Summer Review: UnREAL

I’ve been raving about UnREAL for a while now, making it my most anticipated summer TV show of 2015. You can’t believe how happy I am that it also delivered when I finally got a chance to watch it. I’m already addicted and I’ve only seen one episode so far! I don’t think there are any major Spoilers in this review, especially not if you’ve seen the promo, but decide for yourself with how much information you want to go into this.

UnREAL chronicles the shooting of a reality show called “Everlasting”, which is very much like the fictional re-imagining of “The Bachelor”. It is a behind-the-scenes-look from the producers point of view, especially freelancer Rachel, who has returned to the show after a mental breakdown (that was, like everything else, caught on camera). There are so many “unscrpited” TV shows on these days and I just don’t believe them – I love that UnREAL takes a bit of a hit at them, trying to expose the process behind “great TV”. In fact, the show is so on-point that it could just as well be a docu-series. (Although I seriously hope that real producers aren’t that ruthless!)

Here are some more specific thoughts:

  • Shiri Appleby as the lead, Rachel Goldberg, is perfect!!! She looks so honest, nice and sympathetic that you wouldn’t guess how manipulating she can be. I’m so very much looking forward to seeing her journey and if she’ll get out of this sane. I mean being hated by so many people, having to destroy people’s lives and working with your ex … that’s gotta take its toll.
  • Quinn (Constance Zimmer), the head producer who has an affair with show-creator Chet, is candid and offensive at the same time. Often you can’t believe what she’s saying but there’s always truth to her words. She knows how to do her job and she knows that she can’t make friends while doing it. I’m not quite sure how it’ll pan out that she sent the PA to do Rachel’s service hours. I hope it doesn’t backfire!
  • I haven’t quite figured out Freddie Stroma‘s character Adam yet. Is participating in a dating show really the best way to do damage control for your reputation? I don’t think that I’d invest with someone who tried to find love on a TV show, but maybe that’s just my opinion. Nonetheless, he intrigues me and I can see the sparks between him and Rachel.
  • The way all the contestants got cast for their part on the show and how the producers dug into their past is messed up. You’d like to think that that was one of the “unreal” parts of the show, but it’s at least partly how these dating formats are run. Maybe it’s not as extreme as it’s portrayed here , but it’s still freaky to think how much of it all is staged.
  • I love Arielle Kebbel and I hope she’ll make another appearance on the show!
  • The whole setting, the house, the location, the crew – it all looks so “real”. I have to hand it to the creators for that one. I’m sure someone spent a lot of time watching dating-shows for “research” purposes!
  • Just fyi: the show is inspired by Shapiro’s short Sequin Raze. Haven’t seen it, but I now very much would like to!

UnREAL is the real deal for me and required summer-viewing! I can already see myself sitting on the edge of my seat every week, anticipating what they’ll come up with next. What do you say?

19 thoughts on “Summer Review: UnREAL

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