It’s finally here. Seems like I’ve been talking about this for months, but the premiere of UnREAL happens tonight at 10/9c on Lifetime. For those just hearing about it, it’s a scripted television show that gives a fictitious look at what goes on behind-the-scenes of a reality dating show. It stars Constance Zimmer (Entourage, House of Cards) as Quinn, the executive producer and Shiri Appleby (Girls), as young producer Rachel whose sole job is basically to manipulate the relationships she has with the contestants on the show to get maximum effect. Lifetime approached me to help promote the show and I’ve been able to view the first few episodes. Let me tell you, it’s pretty spot on to what I’ve heard and reported happens on shows like these. As they dive deeper into the season, there is definitely some serious drama that I think the average fan doesn’t comprehend happens when the cameras aren’t rolling. I think a lot of you will definitely be surprised at what really goes on behind-the-scenes of these shows. Check out the latest trailer for the season:
One thing that you can take from this show is that normally on shows like this, we see the finished product. People watch, people tweet, and people react to what they see on their television when the show airs. However, getting to that point and seeing what extremes some producers will go to get that maximum effect is quite eye opening. UnREAL opens up a whole new world to the shenanigans that are pulled behind-the-scenes, not to mention how cleverly edited those acts are once they play out on camera. Rachel, for example, is a producer that, shall we say, has an interesting past with the show. You saw the clip I showed last Tuesday of the first 9 minutes where you can tell everyone on set knows who she is and what she’s done. It doesn’t take long for the audience to find that out either, as you’ll know by the end of the episode tonight exactly what in Rachel’s past with the show has her in the position she’s in.
The dating show itself, “Everlasting,” casts pretty much like you would expect most dating shows: the drama queen, the drinker, the one with the shady past, the hot older one, etc. The list goes on. We’ve seen this time and time again on these shows that we’re not so much watching two people try and fall in love, but we’re watching a carefully constructed, carefully edited, highly manipulated television show that is trying to do whatever they can to get people interested, which in turn, will draw in the best ratings. “Everlasting” certainly has done that by events that happened in their previous season, and they’re hoping to duplicate that this time around.
The cat fighting, the drama, and the manipulation all play a big part in the show, but when you dive deeper into it, there are definitely some more emotional and deep-seated issues within the context of these shows. You’ll see one in future episodes with Rachel and also one of the contestants on the show. Is it healthy? Is it exploitation? Or is it all about ratings and producers don’t care who they embarrass or who they shame to get their end result? You’ll find yourself asking yourselves the same questions as the season rolls along. Can you still attain good TV by not going to these lengths, or, is their behavior justified? UnREAL will take you on that ride every Monday.
Tune in tonight for the season premiere of UnREAL at 10/9c on Lifetime.