To put it bluntly, the second season of The Bachelor Australia was a complete catastrophe – well once the season had ended actually. From “dirty street pies” to back-stabbing and enough tears to re-hydrate outback Australia, the season was actually well cast and well crafted but left ‘The Bachelor’ – Blake Garvey, walking out on his chosen woman Sam Frost, then igniting a relationship with a contestant booted off earlier in the season and finally being titled “the most hated man in Australia”.
Said Garvey in an interview with smh.com.au back in February, “What’s more likely, that I managed to somehow fool an army of producers, 31 women and continually kept fooling the most switched-on woman I’ve ever met, and her family, or was someone playing it up a bit?”
So was it? Was it scripted, was it spur of the moment decisions……
Which brings me to a little/amazing drama by Lifetime/A&E Networks (and currently airing on Stan in Australia) titled UnReal. A ‘fictitious’ and viscous look at the workings behind the scenes on a bachelor-esque show titled ‘Everlasting’ where camera ready women vie for the heart of a good-looking wealthy man – all with the help of some underhanded and (probably) unethical advice from back-end crew led by executive producer Quinn King (Constance Zimmer)
Drama between the women is created, controlled and contorted by Quinn’s crew of hard working and cash inspired producers including the mentally-unstable-but-sorta-self-healing Rachel (Shiri Appleby) who returns to the new season of Everlasting after a severe mental breakdown at the high rated season one finale – created by the demands of her job mixed with the self loathsome growing inside her regarding how good she is at manipulating the women and drama on the show (she’s really good at her job).
Rachel’s up-and-down emotional struggle is even more so visible when compared to Quinn who has virtually zero regard for any of the women and their mental well-being on the show – she’s all about what will being eyes to Everlasting, ensuring all the right strings are being pulled and that certain women (such as the villain or the MILF) are sent home at the right time, but she’s also dealing with personal issues surrounding a not-so-secret affair with Everlasting’s creator Chet (Craig Bierko) whom she’s waiting to start her life with, you know, once he leaves his current wife…..It’s actually quite amusing to watch Quinn be so emotionless when it comes to creating a show about finding true love when personally, she’s waiting for a marriage to dissolve to make herself happy.
All the focus however isn’t solely on Quinn and Rachel as we’re brought into the world of Everlasting and get to meet a handful of the women looking for love including the shy virgin Faith (Breeda Wool), battered single mother Mary (Ashley Scott) and nice-as-pie Anna (Johanna Braddy) who flit in and out of focus depending on just how visible Quinn wants them to be.
Of the leads, Constance Zimmer gives warmth to the stone cold Quinn we’re supposed to secretly hate. She’s quick off the mark with insults and threats yet behind closed doors there is a woman wanting to be loved. Imagine if you will a Miranda Priestly, but without the killer wardrobe. Shiri Appleby’s Rachel is channeling some form of a 90’s disheveled Laura San Giacomo with her tousled brown hair, denim jeans and zip-up hoodie. Rachel is clearly a woman torn between staying afloat financially at any cost vs feeling good about trying to get a good soundbite out of a distressed woman just booted off the show.
Of the four episodes I binged on Saturday, I can easily say, I’ve become quite taken with this show. The love for this show that had been flooding my twitter and Facebook feed forced me to give it a shot plus when Constance Zimmer tells me “I won’t regret” watching….I kinda had to.
It’s perfect timing for Stan to begin airing UnReal with the third season of The Bachelor Australia just starting. If you watch and are a fan of The Bachelor, give UnReal a shot and see how it affects how you watch the match-making show. If, like me, you don’t watch The Bachelor, watch UnReal for Constance, Shiri and the fact, this show is pretty darned cool!