Big Love

The 10 Best Cults in Pop Culture

Calling a social group a “cult” in a contemporary context means you aren’t speaking of them in the most positive light. Decades of tabloid news causes us to associate the word with worst-case scenarios, from the Manson Family to the Peoples Temple. Generally, belonging to a “cult” nowadays is a no-no and, for the most part, ends badly. In fiction, however, small groups of people living together and worshiping a person or deity not from one of the major religions can make for great — and even sometimes lighthearted — entertainment. We’ve rounded up some of the best examples. … Read More

  • 0

10 TV Villains Who Haunt Our Nightmares

NBC’s Revolution premiered last night, and judging by the pilot, the nicest thing we can say about J.J. Abrams’ latest effort to recapture his Lost success is — hey, look, Giancarlo Esposito’s in it! And so far, the role he’s playing isn’t much different from that of Gus Fring, Breaking Bad’s cruelest yet most soft-spoken antagonist. Whatever you think of Revolution, Esposito is unparalleled in his portrayal of dark characters, the slow-simmering evil he captures lingering with us long after we turn off the television and go to sleep. So, in his honor, we’ve compiled a list of the scariest and creepiest villains on TV. Find out whose mind games, occult origins, and outright insanity haunts our nightmares… Read More

  • 11

TV’s Most Scandalous Suburbs

Not only did last night’s Weeds season premiere kick off in high gear, but the episode served as an excellent re-entry point for fans who checked out after the Botwins left Majestic (née Agrestic) at the end of Season 3 and returned after the onslaught of publicity about the show returning to “its roots” for the final season. We don’t want to give away any plot points from the premiere, which you can now watch for free, but we will say that the openings credits provided a nifty map of the Botwins’ wayward journey back to the burbs set to the familiar “Little Boxes” (a tune we admit was nice to hum again).

Since last night’s episode had us recalling the good ol’ days in Agrestic, we decided to take a look back at the Botwin family’s old stomping ground — the origins of this whole mess — as well as the other suburbs in TV history whose matchy-houses, swimming pools, and family-ready vehicles belied their residents’ dark and twisted lives. Click through for our list, and please don’t hesitate to let us know which pre-fab neighborhoods you would add.  … Read More

  • 4

Which HBO Series Has the Creepiest Sex Scenes?

Girls is a hyper-realistic comedy set in present-day New York. Game of Thrones, by contrast, takes place in a fantasy world of castles, dragons, and knights. But they both have one thing in common, aside from the fact that they both air Sunday nights on HBO: creepy sex. Their strange convergence got us thinking about how often we come away from an evening of high-quality premium cable feeling a bit scarred by all the bizarre sexual contact we’ve witnessed. To try and quantify the damage that’s been done to our impressionable minds, we’ve ranked ten of its best-known series to determine, once and for all, which HBO show has the creepiest sex scenes. Let us know if you agree. … Read More

  • 2

A Brief Survey of TV Kids Who Are Basically Props

Last night, on The Walking Dead‘s supersize Season 2 premiere, little Carl Grimes (played by Chandler Riggs) finally wrenched the spotlight away from the adults on the show, for a few minutes. But now that his future is uncertain, to say the least, we got to thinking about how little we actually know about Carl — which reminded us of how many kids on TV are not characters so much as props. They’re there to look cute or give the illusion of a well-rounded family or provide a focal point for their parents’ anxieties.

Since there are tons of minor kid characters on TV, we made two rules for this list: 1. The child in question can’t be a baby, because a person who can neither walk nor talk can’t be expected to hold down his own story line. 2. The kid has to be the sibling or offspring of one of the show’s main characters. Peruse our picks for TV children who might as well be props after the jump, and add your suggestions in the comments. … Read More

  • 5

10 Series Finales That Featured the Return of Beloved Characters

This week, the long-running WB-turned-CW drama Smallville airs its two-hour series finale. No doubt the most anticipated moment of the episode will be the return of Michael Rosenbaum reprising his role as Lex Luthor. The actor, who left the series in 2008, finally decided to come back due to the intense outcry of fans, who lobbied long and hard for the bald villain to bid adieu before Clark Kent flew off the airwaves forever. There are a variety of reasons why actors return to shows they had departed, including wrapping up storylines and honoring the series that launched them into stardom. Here is a look back on other actors who came back for the swan songs of their respective series. (Needless to say, there are spoilers ahead.) … Read More

  • 5

7 Traumatic TV Deaths We Couldn’t Help But Enjoy

We weren’t sure what to expect on Sunday’s Big Love finale. With only 70 minutes to tie up one of TV’s most tangled plot webs, the show was going to need a Joseph Smith-worthy miracle to finish up without seeming incomplete. And, thankfully, one of our favorite series actually pulled it off — but not without pulling the trigger on a few of its central characters. Now, it goes without saying that we should be happy to see TV’s villains die. But it struck us, watching this demise, that sometimes we enjoy seeing characters we were probably supposed to be rooting for meet their maker. After the jump, we round up seven TV deaths we shouldn’t have enjoyed but secretly loved. Spoilers abound throughout the post, but don’t scroll past page one if you don’t want to know which Big Love characters return to Heavenly Father. … Read More

  • 15

A Field Guide to TV’s Loser Husbands and Boyfriends

Social science newsflash: pathetic guys often date women who are too good for them. Of course, the conclusions of this recent Slate piece will come as no surprise to those of us who watch TV. From Homer Simpson to Andy Dwyer to George Costanza, television shows abound with dudes who don’t deserve their ladies. A field guide to those gentleman, by type, is after the jump. … Read More

  • 2

TV’s 10 Most Awkward Couples

Great couples are everywhere on TV, and we often hear their praises sung. Hell, the L.A. Times just devoted an entire feature to Eric and Tami Taylor of Friday Night Lights. But to be perfectly honest, some of our favorite TV pairings are the fascinatingly uncomfortable ones, from frigid spouses Pete and Trudy Campbell on Mad Men to Liz Lemon and, well, basically anyone. Our picks for the top 10 awkward TV couples are after the jump. Tell us yours in the comments. … Read More

  • 11

Overthinking the First Promo for Big Love Season 5

If the first promo clip for Big Love’s final season is any indication, we’ve got some epic TV to look forward to beginning January 16th. Although the 37-second video gives away exactly zero plot points, the sense of the Henrickson family’s imminent collapse — and eternal damnation — is pervasive, from the panicked dialog to the shadowy lighting. So, because we were going to waste all day thinking about what it all might mean anyway, we’ve decided to share our overthinking with you. After the jump, watch the promo, follow along with our predictions about what it all means, and add your own hypotheses in the comments. … Read More

  • 1