Louis Theroux made his grand return to BBC Two on Sunday with the first in his new miniseries, 'Altered States'. In Love Without Limits, the doyen of documentaries visits Portland, Oregon, to investigate polyamory, dubbed "ethical non-monogamy" by its advocates, or open relationships to the rest of us.
As you'd imagine, the topic makes for colourful viewing and is ripe with awkward situations. Theroux follows three poly groups: Joelle, Mattias and AJ, who conduct their non-hierarchical three-way relationship on an eco-homestead; the "thruple" Bob, Nick and Amanda; and married couple Jerry and Heidi, her lover, Joe, and his wife, Gretchen (it's a tangled web to say the least).
Discomfort is a running theme: for those partaking in the relationships (shout out to the long-suffering Jerry), Theroux himself (in one scene he attends a naked "sensual eating workshop"), and the viewer (it's potentially not one to watch with elderly relatives – as some found out).
All this meant that social media lit up with great GIFs, memes and one-liners when it aired last night. These had us choking on our tea...
The viewing experience was a lot for people to deal with at first.
Everyone felt sorry for Jerry who, despite being in a long-term polyamorous arrangement with his wife, had never been with anyone else and was evidently lonely.
Bob – one third of the "thruple" that could no longer have threesomes because he "lasts a really long time in bed," unlike Nick – got a collective pat on the back.
Then there was the scene in which Theroux attends a "sensual eating" party, which sees him topless and blindfolded, and develops into something of a borderline orgy. There was a lot of touching and feeding going on.
Not everyone was shocked by the sexy stuff – some were more concerned by the state of the subjects' interior decor choices.
And the cooked breakfasts.
While others just rolled their eyes at the whole country getting its knickers in a twist about non-monogamous relationships.