I just finished watching the first eleven episodes of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and it’s time for my (minimally) spoiler-y review below the cut. In short, polyamory is not a major plot point of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina but it is repeatedly dropped in as a way of characterizing individuals and communities as villainous. Even the possibly “good guy” who is poly-friendly seems to moving towards a monogamy-redemption arc, or at the very least is self-hating about it. I have to be honest, the level of vitriol aimed at polyamory and other forms of non-monogamy in this show was seriously difficult to watch.
Today I’m going to take on a film that is ALMOST canonically poly, but I’ll leave it in poly interpretations because it doesn’t quite go so far. I’m also going to delve into some of that promised overly analytical writing by connecting the film to some historical anti-monogamy movements in the US.
The film is question is 2002’s About a Boy, based on the 1998 book of the same name by Nick Hornby. I haven’t read the book, so we’re just going to focus on the film, which addresses the concept of “the couple” through several different relationships. Spoilers below the cut.
Well friends, the love triangle is over. At least the pain of the bad retconning is gone with it. Spoilers after the cut.
Just a brief note on the (2016) Girl Meets World episode, “Girl Meets True Maya.”
Farkle kisses Maya on the nose
Farkle: We’re getting older, these are going to be more unpredictable.
Maya: (indignant) I’m telling Smackle!
Farkle: (happily) I’m telling Smackle!
Farkle is so delightfully unphased by the expectations of traditional monogamy.
I strongly dislike this plot, and not just because it is not poly-friendly. It strikes me as poorly written and full of characters acting uncharacteristically and some overwhelming retconning of crowd favorite Boy meets World. By “this plot”, I mean the “Maya loses herself and is just copying Riley” plot, which is for some reason integral to the “love triangle” plot. I’ll put it below the cut for spoilers but, spoiler alert, you ain’t missin’ much.
Well, that was a very long and strange episode in which nothing much really happens. As with most episodes, side characters (not the parents, but the friends and random other high-schools) tell Riley and Maya they “have to choose” with respect to Lucas, and tell Lucas he “has to choose” between the girls. As per usual, no one bothers to echo my screams at the television, calling “but why??!?!” The answer is presumed to be some vague BS about ruining friendships and people getting hurt. The episode then diverges into some weird territory where despite the fact that Riley has always wanted to be Maya, Maya has succeeded in becoming Riley. Indeed Maya acts throughout as though she is very much Not Okay. Riley implies that Maya only likes Lucas because Maya is “copying” Riley. At the end of the episode, Lucas announces he has made his choice. We are left on a cliffhanger. I really, really hope the answer is “I choose not to decide, I choose both.” I am frustrated that the show has moved from Farkle’s outright love of each young woman for who they are to this idea that they are not that unique from each other after all.
What do you think Lucas has decided? Let’s see where this goes.
GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT
Finally got around to watching the beginning of the new season of Girl Meets World and it’s all going behind the cut.
File this one under “my poly interpretations.” I know this story is not intended to be poly-friendly at all. In fact, Secret Life is a terrible show and I do not recommend it, but when it was airing I HIGHLY enjoyed hate-watching it.
And yet, it had its moments. It had an unabashedly pro-masturbation episode that was delightful and campy and empowering.
And, it had this moment in Season 4, Episode 3 “When Opportunity Knocks” (2011). One of the main teenagers, Grace, is arguing with her mother after revealing that she slept with a young man she met on a medical mission trip, thereby cheating on her boyfriend.
MOM: Grace! You can’t just sleep with every guy you meet.
GRACE: This is going to be the last one.
MOM: Honey, you said that Jack was going to be the only one for the rest of your life. And I know you believed it, even though I didn’t. And then Grant, you said you were in love with Grant.
GRACE: I am! Or I was. I love him. I never said Grant was going be the last one. I think I’m in love with Daniel, Mom. And not in the same way I was in love with Jack. Or Grant.
MOM: And the way you’re in love with Daniel is not the way you’re gonna be in love with the next guy, or the next guy after that.
GRACE: (Smiling) Probably not.
I love the way Grace smacks down her mom in this argument, she just blissfully acknowledges that each of her loves have been different and that her next love will also be different. To me, this resonates with the poly sentiment that each relationship brings something different and wonderful to the table, and it certainly challenges the idea that you only get One True Love. It embodies the notion of “many loves” and it is expressed so succinctly in how completely unruffled Grace is by the supposed criticism her mother leverages at her.
Degrassi Season 14, Episode 6 (2014) outright uses the polyamory word – but don’t get too excited. It turns out to be one of the most egregious examples of our Evil Poly Tropes, specifically “Poly just means fear of commitment.”
BELOW BE SPOILERS, Y’ARR