In an effort to get on some kind of blogging schedule, I figured I would devote Wednesdays to a “What I’m Watching/Reading/Listening to” post. Being new to a somewhat small town means that there’s not really much for me to do other than read and watch TV, so that’s where a lot of my free time goes.
So for my first “What I’m…” Wednesday post, I wanna talk about a show called UnREAL. Now I’m not usually a fan of the Lifetime network because those sort of cheesy drama movies aren’t my thing, but they’ve completely knocked it out of the park with this new show. Well, I say “new” but they’ve been around for one season already and the second season just started. In fact, you can watch the first season on Hulu. I’ve only seen about half of the Season One episodes but Lifetime has been showing a ‘catch-up’ special that will give you enough info to start watching the new season. (That catch-up episode is available on the Lifetime website.)
Here’s the general plot of the show. Quinn, played by Constance Zimmer, created a show called Everlasting which is basically like The Bachelor, and she’s now the executive producer of it. UnREAL is about the filming of Everlasting, all of the drama behind the filming of a reality TV show and how everything, including the editing, is manipulated to make it entertaining. Rachel is a producer on the show who has some mental health issues including substance abuse. She had some sort of meltdown on the live finale of Everlasting and ended up leaving the show but now she’s back. There are some other main characters, like Chet the douchebag co-creator with whom Quinn was having an affair. (He’s married, she’s not.) And there’s Jeremy the camera guy who also happens to be Rachel’s ex. Adam was the bachelor in the first season but in the new season, it’s an NFL player named Darius who needs some good PR after calling a woman reporter a bitch on live TV.
One of the main things I love about this show is the “girl power” aspect. Quinn is pretty cutthroat and ruthless, and we all know that those characteristics will get a woman labeled a bitch but a man would just be seen as ambitious. Rachel is pretty tough too, and she does not give a rat’s ass about the double standards telling us that a woman with an active sex life is a slut. She and Quinn have this relationship that’s sometimes about sisterhood, sometimes about power.
This season is already doing a good job of addressing topics like racism, activism, and white feminism. Without giving too much away, I’ll just tell you that Darius, the suitor/bachelor, is black. And among the contestants is a Southern woman who wears a confederate flag bikini, a ‘Black Lives Matter’-esque activist (Ruby…I like her!), and a daughter of an NFL team owner who wants to sign Darius although she wants nothing to do with football. Oh, and Chet is trying to revamp the show to make it more like ‘Girls Gone Wild’ so he and Quinn are butting heads. And there’s a production assistant who is trying to be like Rachel while Rachel is trying to be like Quinn. And a field producer named Jay who is a gay black man and someone I think we’ll see more of this season. And Jeremy is determined to make Rachel’s life hell. Lots of drama and a bit of comedy.
It’s definitely one of my new favorite shows. Catch it on Lifetime on Monday nights at 10 Eastern, 9 Central.