In the great words of Beyoncé: Who runs the world?
On UnREAL, it’s Quinn (Constance Zimmer) and Rachel (Shiri Appleby). But the return of Chet (Craig Bierko) has added a new wrinkle to the show’s Bachelor-esque reality series. That is especially prevalent during Monday’s episode of the Lifetime series, which was screened ahead of a panel for UnREAL at ATX Television Festival on Saturday.
Now that Chet has suitor Darius (B.J. Britt) in his pocket, he’ll come to blows with Quinn on Monday, with the two deciding to shoot their own versions of the show as they wrestle for power — a fight Quinn nor Rachel intend to lose.
“Quinn and Rachel both fell for the princess fantasy [last season], and they always vowed not to smoke the crack,” executive producer Sarah Gertrude Shapiro said during the panel. “Their tattoos that say ‘Money, Dick, Power’ are them deciding to live like men.”
Therefore, Chet showing up on a men’s rights kick and wanting to be the alpha male really throws them for a loop. But Chet’s new journey also really speaks to what all the characters are going through in season 2. “What we’re saying for all of our people is they’re lost and don’t know who to be,” Shapiro said.
However, as Quinn moves up the ladder and Rachel becomes the new Quinn, Madison (Genevieve Buechner) has become the new dark horse of season 2, getting a high off manipulating contestants and potentially becoming the new Rachel. “When I read that [scene], I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, this is going to be a very different season for Madison. It’s not going to be the same deer-in-the-headlights girl who doesn’t know what she’s doing.”
“She still doesn’t know what she’s doing,” Shapiro jokingly interjected, later noting that it’s interesting “to show, as Rachel’s soul dies, for someone else’s soul to die.”
Buechner continued: “She’s really working toward her weird dream of becoming this manipulative producer who can run the world. That’s what she wants more than anything. She sees Quinn as the goddess and Rachel as the queen and wants that.”
So who will come out on top by season’s end? Hint: Don’t discount Jay (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman), who Shapiro said harbors some animosity over Rachel getting promoted and Madison now being his equal. “It’s really every man and woman for themselves this year,” Bowyer-Chapman said. “Where does he fit? Why is he there? How far is he willing to go?”
We’ll find out when UnREAL airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Lifetime.
Entertainment Weekly is on the scene at ATX in Austin, Texas. Go inside the TV festival with all our coverage, available here.