I'm not a huge reality TV watcher. I was a big "Survivor" fan when it was first on and I've been known to dip my toe into "American Idol," "So You Think You Can Dance," "Masterchef," and of course, my favourite, "RuPaul's Drag Race." However, I never watched any of the dating reality shows, "The Bachelor"/"The Bachelorette"s of the world. I'd seen a few parodies and it was easy to pick up on what these shows were all about, but they never peaked my interest.
Here's where "UnREAL" comes in.
Set behind the scenes of a faux-reality dating show called "Everlasting," we see what really goes on to get these shows looking the way they do.
Co-created by Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, a former producer of "The Bachelor," the show follows Rachel (played by Shiri Appleby in a VERY different role from her initial "Roswell" career), one of the producers of "Everlasting." We get a hard look at what exactly these producers put their female contestants through for "good" TV. From encouraging eating disorders, all the way to messing with someone's Bipolar medication, there is no low that these people won't sink to, to keep their ratings.
Drama abounds in the cutthroat competition both on-air and off. Behind the scenes, Rachel is struggling to regain her status as number one producer after a meltdown on the previous season. She also struggles with the morality of her work and whether intense manipulation of the contestants is worth her paycheck.
Our Romeo aka "The Bachelor" of this reality show, is no saint either. Adam Cromwell, played by Freddie Stroma, has only come on the show to create some damage control for his playboy image (though a reality show where he courts 15 girls simultaneously seems like the wrong angle, in my opinion). Though he is played just as hard by the producers as the female contestants, he does rebel quite a bit, keeping the producers on their toes on their quest to create as much drama as possible.
This show is beyond addictive. It's horrifying and funny and completely scandalous. It will keep you on the edge of your seat with every twist and turn. You will not want to miss this trainwreck.
"UnREAL" airs on Monday's at 10:00pm on Lifetime.