‘UnREAL’ episode 2 review: When reality TV meets reality

UnREAL -We’ll start this article with a bit of a disclaimer: Since Lifetime has already placed the first four episodes of “UnREAL” online for everyone to watch, we’re going to discuss the events of episode 2 within this article. There are some spoilers ahead, so do not read on unless you are confident that you want to. The episode will air later tonight after “Devious Maids.”

Still with us? Well, let’s talk about how messed-up Anna’s story was! Here is a woman who experienced a tragic death in her family, and rather than show her some common decency, Quinn and the production team behind “Everlasting” feel like it is far more interesting to get her in a position where she can be completely emotionally manipulated for their own good. Adam, the “suitor” for this play on “The Bachelor,” shows up at the memorial service, and Rachel finds herself forced to manipulate footage of her to make her look crazy, and not just as though she is in mourning and going through terrible stuff for almost everyone to watch.

For the most part, this show shines the most when it is focused primarily on satirizing reality TV, and showing some of what Rachel is willing to do in order for some normalcy (including showering with Adam while on the job). The story of Anna was thoroughly depressing, and yet also completely compelling since we could imagine something similar happening. Do we think that “The Bachelor” would ever go this far? Not really, but this show is meant at times to be exaggerated.

Also, we do find so many of the different contestants interesting, including Faith the underdog, who producers originally groomed to be the token contestant who melts down after a first-night exit. There’s also Grace, who has certainly made some sort of impression on the others (but not exactly for the best of reasons).

While learning some more about Rachel’s epic meltdown at the center of a previous season was interesting, the whole storyline about her ex to us is one of the least interesting parts of the show, mostly because it feels to us telegraphed that they are going to get mixed up in something before this ends and it all falls apart. With that said, Quinn’s relationship with the creator of the show is a little more interesting, largely because he is a far more over-the-top character and would probably bed every single contestant if he had it this way.

“UnREAL” is still, two episodes in, a thoroughly entertaining show that is bringing a lot of humor (plus a few surprising twists) to the table. We hope that whether it is by reading these articles to by watching an episode or two online, you are convinced to give this show a chance. We still contend that it is one of the best of the summer so far. Grade: B+.

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