Episode 103: Big Love Panel

26 comments on “Episode 103: Big Love Panel”

  1. Andyp Reply

    I’m not LDS, never have been and probably never will be, but I just wanted to say that I love this podcast. I was actually thinking today on how you guys needed an episode on Big Love, which is one of my favorite shows. Keep up the good work. You guys have a Catholic fan far away from Utah!

    • Glenn Reply

      Thanks Andy. My freshman roommate at BYU was a Catholic from NY who came to BYU mainly for the football. He’s did convert and is still there, but is trying to get back east now.

      I’m glad to hear you liked the podcast. We wanted this to focus more on the Mormon culture side and less on the show — less on insider fan knowledge. I hope we succeeded there. Logan, Bob, Andrea, Melissa and I had a lot of fun recording this and decided to do a little side project that is more focused on the show throughout the season, reviewing each episode as they air. We’ll post a link here as soon as there is something to listen to. And we’d love to get your feedback, just as we’d love to get it here on Mormon Expression.

      Send me an email: glenn@mormonexpression.com and we’ll see if I can get you and my ex-roomie to hash out the Catholic wars or something (ha!) — thanks for the comment.

    • Andrea Reply

      My great-great grandfather, Albert, had two wives. After nineteen years of marriage to my great-great grandmother, Melissa, he married Lois. She wasn’t a younger, prettier upgrade. She was three years older than Melissa. Why, after nineteen years, did they bring another person into their marriage?

      My grandmother knew her grandparents. Did she also know her grandmother’s sister-wife, or “bonus grandma” as I like to call her? Great-great grandma Melissa had a nervous breakdown, from which she never fully recovered. I have to wonder if sharing her husband with Lois didn’t play a part in that.

      I honestly don’t know, and I can’t work up the nerve to ask my grandma. I don’t know if anybody else has noticed this, but Mormons really don’t like to talk about polygamy. It would seem that the rest of my family is content to pretend that Lois never existed. They’d rather ignore the fact that Brigham Young forced my fourth-great grandmother to marry her own son-in-law, or that all of this started with Joseph Smith. Nobody wants to talk about how men can still be sealed to more than one woman, or how polygamy is going to figure into the afterlife.

      People leave the church when they find out the truth about polygamy. The mainstream church doesn’t have a viable approach to its own history. You can’t just shrug it off as a “practice” that’s long forgotten. You can’t teach whitewashed history, and tell people that the truth isn’t useful. Maybe that’s why I like “Big Love” so much, because it lifts up the rock, and shows us what’s crawling underneath. It opens a dialogue, humanizes the people dismissed as “polygs” and makes us see that polygamy isn’t something far removed from mainstream Mormonism. D&C 132 is still scripture, after all.

      We can’t keep pretending like it’s not there. We can’t keep ignoring it. It’s a part of us, for better or worse, and we have to find a way to make peace with it. Until then, it will continue to be the elephant in the room, something that we’re not supposed to talk about, something that can make any Mormon want to abruptly end the conversation, though let’s be honest… that’s not always a bad thing.

      • Nonny Reply

        Exactly, Andrea. This is what makes Mormons so uncomfortable about polygamy: were it not for the federal government and the manifesto, this could have been us. My own mother grew up in the home of her polygamous grandmother(s), in the mainstream LDS church. We are not so far removed from polygamy as we would like to believe we are.

      • Nonny Reply

        Exactly, Andrea. This is what makes Mormons so uncomfortable about polygamy: were it not for the federal government and the manifesto, this could have been us. My own mother grew up in the home of her polygamous grandmother(s), in the mainstream LDS church. We are not so far removed from polygamy as we would like to believe we are.

      • Nonny Reply

        Exactly, Andrea. This is what makes Mormons so uncomfortable about polygamy: were it not for the federal government and the manifesto, this could have been us. My own mother grew up in the home of her polygamous grandmother(s), in the mainstream LDS church. We are not so far removed from polygamy as we would like to believe we are.

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  3. The Whiner Reply

    Sooooo….. grocery stores here in Utah aren’t any larger than grocery stores in other places I’ve lived.

