The most outrageous drama about the most outrageous fake reality show is back. After its bonkers 1st season, UnREAL comes out of the gate swinging in season 2. In the season 2 premiere, titled “War,” UnREAL double downs on all the wild things that made season 1 so great. That means double the talk about real issues wrapped up in a highly fake reality show, double the amount of concerns about Rachel’s mental health and double the amount of Quinn. This doesn’t just mean that there is more acidic Quinn one-liners than ever. It also means that Rachel is slowly but surely becoming Quinn 2.0 with all the terrifying things that implies.
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New Season, New(ish) Problems
Season 2 of UnREAL and season whatever of Everlasting begins with the most important love story of the series, Quinn and Rachel. The big heads of the reality franchise are getting matching tattoos and celebrating their casting of the first black suitor. This latter bit means a lot of drug use, partying and Rachel having ridiculous sex with the new suitor’s manager, Romeo, where she screams about making history. While everything is sunny, or sunny(ish), for UnREAL, not everything is going great on Everlasting.
For starters, the new suitor, football star Darius Hill, is not overly thrilled about actually being the new suitor. Though Rachel eventually manages to convince Darius that he needs Everlasting to revamp his career, Rachel’s problems are just beginning. Rachel’s ex-boyfriend, Jeremy, is still working on Everlasting.
In between Everlasting seasons, Jeremy has gained roughly 20 pounds and a helluva lot of aggression towards Rachel. Jeremy is convinced that Rachel is on her way for a full meltdown and she will hurt herself or someone else. I’d love to disagree with Jeremy because if Jeremy is not being boring as hell, he’s being whiny as hell, but I can’t. Rachel does seem a tad bit unstable with all her talk of “making history” just by casting a black football star in a reality romance show.
Rachel, however, gets a chance to put all her hyperbolic rhetoric into action when she learns that one of her potential girls is refusing to be on the show. Producer Jay, the one seemingly decent person working on Everlasting, casts Ruby, a young student with a strong belief in African American rights. Rachel desperately wants Ruby on the show to clash with another girl, Beth-Ann. Beth-Ann is a young model who got famous on Instagram for wearing a Confederate flag bikini. Ruby refused to be on Everlasting, though, because she wanted to finish college.
Rachel, not letting anyone’s education stand in the way of her awful TV show, goes to talk to Ruby. Rachel peddles a bunch of scarily accurate facts about how representation of minorities and oppressed groups on reality TV sparked actual change in the real world. Rachel tells Ruby that she can use Everlasting as her platform for talking about African American rights. It works; Ruby agrees to be on the show.
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This is not the only problem revolving around Rachel’s desire to start a race war on Everlasting. The Confederate bikini-wearing Beth-Ann arrives on set. Since she is a raging racist, she is not too happy to find out that she is rooming with one of the other black girls on the show, Chantal. This, of course, was Rachel’s intention in putting them together. Beth-Ann, oblivious that she is a bleach blonde rat in a maze, goes to Madison. You probably know Madison as the producer who is in her mid 20’s but still has her hair in pigtails. (Oh, and she sleeps with a bunch of old, dirty men.) Beth-Ann tells Madison that she wants a new room, which Madison is happy to oblige.
Yet when Madison goes to Rachel with Beth-Ann’s request, Rachel rips Madison a new one in total Quinn-esque fashion. As Rachel humiliates Madison in front of her co-workers, Quinn watches in the wings with horrifying pride. This is just the start of Rachel torturing Madison.
Rachel gets Madison to interview Chantal and forces the pigtailed producer to ask Chantal the most intimate questions possible. Rachel, via Madison, gets Chantal to cry about her dead fiance. It’s horrifying on every level, but at least Rachel gets video footage for a promo.
The line of questioning gets so intense and personal that Madison herself starts to cry. Madison gets so upset that she even throws up but then quickly talks about how awesome the whole thing was for her. I’m beginning to think that Madison might be the one on the precipice of a meltdown, not Rachel.
It looks like Rachel has put out all the fires and the season premiere is ready to be filmed. This is when Chet, who has lost all the pounds that Jeremy has gained, swoops in. Chet steals away Darius and completely sucks up to Darius and his manager, Romeo. Chet takes Darius to a party and holds the suitor hostage until Quinn agrees to allow Chet back on set and help create the show again.
Quinn agrees, though she’s far from happy about it. The person who is really upset, however, is Rachel. Rachel is worried that this brawl between Chet and Quinn will overshadow Rachel running the show. Quinn tells Rachel that it is only temporary and Chet will be gone soon, but there is no way that is going to happen. The war is on between Quinn and Chet; Rachel will only be another casualty.
UnREAL season 2 airs Mondays at 10pm on Lifetime.
(Image courtesy of Lifetime)