The weather reports might have shown that it was a sunny mid-November afternoon in Southern California, but inside a Santa Clarita-based "Big Love" soundstage, a storm is brewing. Tucked within a nondescript building sit the three Henrickson houses, and head wife Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn) is quietly working at the island in her kitchen. That is, until sister-wife Margene (Ginnifer Goodwin) slips in through the back door and nonchalantly drops that she had gone out and done something . . . huge. Only, because this is filming seven episodes into the fourth season, we can't say what that is.
Suffice it to say that the news does not sit well with the first wife. If that wasn't bad enough, wife No. 2, Nicki (ChloŽ Sevigny), stops by, and Barb quickly discovers she's been the odd woman out all along. "Nicki, you knew?" she accuses. The jaw-dropping news and the betrayal are too much for even the temperate head wife to handle: Barb bursts into an all-out rage -- "My cope container is full, do you hear me? It is full!" -- and storms out, leaving the other spouses to uneasily absorb her wake.
Welcome to the ever-volatile, ever-revolving swirl of secrets and wives. Over its three seasons, HBO's drama about a man and his three wives has evolved from a curious polygamy premise into a nuanced family drama. The dense interlacing of tense marital strife, social commentary and even a fair share of laughs proved a potent mix its third season out, and the series picked up its first-ever best drama Emmy nomination. More recently, it was named one of AFI's top television programs of 2009 and earned Golden Globe nods for Bill Paxton (who plays Henrickson patriarch Bill) and Sevigny as well as for best drama.
But on the eve of its fourth-season premiere Sunday (9 p.m.), the series is not content to rest on its laurels. There's more "Love" now than ever.
"It's much bigger in scope," announces Will Scheffer, who co-created and executive produces the show along with partner Mark V. Olsen.
"It's a roller coaster ride," affirms Mary Kay Place, who plays Roman Grant's head wife, Adaleen.