UnREAL premieres February 26th on Lifetime.
By Ariba Bhuvad
If you thought that reality television was only dramatic in front of the camera, Lifetime’s UnREAL is here to change your mind. In its third season, UnREAL is continuing the momentum it has been riding on since the series started. For those who don’t know, UnREAL is a show that provides a behind-the-scenes look at the production of a reality TV show known as Everlasting, aka their version of The Bachelor/The Bachelorette. The third season of UnREAL switches things up a bit by bringing in a female suitress, Serena, played by Caitlin FitzGerald. Serena is an ambitious mogul in the tech world looking for love and a husband. Cue, Everlasting. In the five episodes provided to critics, we got a glimpse at the drama that unfolds with an overly zealous and motivated suitress on the quest for love. And this drama would cease to exist without Everlasting producers, Quinn (Constance Zimmer) and Rachel (Shiri Appleby), running the show as puppeteers.
I really enjoyed this season, and it probably is my favorite one of the series so far. Showrunner Stacy Rukeyser really took a bold step into highlighting issues of feminism and gender expectations. During the recent era of the #MeToo campaign, this season really resonates with the strong and supporting message that this movement carries. During the course of the season, we see the suitress struggle with opposition from the contestants for being successful and on top of her game. The show highlights an all too real struggle of a working woman fighting against a sexist attitude that she has to dumb down her intelligence for men to like her. This is one of the strongest points of UnREAL’s third season- and why it is so intriguing to watch.
Zimmer and Appleby are once again the heart of the show and ooze comedy, sassiness, and a producer duo that is absolutely phenomenal to watch. Their dynamic is what makes UnREAL so much fun as it goes back and forth between Zimmer’s brazen attitude and Appleby’s conflicted personality. There are some dull moments that feel over the top and boring during the third season – namely the activities the contestants had to participate in. At times it slows the momentum down and doesn’t add much to the overall story. However, this season is brave and blunt in its storytelling, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
It’s a shame that UnREAL is an extremely underrated show because it provides such a hilarious perspective into a world that most of us are familiar with. The third season’s approach is brilliant and is so relevant to the current climate in Hollywood, and makes for an amazing narrative to follow. The writers dove into some controversial yet important topics this season, which makes UnREAL more relatable than it’s ever been. It will be interesting to see how the second half of the season plays, but if the first half is any indication the Everlasting drama is just getting started.
I give UnREAL a B+.