Articles - 21st November 2018

We didn’t realise how much we missed Louis Theroux

Words by Chloe Crowther

Louis Theroux’s new project, three part mini-series Altered States, tracks the lives of Americans living outside their traditional social norms in the main stage of their lives; Birth, Love, and Death.

In the first episode Theroux follows multiple groups of people engaged in polyamorous relationships in the liberal north-western town of Portland, Oregon – first meeting with open-married couple Jerry and Heidi, and their daughter Piper. With his classically wry but compassionate eye, Theroux inquires unblinkingly into the specifics of Heidi’s relationship with her second fiancé, Joe, and eventually in turn meets Joe’s first wife, Gretchen.

While some characters appear mildly anxious about their state of affairs, such as soon-to-be father Matthias, whose partner and mother of his child AJ finds new love with “metamour” Q three months before the child’s birth, all round the polyamorous lovers interviewed hold up to scrutiny, dismissing interrogations about insecurity, jealousy, and “not being enough” with radically selfless responses that emphasise “compersion,” or the joy at seeing a loved one love someone else. Even Louis himself, after engaging (obviously) in a blindfolded sensual feeding party, admits that for a moment, this unconventional world makes “a tiny bit of sense.” Nonetheless, having heard him speak a great deal throughout the episode about his wife, we can’t help but wonder what she might have to say about all this decidedly un-British behaviour.

Louis Theroux always delivers good television, with his characteristic blend of boyish humour and unflinching lack of judgement, and this series is no different.

As he delves further into Western taboos, Theroux seems to become even more open-minded the older he gets, perhaps less eager to join in, but always willing to listen, and often asking exactly the right questions. Altered States is a brilliant addition to his ouvre  , if only to learn that you shouldn’t load your plate up with cheese at a feeding party.

Altered States is available online now on BBC Catch Up

Looking for a free tool to manage your freelance business?

Sign here

Want to know about the UnderPinned Virtual Office?

Contact us

Related Articles

Is it time for freelancers to give up on city living?

When we were forced to stay indoors for much of the spring, it quickly became apparent just how important home really is. For those with large gard...

Read more
How to ace an interview over Zoom

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for ten months, (you lucky devil), you’ll have noticed that 2020 has brought some serious change. Video call...

Read more
Cover letters: Should freelancers have to write them?

As freelancers there are many things we can say ‘goodbye’ to when we choose not to live in the ‘real work world’. Rude or controlling bosses, askin...

Read more