Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's another episode of the polyamory web-cast series, Family. In this one, Gemma meets some of the neighbors...

I'm enjoying these very much, and I know other folks are too. I have only one critique of them. I want more, now!

You see, I am trying to be patient while the filmmakers build what is obviously going to be a layered story-arc, but I am not naturally inclined to patience. I want to learn some more about the main triad. Thus far, we haven't seen any exposition about how they came to be, and how the relationships work. Were two of them in a couple before the third came along, or did they all get together at more or less the same time? We understand that Gemma is sexual with both Ben and Stuart, but are Ben and Stuart sexual with each other? There are references to Stuart having other partners, but it's not totally clear if that's true, and what about Ben? I feel like I don't know these people very well, and I'd like to.

One of the rules of writing dialogue is: never have your characters talk about things they already know. Thus, backstory can be hard to do without sliding into this kind of thing: "As you know, Gemma, I was poly for a long time before we met, but Stuart is new to this..." Bad. It's the dreaded "info dump" that you'll see unwary writers do, usually about chapter two, in novels.

So they aren't falling into that trap, which I appreciate. I'd simply like to add more to my understanding of the characters. However, this episode ends with one of the previously-hostile neighbors making a friendly overture. Maybe if that storyline develops, we can get some history and outline, as they explain it to the new people.

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