Author Topic: Louis Theroux's Altered States  (Read 7344 times)

phes

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2018, 12:18:36 PM »
Heidi is getting quite the backlash generally it seems. There were some alarm bells going off re. Jerry appearing to be really quite sad about some aspects of his relationship. Heidi being firm that, theoretically, Jerry should take responsibility for his own happiness, was inevitably going to set her up as the villian. Especially because Jerry's unhappiness stems from his acceptance of her activities and his inertia. Opinion seems to be that Heidi is essentially abusing Jerry and cuckolding him in plain sight. It's a stretch to jump to that conclusion I think just on account of Jerry's vulnerabilities being so easily exposed. We have little idea of the dynamics of that relationship behind closed doors. I was quite taken back by Jerry deciding that on camera was the appropriate time to invite himself into Heidi's other relationship and while it was sad that he had entertained that and that she - quite plausibly - had not, I wouldn't take much from her response after being put on the spot like that.

My experience is that women do find it easier to find casual /poly partners. They can end up taking a lot of flack for that. If Jerry had enteted into a mutual and consensual agreement without manipulation or abuse then really he needs to stop being so pathetic, pull his fucking finger out and work out how to get laid, otherwise he's gonna be sitting there sobbing and watching his 4K telly then plastering on a fake smile when Heidi gets home for the forseable

bgmnts

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2018, 12:29:13 PM »
Isn't this the same in a monogomous relationship? There is surely always a power imbalance there.

phes

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2018, 12:45:07 PM »
Yes, I made the mistake of reading twitter/below the line and there's been an enormous amount of vitriol aimed at Heidi and the concensus seems to be that she is emotionally abusing him.

It's been really interesting and depressing to follow. I have been living solo-poly for a year, after a couple of shorter attempts in the past where I failed to put boundaries in place and slid straight into mono relationships again. I've had a couple of 6 month relationships and several brief things. I have found it very difficult to find poly women as typically when they are on a dating app they are already saturated (ooh-err etc) or nearing saturation on account of the number of men interested in poly, casual or hookups. So the majority of potential partners are those who are either already interested in exploring poly but haven't yet, those who become interested in it on account of quizzing you, or who find it acceptable in a partner but do not identify in that way. I am gradually becoming more skeptical of involvement with anyone who is not actively already involved with others either poly, casually or just for hooking up. You can be honest, clear and open about everything from the start but ultimately I think most cases of mono-poly are in trouble from the off
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 12:57:22 PM by phes »

Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2018, 12:47:39 PM »
watching his 4K telly

Haha his description of that falling on deaf ears was the saddest part of the whole programme.

There didn't seem to be any of the interviewees that made these poly arrangements sound at all sustainable - I'd imagine a lot of these relationships have gone on for a while without anyone saying what they said to each other in the programme which is probably going to be the beginning of the end.

Also agree that the food orgy thing seemed tacked on, still quite amusing though.

Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2018, 01:18:12 PM »
What about Vic, Bob and Sue too?

She'd have been better having a non-poly relationship with a dentist.

Terryfuckwit

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2018, 11:16:35 PM »
I got a very unpleasant vibe from Heidi and Jerry is obviously not a happy man. Christ it's so obvious he's not happy. In each poly family he met there seemed to be an even split of people who were totally at ease with the whole thing and people who obviously weren't.

When Louis asked Jerry something (I can't remember) and Heidi interjects 'I don't think so, I don't think so. But only Jerry can really answer that' Jerry is just staring at her eyes, turns to Louis and he goes 'I don't think so.'

Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2018, 11:33:11 PM »
It seemed pretty clear to me that in all the relationships featured, one person was the driving force behind the arrangement, and everyone else was to varying degrees unhappy with it (apart from Joe, who seemed delighted), but just going along with it for one reason or another (e.g., pragmatism, fear of loneliness, unhealthy obsession with the dominant partner).

Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2018, 12:12:27 AM »
Louis, as always, was entirely non-judgmental

I don't think that's true at all. The documentary takes a very clear position, and it rubbed me the wrong way (fnarr) in its disingenuousness. I know Louis' thing is faux-naivete, but here it felt a bit unfair and verging on mendacious. I'd have preferred it if, instead of pretending he was going in with an open mind, he'd been more openly polemical. I don't think it's inherently bad (or necessarily incorrect) to go, "ooh, I don't think this can work," but I do think it's a bit shitty to pretend that's not an argument you're making.

Heidi did come across like an absolute villain, but that's not accidental, it's an editing choice – and that conversation at the end was edited like fuck. The whole doc was full of single-camera cutaways of people looking sad to act as an ironic counterpoint. And the final caption at the end was a pissy bit of sneering, and you'd have to run a long stretch to pretend it wasn't.

