Last August second was the last episode of UnReal. I couldn't watch the final episode, but I have caught up with the series and I'm ready to dish about it!
What is the real deal with UnReal?
UnReal was a like fresh air and a successful bet for the Lifetime network. The series was innovative and appealing to a broad market. Those who love soapy dramas and reality television, and those who prefer scripted television with designed characters whose motivations seem raw and real.
I know I enjoy both, reality TV and scripted TV. I have never been too much of a “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” fan, but I confess I go crazy with cooking competitions. UnReal got to me; it took the carpet from under my feet and threw me for an incredible summer adventure. Sadly now is over and we’ll have to wait a long time before seeing these characters get back to our screens.
Let’s recap the show.
Looking back at the moment I decided to watch the first episode of UnReal I have to say I did it out of boredom. My favorite TV shows were gone and I was frustrated while waiting the results of a job interview (which I got by the way). I wanted to vent and I wanted to see something new. I opened my on-demand app and there it was… UnReal. I recognized a familiar face, Shiri Appleby, and the big red bloody font called my name. So I hit play.
The first episode was unreal to say the least. It hit me fast and it was enjoyable, production was top quality on this baby and I got caught in the drama; but no on the “Everlasting” drama. The real action was thanks to the drama behind the scenes. Shiri Appleby plays Rachel, a field producer for the fictitious “Everlasting” reality show that works very similar to “The Bachelor” with a “suitor” ready to find true love from a parade of different females that range from smart to phsyco. Rachel’s job is to make sure things get juicy when the cameras are on, but what is more juicy is her conflicted personality, he internal turmoil and the feelings that are awaken by her different suitors during the production of the show.
The characters in UnReal are very real, they are carefully thought and the actors that bring these characters to life are doing a marvelous job, specially the characters played by Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer. They carry most of the weight of the show by being the E.P and the Field Producer for “Everlasting”.
What is “Everlasting” you may ask. It is without a doubt a parody of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette”. I have to be honest, I had never seen a full episode of either of those shows before I was caught in the UnReal summer fever, but I did. I saw the first few episodes of this season of “The Bachelorette” and it was a real eye-opener. The actual producers of “UnReal” did a wonderful job in parodying ABC long standing success. But I guess that is no surprise when you have an actual former producer of “The Bachelor” to offer creative guidance for the fictional “Everlasting”. The little details are what make it perfect. Of course, I think that since “UnReal” is a scripted show, there might be some added drama to make it even more appealing, the question is… how much of this is fiction?
Constance Zimmer plays Quinn; she is my new hero, or anti-hero? I’m not sure which one is she yet, but I know this: she is a powerful woman and the real puppet master behind “Everlasting”, the only problem is … she is not taking all the credit. She is involved in a complicated relationship with the owner of the show, Chet. A producer who is in good standing with the network, but also way into coke, crack, heroin and I don’t know exactly how many other drugs he might be into, but his biggest addiction is probably his relationship with Quinn.
I love Quinn because she is smart, knows how to control everyone, or should I say “how to produce people”, she is talented and wonderful at her job and she knows she has this same thing in common with Rachel.
Rachel, played by Appleby is young, she is still thinking there might be better things to do with her time that feeding America the idea of “true love”, I would say there is still some idealism in her. But she’s too caught up in the show to walk away. One of the main questions you ask all season is… how much farther will she go? Will she be able to redeem herself? Will she sell her soul?
A season before in “Everlasting”, Rachel had a major breakdown, she went crazy on everyone because of something that happened with a crewmate, Jeremy. However, due to the magic of editing, Quinn transformed this crazy into a wonderful “Everlasting” finale.
The new season of “Everlasting” has Rachel back in a frail state at the beginning of the season, but as the episodes pass we come to realize that even when she is frail, she is not week. She is very talented at producing people, something that Quinn knows. Rachel is a dragon, and a lesson learned from Daenerys Targaryen is that you always have to keep your dragons close. Therefore, Rachel must stay by Quinn’s side.
This turns out to be a key factor in the developing of the rest of the season, because as much as shit hits the fan, with Rachel’s help, with her dragon, Quinn makes things work, and get what she wants from people… and for the show.
It turns out that the most powerful relation in this show is actually between Quinn and Rachel. They are toxic for each other, but they are also too similar, so similar that they know they can benefit from that weird relationship to get what they want from people. Will they be able to make it in the second season of UnReal? Will there be a 14th season of “Everlasting”?
There are many other little details that I haven’t discussed about this show; this “UnReal” phenomenon is only beginning. But what I can say is that you have to stay tuned and enjoy the ride, because there will be much more drama ahead. Well done Lifetime, you captivated us.