50 best television shows set across the United States

45 of 52

Utah: Big Love

The premise: Big Love is about a fundamentalist Mormon who has three wives, three houses, and a handful of children. Bill Paxton plays the husband and patriarch of this nontraditional clan, Bill Hendrickson.

Bill is a successful businessman in their town, owning a booming hardware story in Salt Lake City. It’s a good thing he is such a financial success because Bill maintains three separate, but adjoining houses on a quiet suburban street.

The setting: Utah has one of the highest concentrations of Mormons in the country, so it makes perfect sense that a series about devout Mormons would take place here. However, the LDS church wasn’t happy with how it portrayed members of the faith, citing dangerous stereotypes and an antiquated value system.

The most Utah thing about it: Aside from the polygamy of it all, it really captures the spirit and attitudes of Utah natives. Historically, they are known as kind, patient, and diplomatic, with an eye on community spirit and civic duty. Bill and his wives may be technically breaking the law, but they perform as dutiful members of a place they love and value.