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Season 3 is so sharp, so tautly executed and so entertaining that Big Love has finally, after two hit-and-miss seasons, proven itself worthy of the network's self-important slogan, "It's not TV. It's HBO."
The performances by the three lead actresses (and by Amanda Seyfried as Paxton and Tripplehorn's eldest daughter) are so strong, and the nuances of life in such a complicated relationship so endlessly fascinating.
With each passing season, the characters and writing as a whole of Big Love has become more confident and emotionally resonant as the characters have escaped the sensational trappings of the concept to become three-dimensional people.
The third season is usually the make-or-break year for television shows, wherein the writers either run out of ideas and wind up repeating themselves or prove that their original concept has legs. For Big Love it was definitely the latter.