Footage from Showtime's Polyamory series; premieres tonight
(Thursday July 12).
Ever since Showtime announced its reality series Polyamory: Married and Dating, starring two families including Kamala Devi, Michael McClure and their pod of lovers, a lot of people in the poly community have been apprehensive, or cynical, about whether any reality show is going to portray polyfolks well.
The first episode is on tonight, Thursday July 12, at 11 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time. It will rerun many times in the next few days (schedule; click on "All Airings"). It will continue for seven weekly episodes through August 23.
The series will break new ground in introducing modern polyamory to a mass audience. Nothing like this has ever appeared on television. (Sister Wives and Big Love come from a very different place of religious patriarchal polygamy.) Showtime, a premium paid cable channel, reaches 21 million households, small compared to the broadcast networks but in cable's top tier importance-wise.
The people featured in the Polyamory series, at least the ones I've talked to, are deeply dedicated to portraying poly life accurately and representing our deepest ideals. In this respect we could hardly hope for better people to become polyamory's new face to the world.
On the other hand, some have expressed concern that the show's abundant sex scenes will distract from the messages of love, honesty, transparent communication, and tribal community. Will viewers who look at the pictures more than they listen to the words come away thinking poly is just about orgies of Southern California beautiful people?
Addressing this concern, Kamala has posted:
Working with the director, Natalia Garcia, was a rich learning experience for me. She is a spiritually minded woman of vision, who is committed to women's liberation and conflict resolution. The polyamorous community is blessed to have an ally in Hollywood who is not afraid of sex, nor obsessed by it either.
Yes. This is a sexually explicit, adult content show. And the sex scenes tastefully and truthfully depict long term relationships making love in various combinations. We artfully show and frankly discuss lesbian sex, threesomes, foursomes and more! The show is also family oriented, and focuses on communication, conflict resolution and above all, LOVE.
Others have expressed concern that some of the stars' devotion to tantra theory and practice might give the impression that polys all have to be into some kind of New Age woo. And there are tantra figures out there who have sometimes given the subject a poor reputation.
Well folks, I wouldn't worry. Showtime has put out a new, longer, 3-minute trailer, and based on this, the series looks like it'll be a home run:
(If that Flash version doesn't work, here it is on YouTube.
They say such great stuff! And then here's the final minute wrapping up:
Narrator: The polyamorous lifestyle may shock some. But with American divorce rates hovering around 50 percent, these families are on the front line of a growing revolution in the traditional monogamous relationship.
Michael: I want people to know it's okay to live a life this way, it can be good. Because it is. It's beautiful. We love it.
Jennifer: I want people to know that monogamy isn't the only way.
Vanessa: If it were socially acceptable, I think there would be way more poly people.
Tahl: It feels like how we really should all be living.
Natalia Garcia, director: I really believe that a lot of people are going to watch this show and their jaws are going to drop. And they're also probably going to wonder, Am I poly?
Narrator: Follow two not-so-typical families--
--Kamala: Mommy and Daddy and going to ask Jen and Tahl to come and live with us. How would you like that? Kid: Yeah. I like 'em.
Narrator: --that are changing the way America thinks about love.
Here are the show's website and Facebook fan page.
Here are my previous posts on the series, with more info, videos, and commentary: June 27, June 17.
Unfortunately, right after Episode 1 I'm disappearing for 10 days to the Network For a New Culture's Summer Camp East in the West Virginia woods with very little internet access. So don't expect much from Polyamory in the News during that time.
Instead, here's a Google News search that will collect recent news coverage of the show at any time, with the most recent first.
OpenSF Conference update: Pepper Mint posts that his Open SF Conference June 8-10 ended up $4,210 in the red after expenses of $28,401. He is asking for donations from those who appreciated the conference in order to square up and get a running start on the next OpenSF in 2014. You can donate to Polyamorous Productions Inc., the nonprofit that handled the conference (not tax deductible). I've done so. The page has breakdowns of the 2012 expenses and income.