By Shirley Li
Updated July 31, 2015 at 05:45 PM EDT
Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime; Santiago Felipe/Getty Images
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Chris Harrison took a swing at Lifetime’s UnREAL this week. In an interview with Variety, the host of the Bachelor franchise called the show “really terrible,” adding that the series’ portrayal of what goes on behind the scenes of a “reality” dating show “wasn’t a sign of respect. … They were trying to take it another direction,” he said, “but it doesn’t work that way.”

In a twist worthy of Everlasting, UnREAL‘s thinly veiled version of The Bachelor, the series’ creators Sarah Gertrude Shapiro and Marti Noxon couldn’t be more pleased with Harrison’s comments. “Honestly, I’m just super flattered that he noticed us at all,” Noxon tells EW. “I was just thrilled!”

“I mean it’s too bad he doesn’t like the show,” Shapiro adds, “but I agree with Marti, I’m glad he’s seen us at least.”

Of course, the two say they understand that the show has been perceived differently between viewers and critics. While some see it as a straightforward drama — albeit with issues pertaining to real-life reality TV — others have interpreted it as a satire, or even a parody, as Harrison has.

“My feeling is people will take from it what they will, but I don’t think the critics have responded to it like that,” Noxon says. “You know, that’s part of the joy of what we do. You don’t control the response, and what people want to call it is up to them.”

After all, the show does have a “tricky tone,” as Shapiro puts it. But with the series renewed for a second season, Noxon and Shapiro could potentially push for more storylines about Everlasting‘s host, played by Brennan Elliott, to push back, but the two promise they won’t do that. “We’re not into revenge characters,” Noxon says, laughing. Looks like Chris Harrison’s safe — for now.

Episode Recaps


The Lifetime drama — created by Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro and featuring Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer — explores the dark behind-the-scenes nature of a reality dating show (which is very clearly based on 'The Bachelor').
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