Showtime‘s new series Polyamory: Married and Dating follows a group of poly people who are married and/or dating. There is a triad (girl, boy, girl) and a foursome (girl, boy, girl, boy). The triad is adjusting to one of the girls having a serious boyfriend outside of the group. The foursome is adjusting to living together as a family. Neither of these relationships are closed, both are open, meaning that everyone is allowed to date outside the group.
If you haven’t seen it yet click on this link: Preview of Episode 1
After watching the first episode I’m conflicted about whether this show is a good idea or not. There’s A LOT OF SEX which isn’t necessarily a bad thing … but there is a right and wrong way to do that. It can be done in a way that is honest and tasteful or it can be like porn. From what I’ve seen, it’s like porn.
Jane: Let’s go upstairs and have sex!
John: (smiles) Okay!
Jane 2: Yay! Sex!
The very next second everyone is naked and squirming around on the bed. Seriously? Where’s the foreplay? Where’s the flirting? A friend of mine pointed out that Showtime’s producers probably made the decision to do it this way because sex sells. Well, I’m a big fan of Showtime. I loved The L Word (the first one, not “The Real L Word“) and there was so much sexual tension that you could cut it with a knife! Was there nudity? Sure. Was it explicit sex? Yep. But it was tasteful and hot and each sex scene meant something to the characters involved; it moved the story forward. Another example would be The Tudors.
So, maybe you’d like to argue well this is reality TV, not scripted TV. Fine. Maybe my discontent comes from the fact that I don’t like reality TV but I also don’t like bad TV. This show has a director. It has producers, writers, directors of photography, scene artist, make-up and hair people, you get the gist. It’s a professional endeavor. And Showtime knows how to produce good shows. It has a history of being edgy and provocative and it’s managed to do that without sacrificing character, plot, and content. So, if this is the price of reality television then I wish it was entirely fictional because then it might be bearable.
On the flip side, the show does manage to do a few things successfully. It puts a face on polyamory that has nothing to do with religion. These people are not Mormon, like on Big Love (HBO) or Sister Wives (TLC). It also introduces the LGBT influence. A little known fact among monogamists is that women in this lifestyle are generally bisexual. It is very rare to come across a straight woman who is poly. So … kudos on that!
- How to Have Your Cake and Eat it Too: 5 Things That Make Polyamorous Relationships Work (queeringthemind.com)
- Back In The Closet? (albinofemme.wordpress.com)
- Experts in Philly describe mysteries of polyamory: When one lover isn’t enough (philly.com)