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Big Love - Complete HBO Season 4 [DVD] [2012]

4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny, Ginnifer Goodwin, Harry Dean Stanton
  • Producers: Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Norwegian, Swedish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 16 April 2012
  • Run Time: 516 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005YYCKA0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,427 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

For years, Bill Henrickson wished for a world free from the corrupt ‘prophet' of Juniper Creek, Roman Grant. Now that it appears he's got his wish, Bill and his ever-growing family can finally breathe easy...or can they? In Season Four, as a new maelstrom of personal issues swirl around him, Bill launches yet another business venture: a Mormon-friendly casino he planned in Season Three with Native American partners.

Special Features

  • Inside the Episode - Episodes 1-9
  • Season 1, 2 and 3 Recap


For viewers new to HBO's acclaimed series Big Love, starting with these nine episodes (on three discs) from the fourth season may be like jumping aboard a moving passenger train--there are many strange folks around, and there's a lot going on, so it may take a while to find your footing. (Fortunately, the boxed set includes a look back at the first three seasons, and brief "Inside the Episode" bits in which cocreators Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer discuss the key elements of each new chapter.) Of course, old hands will already be familiar with the many trials and tribulations of Mormon businessman Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton), his three wives (Jeanne Tripplehorn as Barb, Chloë Sevigny as Nicki, and Ginnifer Goodwin as Margene), and a brood of children now approaching double figures. The family's nemesis (and Nicki's father), "prophet" Roman Grant (Harry Dean Stanton), is out of the picture early on, but a scary new villain emerges in the form of JJ (Zeljko Ivanek), a skeletal, hollow-eyed schemer and Nicki's ex-husband, who, for starters, marries her mother and connives with her brother Alby (Matt Ross). And there are numerous other story lines to follow, as Bill and his Native American partners struggle to get their new casino going; Bill contemplates a run for political office, hoping to use that bully pulpit to convince his constituents that polygamy isn't so bad after all (and outing himself in the process); two of the wives struggle with carnal temptations offered by other men; Bill's loony parents (Bruce Dern and Grace Zabriskie) become involved in smuggling exotic birds from Mexico; and on and on.

Many of these situations are patently absurd, and the tone of the show--satirical but not parodic; amusing but not in the least sit-commy--often follows suit. But there are serious issues here as well; aside from polygamy, the stigma of being gay and Mormon male is handled with considerable poignance. As usual, the performances are excellent (Oscar winner Sissy Spacek appears as a Washington lobbyist in several episodes), as are the writing and direction. And even if many adherents agree that this is not the series' finest season, Big Love is sui generis; the fact that there's nothing else like it out there is by itself a good reason for watching. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By P. Holland on 21 April 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Simply brilliant, despite being mega busy managed to watch this whole series in a couple of days, once you start you can't stop watching. You hate some of the characters, love others and it has to be one of the top three series ever along with The Wire and West Wing. Given the subject matter many will not be interested but if you like great stories, great acting and top class scripts, this is for you. Love it
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lori C on 16 Sept. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the first three seasons of Big Love. However, season 4 concentrated less on the family and more on the Casino and Bill's political ambitions. Ienjoyed it less than the other seasons because of this. However it is still a really good watch!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By goodeggdaisy on 26 Feb. 2013
Format: DVD
Not my favourite of the 5 series but it's great to see the story building, tackling new issues and some darker sides of this alternative life style. And of course all the journal characters are there and growing. I also enjoyed the 2 minute insights into each the makers point of view. I'm definitely looking forward to getting straight into the final series
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Claire on 7 Nov. 2012
Format: DVD
Once you start watching it you can't stop,great series nothing like it out there,the forth series is a bit darker compared to the first one,highly recommend to watch it
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 375 reviews
30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
No Plot Development 10 Nov. 2010
By Justine N. - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The first season was spent character building, laying down basic relationships and primary issues. The second and third seasons expanded on that, and in my opinion were incredibly. The third season was spectacular. But the fourth season was a complete disappointment. I will buy this season when it comes out, simply out of continuity, and I will continue to watch the last season because I'm emotionally attached to the characters and story, but my issue with the fourth season is one of plot development. In the previous seasons secrets and twists and clues build up, and get let out to create some really intense drama which is what gives the show its power. However, the fourth season had none of that. The problems were presented, and resolved soon thereafter. Most secrets were discovered in the same episode. There were no build-ups, and nothing left to the imagination. My guess is that the writers have really exhausted most of the problems and issues that could arise with this set of characters in the situation they're in, and there isn't much left to do. I really hope that the final season will redeem the series and end strong.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Somewhat Interesting, but Defies Credibility. 2 Dec. 2010
By Gary Peterson - Published on
Format: DVD
My wife and I watched Seasons 1 and 2 of the Big Love Series. It was interesting programing in that the story depicted an unknown world and put it into a believable and interesting framework. It was like looking through a little window into a situation we've read about but had no first-hand knowledge. The acting, scenes and directing were all rather good. So, we watched Season 3. Well, the first two seasons were just an introduction to polygamy. Season 3 built on that introductory base and the situations and personal interactions became more complicated and somewhat more interesting. Season 4 seemed a natural.

