Exploring the art of storytelling.
The series premiere of “UnREAL” hit all the right notes.
The writers established tension and conflict right off the bat. We were right in the middle of all the action. They just started filming a new season of the fictional dating show, “Everlasting.” And producer, Rachel, had just returned to work after a freak out in a previous season. This was a great way to start the show. It’s filled with mystery, and I just want to know more.
I was impressed with the acting from all involved in “Return.” It kept me immersed in the story.
I immediately like the main character, Rachel. I’ve already begun to sympathize with her. She’s complex and intriguing.
I love filmmaking (isn’t it obvious?), and so I found “Unreal” fascinating because it explores how a reality show is filmed. So many people are involved in the process: artistic directors, producers, cameramen, caterers, etc. The producers were basically responsible for manipulating the contestants to get the highest entertainment value. They had gathered research on all of the girls. Another interesting detail is that they filmed the first episode of “Everlasting” all night to make it the most romantic. I wonder if shows such as “The Bachelor” are actually this manipulative.
“Unreal” has a very dark side to it. The fictional show, “Everlasting” is not as enchanting as it implies. In the final scene of “Return,” Rachel sat by the TV monitors watching the contestants in their bedrooms. One of the girls was vomiting and another was spending some quality time with Adam. Rachel’s spying was haunting and set the tone for the show.
My one complaint about “Return:” Rachel’s freak out. It just wasn’t believable. Both the acting and writing were poor, and it seemed very scripted. I also didn’t like the staging. I couldn’t believe that the characters wouldn’t stop Rachel from walking on camera. She looked like a hobo; her hair was all messed up and she spoke slowly as if in a trance. This version of Rachel didn’t match up with the present day version of Rachel. I was disappointed that this scene was so awkward and clichéd. It had the potential to showcase raw emotion.
Overall, “Return” was engrossing. I think I’ve found my new obsession. One episode, and I’m hooked!