"My Husband's Three Wives"
On Sept. 24, 2006 (and then in reruns), the Learning Channel aired a 1-hour show on a polygamist family in Texas. The teaser: "When Pam married her husband Brian 20 years ago, she dreamed of a big family, but never imagined it would mean living not only with six children but with Brian's other wife Kathy as well. Now, Brian plans to bring a third wife, Denise, into the family...."
Comments from poly viewers are harsh indeed. Controlling man, unhappy women, altogether a pathetically unevolved setup... "his attitude was so threatening in a passive-aggressive way, I thought 'cult' for a moment," wrote one commenter. "Brainwashed women with no real say in their lives, they just revolve around him."
Says Jenny in the comments below: "Idiot Redneck Husband stomps his foot and makes everyone around him responsible for his foolhardy actions. Esteem-challenged wives exercise what little power they have by acting out primitive social games amongst themselves.... What disgusts me most about the show is that it was basically, 'same old sh**, different day.' All the same old tired, useless, unproductive relationship rituals that people insist on performing, set against a backdrop of one-sided non-monogamy.
"More's the pity. I can only hope TLC will work on showcasing a similar arrangement that is successful instead of leaving us with the bloody wreck of what isn't."
The show never mentioned the word "polyamory," thank goodness.
Also check out the discussion on the LiveJournal Polyamory Community.
P.S. If you'd like to learn about better types of multipartnering than the above, enter the word "polyamory" into Wikipedia or Google. Or browse other articles on this site (especially these), or start off with these fine entry points:
New Scientist magazine article
Franklin Veaux's poly site
The alt.polyamory home page