|The cast of Lifetime TV's UnREAL|
It's hard to satirize something that seems so farcical to start. Yet, that's exactly what's behind UnREAL, the first scripted series produced and distributed by A+E Studios. The comedy, which premieres Monday, June 1 on Lifetime, lampoons the chaos and behind-the-scenes manipulation that takes place on dating shows, in this case, the fictional series Everlasting. Ten episodes of UnREAL have been ordered.
Written and produced by Marti Noxon (Private Practice, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Glee,*Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce, Mad Men) who co-created the show with Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, UnREAL takes place on the set of Everlasting – a network dating contest – and reveals the lives of its beleaguered producers, crew, and contestants. Here, everyone is flawed, and altogether too ready to sell their souls (or their friends and coworkers) cheaply and quickly.
At the center of all this is "Rachel" (Shiri Appleby), a reality television vet who, after a breakdown, left the industry. Upon her return to Everlasting, Rachel seems to feel horrible manipulating everyone around her, yet does it all the same. Rachel answers to "Quinn" (Constance Zimmer), an acerbic exec-producer who is ruthless, cunning and smart with her staff and cast, yet unwise when it comes to affairs of the heart concerning Everlasting's money man, the bloated, coked-up and very married "Chet" (Craig Bierko).
UnREAL works so well because it the action is so close to its satirized source material, real shows like The Bachelor and The Bachlorette. There are the nice girls trying too hard to be slutty, the awkward women trying too hard to be liked, the bitchy vixens trying to be extra villainous for screen-time, and an attractive bachelor – in this case, "Adam," a British hotel magnate played by Freddie Stroma – looking to outrun personal scandals. Hilarious stuff.
UnREAL premieres Monday, June 1 at 10/9c on the Lifetime Network .
Photo courtesy of Lifetime
Posted on Monday, June 1, 2015