UnREAL: Season 2 – Treason (Review)


Shiri Appleby in UnREAL

UnREAL keeps the surprises coming.  This week in “Treason” it becomes apparent that no one has anything remotely resembling loyalty towards anyone else.  Darius gets some alarming news about his injury and Quinn’s father dies.  Rachel convinces the footballer to stay with the show and Romeo gets his walking papers. Chet takes his son out for the day and gets arrested for his effort.

This is a fascinating show to watch. Apparently a mirror image of what really transpires behind the scenes of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Both reality television dating shows have been running since 2002 and 2003 respectively. Neither show appears to  be in any danger of cancellation in the foreseeable future.

UnREAL shows the underbelly of the beast. Proving that “reality” is manufactured in every sense of the word. From adroitly manipulating the contestants and the “bachelor” to making up storylines for the players.  It also includes lying, double crossing and cheating as well as manipulating the viewers.

This season started with a focus on a Black man being the show’s eligible bachelor. Despite the network’s displeasure at Quinn changing the formula Darius Beck,  an  NFL quarterback with an image problem,  agrees to be the first black man to be on the show.

Constance Zimmer is Quinn. Tough as nails and cynical to the extreme, this show runner plays to the crowd and consistently reveals a side that is less than pleasant.  She does have a soft side though one that is overcome with  vitriol and abrasive behavior. When her father dies it clearly upsets her but she hides it behind bitterness and anger.

When asked about what to do with her father’s personal effects she replies:

“Just put everything in the house, throw in a match, and burn it to the ground.”

It is apparent that her father let her down in some way. Something that Quinn has grown to expect from the male of the species. Chet is  the latest man in her life to run true to form.

After  Rachel’s attempt to have Quinn and Chet removed from the show in episode two things have taken a turn for the worse between Goldberg and her mentor.  Last week saw Quinn and Chet replaced by Coleman Wasserman and Rachel set up for a fall by Chet’s pal at the network.

The previous episode also saw Darius injured by one of the contestants. The football player needs surgery or he could become  paralyzed.  As the title of this week’s episode suggests there is treason afoot as Rachel attempts to keep Darius on the show and Quinn plots to take him out.

Rachel is still working the “making TV history” angle and trying to salvage her spot on the show. Quinn may talk of retaking the show while she attempts to scuttle Goldberg and Wasserman’s plans but that is window dressing.

Quinn wants the power back but  she also wants to hurt Rachel after her “power grab.”  She is also  angry that her protégé “stabbed her in the back.” Wasserman may be playing to Rachel but it is Quinn he will need to shove out the door if he wants to keep control of the show.

Chet proves to be an ally in the fight against Wasserman and he helps Quinn in her bid to injure the quarterback and get him off the show.  The plan backfires when Rachel talks Darius into an epidural.  The battle lines are drawn as Chet is hauled off to jail for kidnapping his son.

This revealing series about what really goes on behind the scenes in reality dating is addictive and should make fans of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette aware of the manufactured nature of these type of shows.  Zimmer and Appleby are brilliant as the two strongest women on the lot and they are what make this who what it is.

The chemistry is spot on and another thing that makes UnREAL work so well.

The series airs Mondays on Lifetime. This is must watch television and the show along with  its performers should get a few gongs come Emmy time. Check it out now.

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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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