Posts Tagged ‘Family Series’

Posted on July 29, 2009

Alan with Polyamory in the Media already chimed in on this, but I also want to get the word out through my own reader circles.

Newsweek posted an online article about polyamory, highlighting Teresa Greenan and the “Family” web series.  Last I checked, there’s close to 180 comments on the article. Some good, some interesting.

I’ll admit, I was a little critical of this series when it first started. I was concerned about the campy humor that poked fun at poly sterotypes. As the series progressed, the plot becomes more serious and realistic.

In case you are one of the people that stumbled upon my site by searching for Terisa Greenan on Google or saw my comment on the Newsweek article – hi! :)   If you have questions about poly, check out the other posts on my site. I also recommend checking out the site for MNPoly (the group I help lead).

Posted on February 16, 2009
Stuart, Gemma, and Ben

Stuart, Gemma, and Ben

Through word of mouth, I found out about a polyamorous themed series called Family. The show is written, edited, and directed by Terisa Greenan, who herself is in a polyamorous relationship. The main characters in this series are Gemma and her boyfriends Stuart and Ben, who together form a V (unless there’s strong relationship bonds between Ben and Stuart, at which point we have an actual “triad”).

The production company, 3 Dog Pictures, made a daring move by publishing both “censored” and “uncensored” episodes on YouTube. The uncensored versions included full female and male nudity and simulated sex.  They were pulled from YouTube on February 11th, but are still available on Daily Motion.

I watched the current episodes of the series (there are 7 as of this post) on my own. Wanting additional feedback before writing this, I put together the following panel:

  • My husband, Corey
  • One of my close poly friends
  • An acquaintance who is new to the concept of polyamory


Throughout the viewing, the “poly n00b” watched intently, but constantly had an expression of confusion on her face.  The rest of us alternated between laughing like hyenas and cracking jokes at eachother when some of the circumstances portrayed in the series hit too close to home.  

I like the show from a train-wreck watching standpoint. The female in the V relationship, Gemma, gets herself into troublesome situations which seem all too familiar to experienced polyfolk.  She doesn’t disclose the details about her new boyfriend to her current lovers, Stuart and Ben.  She also seems to ignore the red flags that said boyfriend may be hiding their relationship from his wife (the meeting of Gemma and said wife being constantly stalled, dates being set at the same place where they can’t be seen, etc.)  Stuart and Ben appear to be the stable points in the relationship – watch the series, and you’ll understand how scary that realization is… O.o

Episode 2, “Dewdrop In”, showcases the most outrageous stereotypes of those that make up a poly community – from vegan, new-age energy workers to a player and his 2 girlfriends (with flashbacks of the first girlfriend freaking out on the other two people).  The “coincidence” that all but two members of the group work at Microsoft (the series is set in Seattle) mirrors another stereotype about the poly community – that those within the group tend to run in the same larger social circles (pagan and Ren Fest come to mind, at least within the Twin Cities poly community).

If the intent was to create a comedy that borders satire, with current polyamorists being the target audience, the show hits the mark. However, if this is meant for general public consumption, this series makes polyamory seem more /drama-filled than a different way of having a normal life.

Update 7/29/2009: After Newsweek published their online article about polyamory (I talk about it more here), I checked out the remainder of the episodes that have been published to-date. They’ve actually improved in quality of film as well as plot :)

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