• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 12, 2006
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Secrets, threats, Viagra--Big Love was always going to be interesting TV, but what makes it first-rate drama is how confidently it moves past exoticism to the ordinary universals of family life.
  2. Thoroughly sharp, seriously compelling.
  3. 90
    There are elements of this new series that have a quirkiness that might seem deliberate or overly clever against a different backdrop, but that feels natural in its own gracefully odd environment.
  4. "Big Love" sounds like a high-concept, comedic, intentionally sensational enterprise. Parts of "Big Love" are sensational, all right. But only in the best sense of the word.
  5. 88
    It's excellent on every level.
  6. A very original, extremely well-acted and complexly written drama.
  7. Much of its strength comes from a group of actors so skilled that, like the ensemble on "The Sopranos," they draw us into the lives of their characters even if we don't initially want to go there.
  8. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The casting is so good and the production design so sophisticated that the series' pull toward baroque psychosexual doings is, so far, pleasurable. [7 Apr 2006, p.51]
  9. 80
    It’s something of a feat that the makers of Big Love are willing to put the ugly side of this phenomenon up against the mainstream sheen of Bill’s setup, and -- thanks in great part to the marvelous acting on display, from Paxton’s rugged haplessness to all three women’s unique variations on maternal stress and wifely sensuality -- still offer up a family to root for, warts and all.
  10. 80
    Big Love... is in no hurry to unfurl its plotlines or push its charms. Give it a couple of episodes, though, and you'll be snared.
  11. 80
    ''Big Love,"... is layered enough to do what HBO's ''The Sopranos" and ''Six Feet Under" have done so well: make atypical heroes knowable and universal. It pulls us into its parallel moral universe, rather than keep us standing outside in judgment.
  12. 80
    The acting is among the finest on television.
  13. 70
    For a lot of viewers “Big Love” is going to need time to settle in; it doesn’t have much dramatic texture until about the fifth episode.
  14. It is a series that boasts more than a few terrific performances, and yet it is surprisingly mellow, nearly devoid of the kinds of dramatic moments that resonate after the final credits roll.
  15. By the third episode... "Big Love" becomes an addictive treat.
  16. The first five hours feel more soapy than salacious.
  17. 60
    By the end of the five episodes HBO sent for review, one's interest in the tangled future of this offbeat clan may be piqued, but be forewarned, it takes a while -- and there are a lot of petty spats and crying kids -- before one gets to that point.
  18. "Big Love" gets better and more compelling, once the plot thickens and the wives' personalities and conflicts take deeper form.
  19. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    More of a curiosity than a necessity.
  20. 60
    It's not an easy task to figure out where the thing is going, but it is intriguing watching it go there.
  21. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    [The episodes are] smarter than you might expect but not quite as clever as they work at being. Like the family unit it portrays, this dark/lighthearted drama tries to have everything at once and struggles under the far-reaching effort.
  22. 50
    Hopefully, the scriptwriting will improve and make better use of the cast, which is ripe for higher-quality material.
  23. 50
    From what I can tell, the goal of Love is to prove that life can be just as mundane, colorless and boring with three spouses as it can with one or none. Mission accomplished.
  24. Its impressive cast can't beef up the show's predictable conflicts and pedestrian secrets.
  25. There are good things in it, some well-written scenes and dynamic exchanges and excellent acting... But, ultimately, it doesn't cohere or quite convince.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 110 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 75
  2. Negative: 15 out of 75
  1. Apr 21, 2011
    just an amazing show! and an amazing last season. Big love has ever been a great series, and i'll regret it because big love talked about family, lobe, anger. Big love doesn't nly focus on polygamous, it focus on life. Full Review »
  2. Nov 16, 2010
    I just started watching this series. I hate it. I watched the first episode and hated it, but figured I would watch a couple more to see if it could change my mind. Needless to say I haven't changed my mind. This program makes me feel sick to my stomach watching it. I am not religious so I don't care how that concept is presented in this series. What I care about is the gender inequality. How anyone can watch this and enjoy it is beyond me. Women have lived too long under the thumb of men. Why is it that it would be nearly impossible for a woman to entertain the notion of having more than one husband, while men are still able to get away with having more than one wife? Full Review »
  3. AndyN
    Sep 10, 2009
    I really wanted to give this a higher rating - like others I think Bill Paxtons acting is spot on. The trouble I have with giving any rating to this show is it is not based on truth. As we all know good comedy and good drama etc.needs that. What you have here is the functional equivalent noteably simular to when bad sci-fi becomes just silly bad sci-fantasy- not based on anything scienticfic whatsoever. Honest history is ignored, facts are completely obliterated for want of $-greater-$ sensationalism. Used to be comedy was the only place where nothing was sacred, now we have decended below even a hint of respect for Americas most successful Christian Church worldwide. Tom Hanks proved to me that he hated the Catholic Church with his involvement with The Da Vince Code, etc. Now he's bent on castigating The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, through this flagrant misuse of their sacred ordinance etc.. Everyone involved in the production of this pulped up fluff should take note of the possible kind of persecution this may cull up in the most ignorant and hatemonkering of our society. HBO shame on you! Full Review »