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Article

'UnREAL' Season 2: EW review

Posted on

Sergei Bachlakov

UnREAL

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
tvpgr:
TV-MA
seasons:
2
run date:
06/01/15
performer:
Shiri Appleby
Producer:
Marti Noxon
broadcaster:
Lifetime
genre:
Drama

We gave it an A-

Do Quinn (Constance Zimmer) and Rachel (Shiri Appleby) have any qualms about acting like soulless she-douches? Well, season 2 opens with the Everlasting bosses celebrating Quinn’s seven-figure deal and Rachel’s promotion to showrunner with matching tattoos that say “Money. D—. Power.” So, probably not. Judging by the two new episodes available for review, UnREAL features less moral hand-wringing over the way Quinn, Rachel, and the others manipulate the contestants. Now it just wants us to revel in the inventiveness of whoever does it best. As Everlasting welcomes its first black suitor, footballer Darius (B.J. Britt), Rachel’s running the show, but it’s not that easy—Quinn still overrules, and Chet (Craig Bierko) has returned from a men’s-rights retreat primed to steal Everlasting back from the women. These three are saving their most Machiavellian moves for one another, and their suspenseful game of one-upmanship should fuel a billion think pieces that ask, What are the repercussions when men are cowed by ruthless female bosses? What goals do feminists secretly share with misogynist men? Another overarching question: Can two white women make an important statement about race? Rachel brags about making history with the first black suitor, but she sells Darius to the higher-ups by saying, “He’s not that black…he’s football black.” When a Black Lives Matter activist (Denée Benton) joins Everlasting, UnREAL offers a surprisingly nuanced exploration of whether it’s more effective to create change from within the system or by blowing it up. Of course, there’s also a contestant who wears a Confederate-flag bikini. Somehow, just like its unfortunately tattooed protagonists, UnREAL just gets smarter the more shameless it gets. A–