Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The next season of Big Love

Excerpts from 'Big Love': Q&A with co-creator Will Scheffer  by Allyssa Lee

What are some of the themes that you'll be exploring next season?
One theme that Mark [V. Olsen] is really interested in exploring is more of just the power dynamics or power struggles between men and women, as they relate to our family and the patriarchy, the compound — and the more evil power that goes on there — and the Mormon church, which has a very specific idea as to how women and men should operate in marriage. We already visited going further into the idea of the subjugation of women. And that will get refined to a kind of specific theme that is different from last year, and that tries to go very very deep.

Does this deal with any particular wife?
We definitely have a story for Margene that's going to fight up against that notion somehow. We also know that Nicki's relationship with her ex-husband is going to be able to be harnessed into that particular theme, and we know that we're going to explore some dynamics of vis-à-vis the Mormon church and marriage that kind of is harnessed into that territory.

You got a lot of press about your depiction of a Mormon temple ceremony before the episode even aired. What was the reaction like afterwards?
It was very interesting, because I think the furor died down very quickly. There were a lot of people, first of all, the general response, the non-Mormon, non-conservative religious response was very very positive, because we did what we really said in our statement, we were trying to create a moment of great beauty and great art. Now, it could be debated whether or not the Mormons are always going to feel that we crossed a boundary by showing a secret ceremony. And that's always going to feel like it's a tremendous disrespect to them. I don't think that that's going to change. … The real thing was that the furor died down almost immediately, and I only have to assume that was because we handled it with so much respect and dignity, in context of it being a very sacred, very holy ceremony.

Are there plans for any more of that?
I don't know that we'll need to go into the temple again. Not to say that we're not going to go to other places within the Mormon world and within the fundamentalist world. And within the world of family and America that are equally challenging, in some way, for certain people.

How do you feel, touching upon some very hot-button issues?
It's really strange, I have to say. … Part of our initial schematic was that we were going to explore the American family in relationship to marriage, to religion, to culture. It wasn't an agenda, so much as a response to the way that certain people in America felt they could define families that weren't traditional. So we started there, and we definitely started before Prop. 8, and we definitely mapped out Season 3 before Prop 8, so that we were almost finished shooting before Prop 8 really became an issue. We didn't foresee that. We're not that much of visionaries that we foresaw that. We didn't foresee Warren Jeffs, and Texas, but I have to say that I think that Mark had an intuition of some sort that this was going to be material that was going to be right on the line of what was happening in American culture. And he brought me to that understanding, and we were able to together really develop the show as one of those lightning rods of what was going on in America at this current moment. So the fact that things have overlapped or proceeded us, ultimately, it is interesting and weird and yes, surprising. But in some ways, looking back on it all, I think wow, that was a prescient idea, if not a visionary one.
Read the entire article here.

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