    • Glenn Reply

      Ah, yes, but what about the milk sections? Bigger milk sections (and smaller meat sections — presumably from all the hunting, I suppose — I can’t really say — I’ve only ever live in the North Carolina district of Utah.)

    • Glenn Reply

      Ah, yes, but what about the milk sections? Bigger milk sections (and smaller meat sections — presumably from all the hunting, I suppose — I can’t really say — I’ve only ever live in the North Carolina district of Utah.)

      • Melissa Reply

        Well maybe not all are, but one near the South Jordan Temple just seemed gigantic to me. Thats the one I was talking about. Don’t remember what chain. It’s very possible that large non-polygamist families can account for the supply/demand. 🙂
        We were just starting to watch Big Love when I went there, & you know how everything reminds you of that “new show”. It just seemed so huge to me, it was kind of a joke for my husband & I.

        • The Whiner Reply

          Oh dear. I wasn’t offended or trying to be defensive. I was just being a smart a**. The podcast was great. :^)

  4. Jay Bryner Reply

    I think they made a choice to call them the golden tablets, rather than the golden plates because they didn’t want to confuse non-mormon viewers. “Why would the angel moroni write stuff on golden dinner plates? Why would they even have golden dinner plates?”

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  6. Nonny Reply

    Loved this podcast. Love the show.
    What I find the most interesting about the show, and maybe what the hierarchy is afraid of, is that Big Love lets us see our Mormon culture through the eyes of outsiders. It is not always a pretty sight. The missionaries, the neighbors, the holier-than-thou attitudes. Is this how we look to others?
    One aspect of the show that doesn’t seem realistic to me is the back room politics and maneuvering that takes place. For example, I’m thinking of the negotiations for the historical documents with Barb’s high church profile brother-in-law. I hope that sort of thing isn’t really going on.
    What I thought was missing from your panel is a voice from the polygamist culture. Do you think Carolyn Jessop is available?

  7. MJL Reply

    I wish to express my admiration at the courage displayed by the brave souls who make Big Love possible.

    Multiple spouse unions have long been stigmatized by society through prejudice buoyed by ignorance, misunderstanding, and outright hate. Big Love works to correct those misconceptions by showing that these unions are natural and loving amongst consenting adults.

    How long must our laws discriminate against these people? How long must their rights be denied? How long must those who are involved in bigamous, polygamous, polyandrous, and polyamorous relationships be forced to keep their shred love a secret for fear of being outed and shamed by an ignorant and hateful rabble?

    Multiple spouse unions once enjoyed its free expression in America but had those rights taken away by the state. And even now the Mormon Church joins in the collective persecution of multiple spouse unions. For shame!

  8. Michael Gonda Reply

    Well, you guys finally pushed me over the edge. I listened to this one, and I knew I had to watch the series. Unfortunately, the first season was checked out at the library, so I started on season two. I have only watched episodes 1-6, but I am already hooked. I admit that I felt like an apostate at first just for thinking about watching them. Now I can say that as usual, whoever wrote most of the critical thought about Big Love on behalf of the church has not watched the show.

    In my opinion, it is brilliant. For example, it had never occurred to me that even if you had three wives already, you might have to take off the ring so you can start dating again after you meet someone the spirit is pushing you to marry. It makes me wonder how Joseph Smith and Brigham went about it. A lot of courting involved? Because they had a lot more than three wives.

    I don’t know exactly what the writers and producers meant to accomplish, but I think it is obvious that they are not doing it to attack the LDS church. It seems like they are almost trying to make polygamy not look as dark and scary as currently it is viewed. But so far I love it because it is entertaining, basically believable, and makes you think.

    As a sort of aside, I was feeling guilty yesterday after our stake president parroted the line that “if I can’t watch it with my kids, then I probably shouldn’t watch it.” It seems really strange and unhealthy to me me to think that because we think it might not be appropriate to expose our four-year-old to sex and nudity, that as adults we can’t come to grips with it and accept that there are some portrayals of that nature that can be done tastefully and not be inherently scary. Anyway, thanks again for ‘turning me on’ to this….. hehehehe…..

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  10. Anonymous Reply

    Does it happen?

    Yeah, like across the street from my grandma in Holladay. I played with the kids when I was a kid.

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