Television: Take My Wives, Please

HBO examines a whole other set of family values in an enthralling new show about polygamy

Here's the thing they don't tell you about polygamy: it's murder on your cell bill. Early in Big Love (HBO, Sundays, 10 p.m. E.T.), Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton) checks his calls. He has 16 messages. He's got three wives, three mortgages and seven kids. His father (Bruce Dern) suspects Bill's mother of poisoning him. Bill is opening a new branch of his Salt Lake City, Utah, hardware store, and his shady, polygamist-patriarch father-in-law Roman (Harry Dean Stanton) is demanding a cut. Then there's the matter of, er, keeping up with three wives. Pharmaceutical assistance is involved.

Like Bill, Big Love has a lot...

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