A Manhattan attorney, a polyamorous belly dancer and a mate-poaching bee keeper. You’re right. These are characters from a reality show. But perhaps the first ever reality show to actually be, well, real. On a never-before-seen scale, Fox is the first network to come good on TV’s promise to stage a social experiment. Utopia. It’s the real world meets the real world in some primordial past. Fifteen men and women living in complete isolation are expected, in post-apocalyptic fashion, to create a Utopian world out of nothing. They are alone except for the one-hundred and thirty hidden robotic cameras that make the Truman show look like child’s play.
But the big news has less to do with raw survival strategies and more to do with securing emotional lifelines. At the end of the day, Utopia has become a relationship show. (Duh! I could have called that.) When stressed, humans bond like banshees staving off fears of dying alone in the wilderness.
And this Friday’s episode stands to be an evolutionary psychologist’s dream study complete with mate-poaching, mate guarding, and extra-mate pairing — humans who think one relationship is never enough.
Front and center is the relationship between Manhattan attorney Mike, who is uncertain about his feelings about polyamory, that is, if it can ever really work, yet is in love with Dedeker who planted big good-bye kisses on her trio of lovers when she left for Utopia. Add to the complications, a hottie bee keeper named Jake who seems happy to share. Even though Mike and Dedeker have technically broken up over “philosophical differences” he spends his time licking his wounds while attempting to sabotage Jake’s next visit to Utopia. In mating strategy terms, that’s called male-to-male sexual competition.
If that’s not mainstream enough, there are other clinging humans on Utopia for relationship enthusiasts including:
• Bri (20, Veterinary Assistant) and Chris (26, Musician/Artist) – aka “Bris”, the first official couple of Utopia.
• Hex (25, Unemployed) and Taylor (23, Landscaper) – A 6’ Huntress and Calvin Klein model unite!
• Nikki (29, Doctor) and Cal (38, communal farmer) – Utopia’s newest relationship based on a “modest proposal”. This relationship plays heavily in Friday’s episode.
It seems when humans are left to their own devices, everything seems to boil down to the world biggest past-time — mating. Cal only recently arrived in Utopia and suggested to Nikki very early on that they enjoy one another’s company for the next year, pointing out that he has a “hall pass” from his communal wife outside.
Like I said, Utopia is just like the real world. Tune in this Friday night on Fox.