe Sevigny, Jeanne Tripplehorn) with great actors filling crucial secondary roles (Harry Dean Stanton, Bruce Dern, Mary Kay Place, Tina Majorino, and Grace Zabriskie). The story is unusual and interesting, and it’s well written. So far, so good.


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