I grew up watching reality television. I became hooked on the many TV shows of people competing to win a prize - it may have been the reason I grew my love of TV and lead me to where I am today. Like, for instance, I write this blog!
When I was a child, I spent most of my time watching cartoons and young adult shows like Digimon, Power Rangers, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But, as I grew into the double digits, reality TV was just being introduced and I couldn't help but follow shows like Survivor, Big Brother, and The Mole. UnReal on Lifetime sounded like a great concept and a perfect show to recap for its first season.
This week on UnReal, the hit reality dating show Everlasting begins production on another season, Rachel returns to set after last year's breakdown, and the production crew pick early favourites.
THE QUEEN OF DRAMA RETURNS
It's lights, camera and action for another season of the popular dating show, Everlasting. As the production crew watches from their office, a carriage arrives bringing the first contestant - Shamiqua, a clerk for a Supreme Court Justice - to meet British bachelor (and hotel-chain heir) Adam Cromwell. Quinn, the executive producer, calls cut as she is in disbelief that the first contestant revealed is African American; she thinks the first girl should be "wifey" material and she doesn't think Shamiqua has a chance. She wants to see the remaining girls for potential.
Rachel, the disgraced former producer who had a nervous breakdown last season, returns as a freelancer with five more girls. Everyone on set has seen Rachel's breakdown on TV and they're shocked she's returned, even her competing producers Shia and Jay and her former boyfriend Jeremy are surprised she's back. Quinn has faith in Rachel and agreed to drop the charges if Rachel came back to work. Unfortunately, Rachel has no choice in the matter - she needs to work and not go to jail.
There is one thing clear as the cameras film: Adam doesn't look happy. Adam is bored with the reality show process; it's beneath him and he's doing it merely for an image improvement. As the cameras turn away for a split second, he makes a run for it and leaves the set, abandoning everyone in disbelief. Quinn pulls Rachel and forces her to find Adam - it turns out that their bachelor didn't sign the season contract, which means EVERYTHING they filmed is useless and they can't force him to film. Rachel is shocked, but she knows she has a job to do.
She finds Adam sitting next to a lake; he's refusing to return. Rachel calls him out for his media reputation and knows why he's really doing the show - it's not to find love but to restore his image for his family. She bluffs about having a back-up bachelor ready to take his place and reap the rewards. However, after a quick negotiation, Adam signs on board for the season.
THE GAME BEGINS
With Adam returning to the set, the competition resumes with the remaining girls meeting the suitor. Quinn and the production team have early season favourites for inciting drama: there's Britney, their potential villain, Grace the vivacious model, Mary the cradle-robbing mother, and obvious first elimination Faith. The team has (for the most part) planned out the rest of the night for the first episode.
With a little bit of manipulation, the producers (Rachel, Shia and Jay) start interacting with the contestants to cause some TV-worthy drama. Britney takes the idea and comes onto Adam a bit too strong, openly flirting and seducing him sexually in front of everyone. Rachel coaxes Mary into sharing her daughter's bear while Shia upsets Faith by discussing her virginity. Rachel ends up saving the day and gets Faith some alone time with the British beau.
A WRENCH IN THE PLAN
Before Adam begins his first elimination of the season, he strolls out for a chat with Rachel. He can tell that the production team is merely using Faith as a joke character for the first episode; he isn't a fan of that. Rachel comes up with an idea to stick it to Quinn and the entire show.
As the first Everlasting elimination commences, Adam must eliminate five girls from the show. The drama is really between Faith and Britney (sorry unknown extras!) - the team is positive Britney will be saved while Faith will get the boot. Unfortunately for them, Adam saves Faith and eliminates Britney from the show - Quinn is pissed! She heads onto the set and confronts Adam and Rachel, knowing full well that they planned something. Now that their villain is eliminated, they NEED footage from Britney to save the first episode.
WHO'S THE REAL VILLAIN?!
Britney is upset and nearly in tears from her surprising boot. Rachel pulls the camera crew and tries to get her to do her exit interview, but Britney isn't taking the bait - she isn't saying anything mean about Adam. In a feat of pure manipulation, Rachel convinces Britney to have a few drinks with her and starts saying negative comments about her. Britney, now aware of Rachel's true intentions, calls her out with vile words and spits in her face. Everyone is shocked (but impressed) that Rachel could get the dramatic scene they needed. It's going to be a great first episode.
Will Faith survive the next episode? Who will be the villain now that Britney is gone? Is Rachel doomed for another dramatic Everlasting season? Share your thoughts in the comments below.