Showtime’s new reality docu-series, Polyamory: Married & Dating is a total mind-frak. On the surface, the show which follows two separate polyamorous or “poly” families is cringe-worthy, soft-core porn, but it’s easy to push through the cable-booby silliness because at its center it’s a super fascinating and challenging depiction of how these types of non-traditional relationships work (with varying degrees of success).
Family #1 – The Triad: Anthony, Lindsey & Vanessa
Anthony, who spends much of the first three episodes dressed as Tony Manero from Saturday Night Fever is married to Lindsey and together they are girlfriends with Vanessa. At the outset these youngsters seem super free and easy, but it becomes clear very quickly that the dynamics of poly can be even more complex and rigid than monogamy. It certainly isn’t the free-for-all, booty fest I assumed it to be.
In the first episode when Lindsey returns from a stint out-of-town visibly besotted with a new guy name Kristoff, Vanessa and Anthony, but mostly Vanessa react with all the jealousy one would expect from a monogamous partner. They immediately give her an ultimatum to dump Kristoff or risk defiling the sanctity of The Triad. Whoa.
Now you might be thinking, oh, that makes sense. It’s just the three of them. Nope. They all have sex with other approved partners, but Lindsey was throwing off, “new relationship energy,” which is only acceptable when all the members of The Triad agree to bring a new person into the family. Makes sense I guess, but Lindsey really likes that Kristoff and I feel badly for her, which is just… weird.
Family #2 – Kamala, Michael, Jennifer & Tahl
Kamala is married to Michael and in the first episode they ask their lovers, Jennifer and Tahl to move into a weird harem room in the back of their house. After a lot of himming and hawing on Jen’s part, the couples agree and I immediately feel terrified.
These guys are all about “spiritual connections” and looking into each others’ eyes and shit and honestly their sexy-time interactions are some of the most uncomfortable I’ve ever seen. Kamala and Tahl have a “deep connection” (if you know what I mean, ba-dum bum!) and it clearly, CLEARLY makes Jen uncomfortable, but for whatever reason – she keeps going along. At one point all four of them are in bed together and Kamala is riding Tahl’s pony Olympics-style as Jen, being creepily caressed by Michael stares at them with her deliriously sad eyeballs. Kamala asks if she needs things to slow down. Jen doesn’t answer, but Kamala respects her unspoken wishes and everyone loses their boner and shoots Jen some major stink-tit for the rest of the episode.
Jen is the star of the show for me. She’s so obviously not into it, but she’s trying because she doesn’t want to be a squaredly-daredly mono and Tahl is kind of a smiley, little manipulator. Run away, Jen. Run away.
Obviously, I’m obsessed. From the moment I saw that family portrait – hellloooooo! I was hooked.
While I’m completely good with my “mono” styles, I can appreciate that not all love stories have to follow the same template to be legit. Duh.
But, I still want Jen to run. away.