Monday 23 September 2019

Pick of the week: Louis Theroux’s Altered States

Sunday, BBC2, 10.30pm, Love without limits

It's complicated: Louis Theroux with (from left) Joelle, AJ and Mattias, who are part of an extended polyamorous family
It's complicated: Louis Theroux with (from left) Joelle, AJ and Mattias, who are part of an extended polyamorous family
Krishnan Guru-Murthy
Catherine Fulvio
Joe Duffy
Paul Whitington

Paul Whitington

Documentary maker Louis Theroux has unearthed some wild and wonderful human stories during his career, and in this new three-part series he returns to his favourite hunting ground - middle America - to investigate new approaches to timeless human dilemmas. In future episodes he'll explore such tricky and emotive subjects as adoption and euthanasia, but he begins his journey in Portland, Oregon, a proudly non-conformist city that seems to be turning its back on conventional ideas of marriage.

For many centuries, romantic relationships in the Western world have been built around the idea of monogamy: two people together for life and committed to one another exclusively. But in America, where almost half of all marriages now end in divorce, perhaps that model is no longer fit for purpose. Enter Portland, which is now seen as the US capital of polyamory and ethical non-monogamy - in other words, openly having multiple intimate relationships that go further than mere sex. 'Keep Portland Weird' is the city's motto, and strange things are happening behind the town's respectable-looking front doors.

Our intrepid sociological reporter, Louis, embeds himself with a number of families who've made the bold decision to open up their relationships in different ways: either they've invited other partners into existing relationships or they let partners seek romance elsewhere. And he discovers that while, for some people, more partners means more love and happiness, there are also victims in this brave new world. Because for some, multiple relationships have led to bitterness, jealousy and heartbreak.


3 to watch

Tastes Like Home

Catherine Fulvio

Monday, RTÉ One, 7.30pm

Food miles

Catherine Fulvio (above) is on the road again and this week travels to New Zealand to meet Cabinteely-born James, who dreams of fish molee curry.

Brexit: What the Nation Really Thinks

Krishnan Guru-Murthy

Monday, Channel 4, 8pm

Down and dirty

Krishnan Guru-Murthy (above) chairs a British public debate on the rights and wrongs of arguably the most divisive issue in the country's postwar history in front of a live studio audience.

Liveline: Call Back

Joe Duffy

Thursday, RTÉ One, 7pm

Pain relief

Joe Duffy (above) revisits some of Liveline's big stories, including how the withdrawal of Versatis pain patches adversely affected former basketball player Catherine Carroll.

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