Poly People is an episodic journey of a polyamorous relationship of four. Spanning seven short episodes, the series is a whip-smart comedy featuring a cast of lovable characters with big personalities. Directed by Thales Corrêa and written by Corrêa, Melissa Lauren Girard, and Anthony Moore, the show is also a fantastic and empathetic look at the LGBTQIA+ and the longing for acceptance.
The first episode introduces all the lovers. Abigail (Andrea Flowers) is a 28-year-old bisexual whose first lover was Cuddelz (Thales Corrêa), a peppy, fashionable, and non-binary 19-year-old. The next lover she immediately connected with was the self-assured Lez (Ilona Kulinska), whom she met at a lesbian bar. Finally, Abigail met straight man Tucker (Anthony Moore) at a 4th of July beach party. Together, they love freely. However, their love is threatened when Tucker finds out that his conservative parents, who are unaware of his polyamorous relationship, are coming to visit.
Episode two does not follow up with the parents visiting. Instead, it documents the characters’ jobs. Abigail hates her corporate job, Tucker drives for UPS, Lez is a massage therapist, and Cuddelz’s an influencer. The following episodes explore several scenarios that affect the lovers. Lez and Tucker’s wrestling drives Abigail and Cuddelz mad. The emergence of Cuddelz’s ex-boyfriend causes tension. Abigail feels like her relationship with Lez has entered the “Lesbian death bed.”
“…an episodic journey of a polyamorous relationship of four…”
Shot in mockumentary style, Poly People interviews everyone periodically, getting their take on recent squabbles. Most of the episodes are 8-10 minutes long, which means that interactions are amusingly brisk but still reasonably natural. A minor spat about how Cuddelz hates labels, highlighting the stark contrast between how Abigail and the 19-year-old value their relationships, is a prime example of how effectively the filmmaker uses the format. Grant Bell’s handheld camerawork and the occasional zoom enhance the humor and the presentation of the characters.
The potency of the dialogue relies on delivery as much as it does clever writing. For instance, to alleviate the tension between Lez and Cuddelz in one episode, Lez bluntly says in the midst of silence, “Let’s just get naked. Right?” And everyone nonchalantly agrees, and the episode ends not long after with Abigail speaking directly to the camera: “Yeah, I think you should cut and leave now. Things are gonna get weird.”
The skilled, dynamic cast can adapt to every situation and react to every joke with physical and facial precision. Flowers plays Abigail with jauntily boastful energy, shamelessly proud of herself for being the one to bring everyone together. In addition to being director, co-creator, and co-writer, Corrêa plays the extraordinarily animated Cuddelz with perfect physical comedy and infectious confidence. Kulinska’s charismatic turn as the tough yet tender-hearted Lez evokes a fair share of situational comedy (a ribald hide-and-seek scenario involving Lez and Tucker speaks to Kulinska’s scarily diverting delivery). Anthony Moore’s lighthearted performance as Tucker is primarily highlighted by goofy facial expressions.
The struggles of coming out, moving on from past relationships, reigniting the spark of romance, and how necessary it is to compromise in a relationship are all handled with shades of truth embedded in the comedy. The humor is undeniably quirky and satirical. Playfully mocking the characters’ showy personalities and how they often clash during every relationship predicament, Poly People is charming and self-aware, making for a well-written, fast-paced series that is delightfully crude, honest, and genuinely funny.
"…delightfully crude, honest, and genuinely funny."