Even if you aren’t a fan of reality television, watching UnReal, the behind-the-scenes view of a fictionalized version of The Bachelor called Everlasting is addicting. This show was a summer offering from Lifetime, the 10-episode season just finished, and it has been renewed for a second season.
Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, a former producer on The Bachelor, co-created the show with Marti Noxon (Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and brings a real knowledge of the tricks-of-trade behind reality shows. It is a sharply written show that divulges all of the darkest manipulation it takes to draw out the drama on reality television.
Not surprisingly, the show has some detractors in the reality world including the real The Bachelor host, Chris Harrison. Maybe it hits a little too close to home?
The best part of the show is the relationship between to two female leads, Rachel Goldberg (Shiri Appleby) and Quinn King (Constance Zimmer), who portray producers on the fictional reality show. At the beginning of the season, we see Rachel returning to the reality show after a big downfall and dramatic exit the season before. She is a bit of a pariah among the crew, but Quinn believes in her and needs her to make the show work. They are both master manipulators and sharks, but have a respect and even love for each other.
The women on the fictional reality show are the mix you would expect to see on The Bachelor from the psycho bitch to the virginal country girl. As the show progresses we see each of these women develop into multi-dimensional characters. The guys on the show from the main Bachelor to the executive producer to the crew tend to be a little less developed, but I think this is a show about the women.
UnReal is a fun show with witty dialogue that feels like a guilty pleasure. The acting and writing truly elevate it into something worth watching. Right now all 10 episodes are available for viewing on mylifetime.com and most cable OnDemands.