‘Unicornland’ Is TV’s First Realistic Look At Polyamory
Based on a true story, featuring non-actors and a 70% female cast, why WOULDN’T you watch?
TV series are depicting sex in increasingly realistic ways. “Girls,” “Master of None” and “Love,” for example, all made earnest efforts to portray awkward sex and non-monogamous hookup culture.
One taboo topic TV hasn’t done justice? Unicorns.
I don’t mean the mythical cotton-candy colored creatures. I’m talking about sex unicorns, the name given to people (often to bisexual women) who date and sleep with couples. The new web-series “Unicornland” explores this kind of polyamory in a refreshing and self-reflective way that hasn’t really been done on TV before—which is exactly why it’s the show you need to be watching.
The eight-episode series follows a twenty-something woman named Annie (played by Laura Ramadei) exploring polyamorous New York fresh from a messy divorce. In the show, Annie dates (and has sex with) couples from a variety of backgrounds?—?from money-hungry Wall Street types to scruffy Brooklyn hipsters.
Throughout the show, Annie finds herself in a number of awkward, frustrating and hilarious situations that shed light on her own sexuality, which she neglected during her marriage.
Annie’s journey parallels the life of the show’s creator Lucy Gillespie, who had the the idea for the series after her own marriage ended.
“I got married and divorced in very quick succession when I was 26,” Gillespie tells Glamour. “After I left my husband, I felt like shit. I knew a lot of it was my fault, and it was due, I guess, to preconceived notions of what I should offer … I [felt like] I shouldn’t ask for things I wanted, sexually, because they were selfish or deviant or something.”
Though Gillespie didn’t engage in polyamory the way Annie does, she was empowered by New York’s fetish scene. She went to sex parties, met people outside her comfort zone. She credits the sex-positive community for making her more “empathetic and joyful.” A few of the scenes in “Unicornland” were filmed inside a Bushwick manor that’s a safe haven for polyamorous tenants, and some of the people she met appear in the series.
Instead of playing into “swinger” stereotypes or dismissing the polyamory community as “weird,” the show is a snapshot of a certain lifestyle with real people like you and me. (Its cast is 60% non-white and includes trans, gender-queer and disabled actors.)
Sex is essential to self-discovery, and Annie’s path feels like a familiar trip we’ve been on, in one way or another.
Watch the first episode below, and catch all eight episodes here.