Bill Paxton is a polygamist. He and his three wives (Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin) and their children live in three adjoined houses, and must constantly be careful not to let the secret of their lifestyle be revealed. That might be stress enough, but Paxton is having trouble keeping up on the sexual front, there is tension and competition between the wives (Tripplehorn is the alpha, Sevigny is manipulative and a shopaholic, Goodwin is insecure), and one of his fathe…s-in-law, the inimitable Harry Dean Stanton, is creating business hell for him as he opens up another hardware store.
This is another series that effortlessly blurs the lines between comedy and drama. This sure ain’t slapstick, but there are plenty of grotesquely funny elements (such as lethal relationship between Paxton’s parents). But the emotional content is honestly meant, and the characters are fully fleshed-out, sympathetically written, and never become cartoons.
The opening credits features a mix of the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” that sounds better than one would think humanly possible. “Ethereal” barely begins to cover it. As completely immersive as this score is, that’s pretty well it for wow-factor sound design. There is very little by way of surround in the shows themselves. The dialogue, however, is perfectly clear and free of distortion.
The colours are very rich, giving the series quite the handsome look. There may be a touch too much wealth, though, in that the reds and oranges a bit strong. Flesh tones, though, are good, as are the blacks and contrasts. The grain is extremely minor, and there is no edge enhancement to deal with. The image is sharp
Paxton and Tripplehorn handle the commentary track for episode 5, and the three wives do the honour for episode 12. These are rather lightweight commentaries, going over the same ground, and the interest value of hearing Paxton and Tripplehorn descend into in-jokey fits of giggling is limited. The only other extra is a making-of featurette that focuses on the opening credits, but acts as a puff piece for the show as a whole. Episode summaries are also provided.
Great show. Nice transfer. Dismissable extras.
Special Features List
- 2 Audio Commentaries
- Making-of Featurette
- Episode Summaries