It's the best (and cheapest) publicity the producers of HBO's Big Love could have dreamed of -- the Mormon Church is up in arms about a traditionally secret Mormon ceremony being recreated on tonight's episode. Opinions are all over the place about this alleged breach of etiquette.
You can read this article from the New York Times reporting on HBO's apology for the content; their statement went out on Wednesday, before anybody had seen the episode. Photos of actress Jeanne Tripplehorne in arcane garb have been around the net, igniting controversy in some Mormon circles. Here's a good column by writer Manya Brachear from the Chicago Tribune, too.
As anyone who regularly watches the superb Big Love knows, the show has been even-handed and fair to Mormon practices, and if nothing else, if this brouhaha brings more people to watch this terrific series, it's all good. The show is marvelous, with meaty roles for a trio of talented actresses and the always sensitive, powerful and appealing performance of Bill Paxton as the pater familias of his large brood.
If you've never gotten hooked on the show, try it out tonight! It's bound to be one of the bigger rated episodes, and it will be fascinating to see how much of a bounce the controversy brings to the numbers.
Check out HBO's Big Love website for more information on the show!