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The show is not interested in endorsing or deriding the practice of polygamy, but instead, holding it up as a funhouse mirror to mainstream constructions of "family." In doing so, it reveals family's many absurdities.
For a show with an off-putting premise, it smartly avoids cheap shock by testing the limits of how much its faith-gripped characters can endure without sacrificing our sympathy for them as human in need of warmth, love and security.
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.