Which all sounds like I hated it and think Louis' a big cunt. I thought it was alright. I'd rather it was more of a "hey, look, I found this funny group of people who get topless and touch each other" Weird Weekend, though. Less sombre nodding, more being fed cheese.

Chollis

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2018, 12:30:44 AM »
You're lying to yourself Jerryyyyyyy

phes

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2018, 01:11:39 AM »
I don't think that's true at all. The documentary takes a very clear position, and it rubbed me the wrong way (fnarr) in its disingenuousness. I know Louis' thing is faux-naivete, but here it felt a bit unfair and verging on mendacious. I'd have preferred it if, instead of pretending he was going in with an open mind, he'd been more openly polemical. I don't think it's inherently bad (or necessarily incorrect) to go, "ooh, I don't think this can work," but I do think it's a bit shitty to pretend that's not an argument you're making.

Heidi did come across like an absolute villain, but that's not accidental, it's an editing choice – and that conversation at the end was edited like fuck. The whole doc was full of single-camera cutaways of people looking sad to act as an ironic counterpoint. And the final caption at the end was a pissy bit of sneering, and you'd have to run a long stretch to pretend it wasn't.

Which all sounds like I hated it and think Louis' a big cunt. I thought it was alright. I'd rather it was more of a "hey, look, I found this funny group of people who get topless and touch each other" Weird Weekend, though. Less sombre nodding, more being fed cheese.

I agree with much of that. I enjoyed it but mainly on account of the subjects being mostly quite sweet, earnest, thoughtful types. That juxtaposed with Louis shtick was a bit jarring. On rewstching it today, It did feel like a bit of a hatchet job tbh. Poly people tend to go through endless communication necessary to build a complex, custom, successful relationship pretty much from the ground up, and his zoning in on and picking away at people with conflicts really felt like they wanted more generally to paint poly people or those involved in poly as people who just haven't thought it through. And in the bigger picture that couldn't be further from the truth

In retrospect, the show appeared to be largely about several people who were not actually practicing polyamory, just involved with those who were.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 01:26:26 AM by phes »

rue the polywhirl

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #40 on: November 06, 2018, 01:23:10 AM »
Heidi did come across like an absolute villain, but that's not accidental, it's an editing choice – and that conversation at the end was edited like fuck. The whole doc was full of single-camera cutaways of people looking sad to act as an ironic counterpoint. And the final caption at the end was a pissy bit of sneering, and you'd have to run a long stretch to pretend it wasn't.

Heidi came across as the villain not just because of editing but because she probably was. And the caption at the end seemed like a plain innocent statement of fact. ‘Six months later they had a baby. They did not assign it a gender’. Maybe you’re afraid of people reading it and sneering but that is their wont and ultimately I think no sneer was intended on the show’s part.

What sitcoms would be improved or worsened if everyone was polyamorous? Seinfeld? Friends? Frasier would be quite awkward.

Terryfuckwit

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #41 on: November 06, 2018, 07:56:43 AM »
I thought Louis was really good in this. Immersed himself, even did a bit of old school weird weekends shit, established the characters then asked tough questions at the end. At his best. Prior to this I might have been a bit more inclined to agree his serious stuff wasn't as good, but now I'm reconsidering it. Really good journalism and a really enjoyable documentary.

Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #42 on: November 07, 2018, 05:00:08 AM »
The throple that all slept awkwardly in the same bed seemed legitimately into it. The other two situations seemed dire.

Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #43 on: November 07, 2018, 07:44:17 AM »
The throple that all slept awkwardly in the same bed seemed legitimately into it.

Well, she did, but both the men seemed like they'd sooner have been in a conventional couple with her.

Terryfuckwit

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #44 on: November 07, 2018, 09:02:00 AM »
Well, she did, but both the men seemed like they'd sooner have been in a conventional couple with her.

V. sad when the dude said he wished he could be all she needed for happiness

up_the_hampipe

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2018, 06:43:27 PM »
Just watched this. I think it probably did a disservice to the polyamorous community by honing in on people who are uncomfortable with certain aspects of the lifestyle they've chosen. I'm sure there are so many people who do that without any bother. Jerry seemed to have been manipulated into a cuckold relationship, Gretchen and Joe seemed unhappy in their marriage, Nick and Bob seemed to want to help Amanda with her sexuality and problems, and Mattias seemed like a young guy who just enjoyed the idea of having multiple partners but when things get serious (i.e. bun in the oven) he's really monogamous. All of these people seemed to be lying to themselves one way or another, but that's not representative of what polyamory is like overall. Louis was presenting it like it was probably an unhealthy way to live your life generally.

