If your marriage’s in tatters, your first thought probably isn’t to swap your partner, but that’s what these couples are doing in the TV drama “Monogamy.” UMC’s new series explores the marital woes of several troubled couples who surrender themselves to a new counseling treatment called “Swap Therapy,” in an attempt to curb their long-festering relationship issues.
“It’s a really odd idea for married couples to do,” says Wesley Jonathan, who stars in the series along with Jill Marie Jones who plays his onscreen wife. “Things get very dramatic and testy and emotional and everyone is trying to figure out if they want to stay with their current person or move on in life.”
Directed by Craig Ross Jr., the half hour series follows four couples who agree to participate in an unconventional form of therapy with hopes of reviving their failing relationships.
“It boils down to this experiment about these couples who are going through these changes in their marriages individually. Between work and life itself, my character and his wife (Jones) have an emotional disconnect and the marriage has just fizzled,” explains Jonathan. “We decide to take on this experiment where we actually swap spouses for a timeframe. In that duration, we are working out the problems with someone else who is not our spouse and finding out things from someone else with a completely unbiased view.”
It’s the perfect recipe to garner ratings and subscribers for UMC, the Urban Movie Channel created by Robert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET). An urban-focused subscription streaming service, it’s a channel geared toward black audiences that offers plenty of salacious content.
“There’s no way my wife or I would ever do anything so crass and crazy, but on a show level, it creates a nice interesting story of entertainment to see where these characters could go and it’s pretty interesting,” continues Jonathan, a married family and acting veteran who has starred in numerous television shows from “21 Jump Street,” “Moesha” to “City Guys.”
Known for movies “Roll Bounce” and “Baadasssss!” he can also be seen in “A Boy. A Girl. A Dream,” a film directed by Qasim Basir, which premiered at Sundance and stars Omari Hardwick.
Blue Kimble, Brian White, Caryn Ward Ross and Vanessa Simmons also star in “Monogamy” which airs on UMC.tv.
Samantha Ofole-Prince is an entertainment industry specialist and contributes to Trendy Africa Magazine from Los Angeles.