vulture festival 2016

How the You Me Her Cast and Crew Learned From the Polyamory Community

Vulture Festival - DIRECTV Screenings
Photo: Craig Barritt/2016 Getty Images

During this weekend’s third annual Vulture Festival, the AT&T Audience Network presented their original series You Me Her, touted as “television’s first polyromantic comedy.” The Saturday afternoon screening, sponsored by DirecTV, was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Vulture’s Jackson McHenry, with creator John Scott Shepherd, and series stars Greg Poehler and Priscilla Faia on hand for a Q&A. The series, which originally premiered at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival, centers around Portland suburban married couple Jack (Poehler) and Emma Travarsky (Rachel Blanchard), who, in an attempt to enliven their marriage, develop a polyamorous relationship with Izzy Silva (Faia), an inconspicuous grad student by day and escort by night.

In real life, the poly community has come forth to keep tabs on how they are represented, starting with the premiere at SXSW. Recounts Faia: “In Austin, when we premiered at SXSW, it was the first time someone came out in the audience and was like, ‘Thank you, I’m in a polyamorous relationship.’ We’re like Yeah, man. It was great.” Poehler agreed, noting, “It’s great that community has embraced the show.”

“The last time we were in New York, we had a whole community of people come, and they had some questions,” Faia continued, with an audience member correcting Shepherd about the definition of polyamory. “I said, It’s a committed, romantic relationship between three people.’ She said, ‘No! Three or more.’ I said, Oh my god, you’re calling me out in front of 500 people, thank you so much.’ Three or more, I’ll never get it wrong again.”

Shepherd has little room for error — with some poly members so intent on making sure they are accurately portrayed, he choose to approach the series from an authoritative, critical perspective. “There’s a guy from [a polyamorous] group who writes a synopsis of every episode after he watches, and he grades us,” Shepherd says. “It’s kind of cool, because he’s grading us pretty well. It would suck if he was like, ‘F, F, F, F, F’!” While the real life trio doesn’t share the same chemistry — with Poehler joking, “We’re in a relationship, the three of us,” and Faia quickly negating, “Don’t, that’s not funny” — keep an eye to see how the on-screen dynamic develops.

You Me Her Cast and Creator on Polyamory