In Season 4, the foursome becomes ever more unstable. One of the wives takes an outside job and becomes locally famous. Another wife takes an outside suitor. One of the grandparents gets involved in smuggling parrots from Mexico. The grandfather dies and is frozen. The husband runs for public office and ultimately outs himself as a polygamist. The husband also gets involved in an Indian gaming venture and all the related complications. And it goes on and on. The problem is the story gets to be more and more unbelievable as the program proceeds. Seasons 1 and 2 were believable and were much like a well-done, low-keyed documentary on polygamous life in Utah. Season 3 became a stretch of that situation and was filled with a host of side issues. Season 4 is such a big stretch that it defies credibility, and that's a problem. It's just pure unadulterated fiction, and not very good fiction at that. Don't get me wrong, it's a well done program and many people may love watching it. But, my initial attractions to Season 1 and 2 no longer apply and I have serious doubts that I would ever watch Series 5.

Gary Peterson
45 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Big Love--Bill Paxton Is Simply Terrific 14 Mar. 2010
By carol irvin - Published on
Format: DVD
Bill Paxton as the polygamist Mormon in this series has driven me absolutely crazy for four seasons. I always want to reach inside of the television and start choking him for the crazy things he does. This season he pushed my buttons even more. He decides to run for political office, of all things, with the express idea of going public about being a polygamous Mormon at his victory speech with his multiple wives and children beside him. "You idiot," I scream at my TV, "how can you be so stupid?!" But this is Paxton's brilliance. He has completely caught someone who is in the continuous, rapt thrall of obsessive religious belief. He is humorless, which is true of all zealots, because he never steps outside of its thrall for even a second. It absolutely controls every aspect of his life. He laments his early beginnings as a lost boy, thrown out of his outlaw Mormon compound, and mistakenly believes he has recovered from all of that. He has never recovered from being raised at a cult religious encampment. What he's done is try to transplant the cult to new soil, mainstream USA life. He plays the character as rather one dimensional and robotic because someone who is in a state of rapturous religious zeal IS one dimensional!

The other characters revolve around him. He is the head so what he says goes. However, he has thrown three wives together, all of whom have his children. They live and function as a unit. Like women everywhere who are cast into subordinate positions from which they can never emerge, they scheme around him. Oh boy, do they scheme. While he has his eye constantly on the prize, being united with heavenly father in paradise with this huge family, the wives jockey for position, power, and play all ends against the middle. If they believe in the end destiny, that takes a very subordinate position to daily contention with the here and now.

Then there is the true horror: when you take on multiple spouses, you take on multiple in-laws. Just imagine having to cope with multiple sets of in-laws instead of just one set. One absolutely needs religious zeal to take on that component of this lifestyle.

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Worst of the Bunch 18 Mar. 2011
By Jack M. Walter - Published on
Format: DVD
While Seasons 1 to 3 were excellent, Season 4 really jumped the shark, with ridiculous plot lines that really ruined the momentum of this great show. Season 5, the final one, is a bit better, but I could avoid seeing 4 again. Only for die hards.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Sudden departure in characterisation, abysmal direction, poor script!! 14 Jun. 2011
By Pauline Tremain - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of "Big Love" (I'm in the UK) and now own all four seasons. All the previous three series have been brilliant - from the jeopardy in each individual character's life, and the double-standards of their everyday existence (which have made it so enjoyable to relate to), to the progressive pace and excellent direction; the script has been enthrallingly written through three series so far.

Suddenly, with this Fourth Season, there has been a complete departure from the tone of the previous series, insofar as the characters have all suddenly become much more 'smiley' and pliable: basically, I think they've been forced to 'tone it down'!! The direction is APPALLING, make no mistake, with such plodding interactions, and total departures from the normally excellent timing displayed by all the best actors/actresses. The script - and scenarios - are in no way true to the original characters that have been revealed to us over three excellent series.

SUCH a disappointment! And a disgraceful betrayal of fans of the series.

I note that they are trying to interject black comedy into the fourth series, with the emphasis on the word "trying"! Trying too it is spoiled, and you are aware that you are just their pawn as a viewer, rather than feeling any affability towards the previously-understood characters, or with their ongoing personal situations. Without spoiling the plotline, just in episode one alone, suddenly strong characters become weak, surly characters pitiful, there's been a sudden introduction to all the characters, across the board, of heavy face foundation make-up! The clothes are tight-fitting and colourful and bright whereas before the character looked run-down or plain. One character has been made to look so foolish in the script and direction that you lose respect for what was previously a likeable characer. One mother attacks her daughter in a way which previously would have been against her principles. Characters are shot over several seconds smiling innanely at each other, without speaking, and others have their interactions slowed so much that you could practically go and make a cup of tea and come back and you wouldn't have missed anything!! The list I could write about the Fourth Season's failures is ENDLESS.

I wish I could say it had improved in some way, but it hasn't. The opening credits and change in accompanying music (the latter has changed throughout) signals that there is a new hand at work here, and it's not good. The credits seem to go on for hours, with so many repetitive shots; even these have been downgraded from a previously excellent introductory theme to the expected plotline and interactions between the characters.

From fantastic beginnings, and a well-maintained pace and credibility, suddenly everyone has had an about-face and I feel actually sorry for the cast, having to act in a way which reverses the achievements - good or bad - of their characters prior to this series. I wonder whether this is the end of "Big Love". Sack the Director and the Writers, I say!!!
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