Go watch Unreal!
Okay, okay I will stop yelling. So Unreal is a show that is about the behind the scenes of a fictional The Bachelor-type show called Everlasting. Shiri Appleby plays Rachel, a producer on the show who has just returned after having an epic and televised meltdown during the show’s season finale the previous year. She returns but is in some kind of blackmail-y situation with the executive producer, Quinn (Constance Zimmer) – a razor-tongued, no conscience-having woman who would do anything for ratings with no remorse while also sleeping with the married, drug-addicted creator of the show, Chet (Craig Bierko).
The bachelor is played by a rosy, cheeked Brit who is on it to change his bad boy image and get investors for his new winery business. We meet the different girls on the show who are there for their own various reasons and as the show goes on we see the different issues they are facing behind the camera. We see how Quinn baits and creates challenges for the various junior producers that pits them against each other and have them doing things to win the cash prizes.
Because of it’s premise being based on the popular Bachelor show, one might think that this is a flighty, cheesy show but it is far from that. It is actually a dark, twisted show that I am surprised Lifetime decided to pick up considering their fanbase is all about the unbelievable movies and soapy shows. How the show is able to mimic a show and push moral boundaries without coming off as corny is very commendable. I’ve mentioned so many times how I am a huge fan of great casting and this can be found here in 3 roles – Rachel, Quinn and Freddie (the bachelor). Shiri Appleby completely SLAYS her role as discombobulated yet manipulative Rachel that can get the cast to do as she asks them to. If you have watched Constance Zimmer in any role, then she is basically doing the same thing here which works so well especially when she gets to be vulnerable.
I totally understand how this show isn’t for everyone, especially if you watch TV as an escape. As the episodes go on, it delves deeper into slimy and even I felt uncomfortable as the show shows how far humans will go just to achieve a goal. I didn’t expect the show to get picked up as I didn’t think people will appreciate it. Still don’t know if they do or not but it was picked up for a Season 2 today!! yay!
Fun Fact: One of the co-creators of the show worked on The Bachelor for 9 seasons but you can tell via interviews how she tries to emphasize that it is not based on the show (I hope not!) There’s lots more juicy storylines including Rachel’s ex-boyfriend that she has to deal with on set and who has moved on and is engaged to the show’s makeup artist.
So do yourself a favor and check out a few eps of Unreal and tell me what you think. Unreal airs on Lifetime, Mondays at 10/9c.