Last night in a fit of boredom I decided to tune into the new TV show UnReal starring the magnificent Constance Zimmer and Shiri Appleby. The show info didn’t look very appealing, blah blah reality TV blah blah. I hate reality TV. Of all the TV, it is the most soul sucking, and I have very little soul left to give – gotta hoard that shit. But you know my ol’ pal boredom, is a lot more adventurous and forgiving when it comes to things like this, so I watched the first episode.
Um, color me intrigued! This show feels so damn meta! A show about a show about reality TV. A whole lot darker than what I assumed to be a dramedy about reality TV, UnReal digs into the parts of us we wish to hide to the world and exposes it the world. In essence, while UnReal is about the cast and crew of a reality TV show, it is filmed as if there is no camera – even though there are cameras all over the show.
What I mean is, Rachel (Shiri Appleby) the main protagonist has the lovely job of manipulating the cast of the fake reality TV show called Everlasting to do and react in ways that will get the show more ratings. Watching her carefully manipulate the contestants – most who appear to be nice, balanced women – into acting like crazed ‘bitches’ will make you uncomfortable. It’s the kind of shit your mama told you to watch out for. The kind of shit if you’re a decent human being you ‘shouldn’t’ be doing, but know full well that you’re capable of doing.
And oh my god is it addictive to watch. Like a three trailer crash on the side of the highway, you can’t look away. Quinn (Constance Zimmer) is the ice queen who doesn’t give two fucks about the contestants, just the ratings of her show. She would be an awesome villain if not for the perfect way she brings her character alive.
Together these two seem to be creating a show that is – in Rachel’s own words – “Satan’s asshole’ but which at the same time seems to focus all of humanity in a hour long TV show. You want to hate it, but you also know this is Us. All of Us. Lifetime has released the first four episodes on their website, and you can watch it here.
Welcome to Satan’s Asshole.