UnREAL: Insurgent – A House Divided (Review)


Tiffany and Darius screenshot

The next best thing to “Train Wreck TV” is a fictional  show about Train Wreck TV. “UnREAL” in its second season is a house divided since Chet returned to “Everlasting.” He  is trying  to take back  his baby.   In “Insurgent”  he is intent on making it all about parties, sex and OTT fun. Chet  attempts to sabotage Quinn’s racist theme that she believes will give the show “suicide” ratings.  Above all else, he wants to make it Chet’s show and not Quinn’s.

In the process, Rachel is shoved out of her new director’s chair and Quinn takes on Chet.  With no clear division of power or chain of command,  the crew is split as the gauntlet is thrown down.  The squabbling pair agree to shoot their own versions of “Everlasting” and see which one the network prefers.

Chet steals Jeremy and without batting an eye Quinn promotes Bill/Barry to DP and head cameraman.  The fight is on.

Rachel asks Quinn to contact Gary at the network and she refuses. Gary, she tells Rachel, is a “bros before hos” guy who goes skiing with Chet.  As the show starts falling apart, Chet talks Tiffany into some very un-wifey behavior (that may come back and haunt the young woman later on) and Rachel has to intervene.

Quinn’s hopes of a racial blowout between the rebel flag girl and the black activist fails to transpire and pretty Rachel, the contestant that has Madison as her producer orchestrates her own “in.”

Rachel gets a care package from her mother, some medication and a letter, and initially she throws the pills away. Later, after yet another scathing attack from Quinn, she pulls them out of the trash and puts the medication in her purse.

She also goes to see Gary.  Rachel blows the whistle on what is happening behind the scenes at “Everlasting” and how the bickering of her two bosses is harming the show. Suggesting that she be allowed to helm the show and become overall producer she promises Gary that she will not disappoint him.

The network head watches Chet’s footage  and in disgust fires both Quinn and Chet from the show until they can get their heads clear.  After a great build up, Gary promises a leader who will deliver a show that the network needs. As Rachel preens and gets ready to accept the reins of power, Gary  shoots her down by introducing the new producer.

It is Coleman Wasserman; not Rachel.

Gary leaves and Coleman reveals that he will be backing the concept that Chet has been pushing and Quinn is effectively out in the cold.

As is Rachel, although it looks like Coleman may be inclined to give her a little leeway.

With the pressure on Rachel, it seems that she may be close to either taking the pills from mother or having another meltdown.  Her bold move to “tattle” on Mommy and Daddy when she went to Gary has backfired badly.  If Quinn ever learns that her protege  went behind her back to complain, Goldberg will be dumped;  publicly and with extreme prejudice.

“UnREAL” is the best fictional show about reality television on offer.  Great performances all around and Constance Zimmer is the woman you love to hate, while  still admiring her  caustic view on the business and romance.  Shiri Appleby is spot on as the Quinn wannabe with a conscience. And lastly  Craig Bierko is excellent as the obsequious subversive who is all rolling eyeballs and lecherous intent. 

The magic of this show is its attention to all the details. The shallowness of the contestants whose real aim is self promotion or getting their 15 minutes and even the suitor is in on the deal. This season it is Darius Beck; quarterback in the NFL and a man with a reputation that needs saving.

Darius is played by B.J. Britt  who many fans will remember from “Agents of SHIELD”  as Trip, aka Agent Triplett.  The man delivers as a man who needs rescuing from himself for sins past but seems to be a nice chap regardless. 

The moral of this week’s episode is that a house divided gets a new leader.  Rachel learns this the hard way and she also discovers the sad and brutal truth of Hollywood; in Tinsel Town is is still a “man’s world.”

“UnREAL” airs Mondays on Lifetime.  Tune in and see what Quinn does in retaliation for her removal and find out if she learns that Rachel was the cause of it all.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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