In Poly People, a mockumentary web series first released in January 2021, all the struggles and joys of daily life are multiplied by four. Nonbinary Cuddelz (Thales Corrêa), bisexual Abigail (Andrea Flowers), lesbian Lez, (Ilona Kulinska), and heteroflexible Tucker (Anthony Moore) are all in a romantic relationship with one another, with all the ups and downs that come with that arrangement. In addition to the variously identifying characters the show depicts, 85% of the people involved both in front of and behind the camera are queer, female and POC identified, so the diversity onscreen extends to offscreen as well. For those of us longing for media that more accurately reflects ourselves and the world around us, Poly People is an oasis in a representation desert.
With seven episodes each about ten minutes long, the show is incredibly bingeable. Set yourself up with their playlist located here, and you’ve got all the makings of a delightful afternoon. The show’s characters are its beating heart, and getting to know them as individuals and as a group is one of the story’s great pleasures. Each has their own struggles: Abigail hates her corporate job, Tucker isn’t out to his parents about his polyamorous lifestyle, Lez has a troubled romantic past, and Cuddelz…well, Cuddelz might just be perfect (Corrêa’s fabulous portrayal of her certainly is). Poly People’s characters are the kind that stick with you long after you finish watching, and the desire to find out what they do next makes it impossible not to keep letting the next video play until there are none left.
Of course, Poly People has no shortage of humor, either. From the first episode, shenanigans abound, and fans of Parks and Recreation and The Office will enjoy Poly People’s way of finding humor in the absurdity of daily living. Particular favorite moments of mine include a mix-up over a grocery list, a list of feminist wrestling move names from Lez’s wrestling days, and an interaction between Cuddelz and the local door-to-door Mormons. Many jokes are adult in nature, so this isn’t a series to share with your kids (although it’s great for sharing with your friends!). Bloopers included at the end of each episode offer extra laughs.
Poly People has been nominated for 2021 Emmys for Outstanding Short Form Comedy Series and Best Actor in a Short Form Comedy Series, and it’s no wonder. The end of the first season leaves the door open for a second one, and I personally hope we get one. Poly People is both smart and silly, both hilarious and full of heart—everything a show needs to be great.
Watch Poly People on YouTube.