The upcoming 4th season of Big Love, which premieres January 10 on HBO, will only have nine episodes.
That's one fewer episode than season 3, and THREE fewer than season 2. At this point, I'm expecting Big Love's final season to just be one long two-hour episode. The first fifteen minutes will be the premiere, the next hour and a half will be the midseason lull, and the final fifteen minutes will blow us all away with how great it is. Then the episode will go on a nine-month hiatus before returning to run the credits.
I wouldn't be complaining this much if I didn't love this show. Bill. Margene. Barb. Nicki. Bill's crazy mother. Roman Grant. Rhonda. I actually can't remember if Roman and Rhonda are still alive. It's been ages--I mean, the last episode of Big Love I saw was back in March. All I remember from last season is Sarah got pregnant by that hipster-looking dude and confessed her big secret to her brother and they ended that episode so perfectly with Sarah and her brother sitting on a hill overlooking a lake and Alphaville's "Forever Young" leading us to the credits. It was such a lovely way to end the episode. That's what Big Love and Mad Men do well--they pick great songs to lead to the credits.
Where was I going with this post? Oh, yes. Big Love's seasons are WAY TOO SHORT. I don't know if it's a budget issue, being on pay cable, or if Big Love really does need only nine or ten episodes to tell the whole story arc. I mean, even a show like Dexter, which has only a handful of main characters, pushes itself to do a dozen episodes. Big Love is about four main relationships--the one Bill has with each of his three wives, and the one the wives have with each other. Then you have all the stuff with Roman Grant and Juniper Creek and the casino and oh yeah, keeping the neighbors from finding out that they are secretly polygamous.
I think you could tell make a bazillion episodes about one month in their lives alone. But that's just me.
If only my beloved shows could find a happy medium between too few episodes and too many (I'm looking at you, Survivor: Samoa!).