Also, Portland is fuckin weird.

chveik

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #46 on: November 10, 2018, 06:50:02 PM »
All of these people seemed to be lying to themselves one way or another

aren't we all?

up_the_hampipe

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2018, 06:53:19 PM »
aren't we all?

Well, in some ways most monogamous people are, but not to the detriment of their happiness... if they are in love with the one they're with.

Blinder Data

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #48 on: November 11, 2018, 11:36:06 AM »
Not one of Louis's better ones. He didn't seem open-minded to me, in fact it felt like he was taking a much harder line than he would with Nazis, gangsters, etc. He seemed desperate to stick his finger in these people's wounds and keep going until he got the answers or "dramatic moments" he wanted. I suppose he's a journalist after all but while his other documentary subjects felt much more comfortable with the harder questions, he didn't feel particularly empathetic. It was uncomfortable viewing.

Also Jerry. Did anyone else think he might be gay? In fact, something my partner picked up on: most of the poly guys featured seemed pretty camp (like that ginger guy). Don't know what my point is but interesting anyway


Clownbaby

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #49 on: November 11, 2018, 11:40:01 AM »
I often think I'd rather Louis would focus on one set of people per documentary to really get to know them and explore further, rather than touching on 3 separate groups of people and not getting terribly far with either.

phes

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #50 on: November 11, 2018, 11:56:52 AM »
It was criminal that he met several sets of people but chose to not spend time with a solo-poly or relationship anarchist. I get that the logistics, the fragmentation of their relationship setups won't suit a documentary well where Louis is looking for people who share the same space, but it's still a huge omission

rue the polywhirl

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #51 on: November 11, 2018, 12:47:57 PM »
I’m annoyed he didn’t meet up with any polywhirls for the purposes of his documentary. They even spell the name of their species wrong to reflect the manner and magnitude of their multi-romantic relationships.

Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #52 on: November 11, 2018, 12:55:15 PM »
Relationship Anarchist?

greencalx

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #53 on: November 11, 2018, 01:49:33 PM »
I can't say I warmed to any of the groups that were featured, and did feel that Theroux editorialised rather more than he usually does. He seemed to go in more with "This is really weird - I can't get my head around it" rather than his more usual "This is really weird to me just now - can you help me understand it?". A subtle but important difference.

MojoJojo

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #54 on: November 11, 2018, 07:03:26 PM »
It was criminal that he met several sets of people but chose to not spend time with a solo-poly or relationship anarchist. I get that the logistics, the fragmentation of their relationship setups won't suit a documentary well where Louis is looking for people who share the same space, but it's still a huge omission

I suspect you're not the target audience for this.

phes

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #55 on: November 11, 2018, 08:01:03 PM »
Of course!

It was just disheartening to read so much negative and hostile reaction to this show elsewhere. If Louie's intention was for this to be a serious documentary and not a 'weird weekend' and to gain some understanding and even acceptance of polyamory then imo he went about it the wrong way. Selling 'thruples' to an audience of people who are largely committed to monogamy and are likely sitting there with the very person to whom they've made those promises, just isn't going to happen. Exploring solo-poly/RA as a way of life for single people who don't want to merge infrastructure with a partner, have a family etc, and who want multiple platonic/romantic/sexual, possibly non-heirarchical relationships, that's a much easier way for people to entertain the idea of polyamory without contradicting their promises and legally binding agreements. So I think he missed a trick by including only couples and thruples. A better balance was needed. All types of monogamous relationships are absolutely not the same and the same goes for poly.

Theremin

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #56 on: November 12, 2018, 10:06:19 PM »
I’ve been in a Poly relationship for 2+ years (plus some others before that), and found the doc reasonably interesting and even-handed.

That said, I second the thoughts on the occasional bits of Freakshow Editing.

I’m definitely not surprised to hear about the negative reaction from the usual ‘shriek-at-the-different’ shower of online pricks. I was most surprised at my own reactions - despite my background and having plenty of mates who have explored similar situations, I still fell into trap of going “Ooh, there clearly some background problems here - therefore all Poly relationships are inherently a bad idea!”. Even though I don’t apply this same mass judgement when I see an unhappy Monogomous relationship.

Makes you realise how deep all this cultural programming really runs - even against your own experiences.


madhair60

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #57 on: November 19, 2018, 02:33:35 PM »
Anyone watch Choosing Death, then?

up_the_hampipe

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #58 on: November 19, 2018, 02:38:50 PM »
Anyone watch Choosing Death, then?

I missed it. Forgot it was on, weird fortnightly scheduling. Was it bleak?

madhair60

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Re: Louis Theroux's Altered States
« Reply #59 on: November 19, 2018, 02:39:46 PM »
Didn't watch it. Chose death.

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