I watched a really interesting and well-done documentary last night with my Husband, my Boyfriend, and the Other Woman. We all piled onto the couch, plopped the Teenager into the big comfy chair, and settled in.
I liked it. I liked it a lot.
Lisa Ling did a really good job of presenting our lifestyle in a non-judging manner. The families that were profiled were articulate and, best of all, very normal. There was none of the tabloid-style reporting or sensationalism I’ve seen in other portrayals of the poly life. Honestly, my strongest complaint was how simplified it was, and that is actually quite understandable. It had to fit into a 45 minute time frame. It had to present everyone’s stories.
And polyamory doesn’t simplify well.
Our lives are complicated and crazy and full. We are busy. Sometimes, diagrams are needed to untangle the connections of our relationships and partners. The very nature of our lives means we don’t quantify well. We don’t fit in pretty little boxes. And I really appreciated Ms Ling’s version of our life. I like that she included an interview with one’s family’s daughter. I like that she showed a family breakfast in Philadelphia. I like that she showed Regina and Russell figuring out their calendar and negotiating time. I liked hearing the clip from a woman about how her partners and the community came together when she was ill. And it was fun to see people I know on national TV.
I’ve seen Poly on a few other shows. Dr Phil did one a few years ago. It wasn’t a bad show, but it was about what I would expect of Dr Phil. It was over-the-top. It was sensationalized. And the families didn’t seem at all “normal”. Another show I saw was about a single woman and her many loves. It was interesting, and decently done, but didn’t show families who were trying to make it work. Penn and Teller took on Polyamory, sort of, on a Bullshit episode about Family Values. It’s worth watching for the line “marriage is not a salad bar”. And I shouldn’t have to say this, but the video link is not safe for work due to language. The Bullshit episode was the closest to a non-tabloid view of poly, but wasn’t centered entirely on poly, as it featured other alternative families.
At any rate, it was a late night, and I’m rambling. Give the show a watch. It’s worth your hour. Then come back here and tell me what you think.