Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

March 15, 2010

Someone in TV scripting likes us

The Mentalist (CBS-TV)

From a reader:

I am a huge fan of your blog. I was just watching an episode of one of my favorite shows, The Mentalist, and it featured a couple with an open marriage in a positive light. It showed how much the man cared for his wife (who was the murder victim) and how they were close with their daughter. When asked about "having an affair," the characters described their marriage as "open and honest." This came up several times in the episode.

I was afraid the husband would be the one who killed her out of jealousy or something over a lover; however, I was very relieved to see that the final reason for the murder had nothing to do with their marriage or partners. And this show was broadcast on primetime network television.

Margot Garnick

The episode was "Code Red," March 11, 2010 (season 2, episode 16). Apparently it's not available on CBS.com or hulu.com.1 There was also a LiveJournal/Polyamory discussion about the episode.

The concept of multi-relationships that don't end in murder and mayhem, but are serious, loving, communicative, ethical, and good, is inching into mainstream TV dramas and comedies. Big Love, now ending its fourth season, is the obvious example, though it portrays an oddity: Mormon religious polygyny. Other examples have shown up on HBO's Caprica, NBC's Parks and Recreation, and England's Hollyoaks. But I don't watch much TV. Can you add more examples? Use the comments below.


1Someone found this link to the show:

...but it tried to install an .exe program and set off an adware alert on my computer, so I'd say avoid it unless you have malware mojo. I've chopped up the URL so you can't go there accidentally. Can somebody find a safer site?




Anonymous Anonymous said...

My personal resistant reading of NUMB3RS is that David and Colby are a polyamorous same-sex couple and are bisexual. It would explain SO much.

March 15, 2010 2:19 PM  
Blogger Fred B said...

I googled and found this site that had the episode available. http://www.casttv.com/shows/the-mentalist/code-red/pzhv55

March 15, 2010 2:24 PM  
Blogger Jenni said...

I know that the poly community's opinion on "Big Love" has been sharply divided, but in the season 4 finale last week, one plotline unexpectedly veered in a direction toward a more modern polyamorous situation.

March 15, 2010 4:11 PM  
Blogger Jenni said...

Here's a quote from a recap at http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/2009-1-13-monkeys-as-critics/posts/recap-big-love-end-of-days (edited to remove spoilers):

"Big Love" has often played the desire for polygamists to leave the closet and live their lives in the open as a sort of analogue to the desire for legalized gay marriage, but that's always been a cheeky message snuck into the show by the two creators (who are a gay couple). This, however, feels like an argument that there are ways to build relationships between multiple people that can work; you just need to make sure every leg of that marriage carries equal weight. "Big Love" has often had an essentially libertarian soul, believing that people should do whatever makes them most happy. This feels like the show's strongest endorsement yet that relationships like this CAN work. You just need to make sure they're not based on retrograde patriarchies.

March 15, 2010 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in "the biz" and see that polyamory, open relationships and such is on the lips and minds of writers and producers right now. Another example how it's spreading. It's in the national psyche. Unfortunately I haven't seen many positive examples. There's a movie and tv show in development both titled "Friends with Benefits." Surprisingly they're unrelated. The show is about friend that become a couple until "something better comes along." The movie is about friends who start having a physical relationship, but the female wants it to be open because of her fear of getting hurt or being tied down and "missing life." So the message is clear about how people seem to be feeling about it. True love = monogamy. Polyamory = a product of fear/ a diversion before you really see that monogamy is the only real option.

March 18, 2010 12:43 AM  
Blogger Jessie said...

I cannot, nor will not, endorse the idea that True Love=Monogamy, because it's just not true. Many Poly people find more than one "True Love," as it were, and are perfectly happy. Please don't make the mistake of trying to say that True Love can only be found if you're monogamous.

March 22, 2010 4:40 PM  

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