Sunday, August 21, 2016

Emmy Adjacent-Episodes: UnREAL

It’s always my policy to watch every Emmy-nominated episode each year, which leads me to sample a handful of shows that I don’t tune in to on a regular basis. This year, I’m making a special effort to spotlight each of those installments to offer my perspective on shows that I don’t review each week.

UnREAL: Season 1, Episode 2 “Relapse” (C+)
Sandwiched between Emmy-nominated episodes one and three

I only watched this episode for some context getting to the next installment, which is Constance Zimmer’s submission for Best Supporting Actress. In this undeniably dramatic hour, this show underscored its mirroring of its subject matter by underlining its soapy and sensational in nature. That does not appeal to me, and I’m honestly pretty bored by this show. I’m also distracted by the focus on Johanna Braddy’s Anna, who I naturally reference as already having plenty of parent issues from her role as Shelby on “Quantico,” an unfair predisposition given that this episode aired months before the ABC FBI drama even premiered. The notion that contestants would miss out on major life events like the near-death of a parent seems ridiculous, and while it may actually happen in real life, it’s still hard to watch. It’s also incredible just how much of the scenes edited into “Everlasting” are taken from members of the producing team planting questions and then reframing the interactions to make it seem like they’re crazy. For Rachel to attend Anna’s father’s funeral seems more than disrespectful, and I find it hard to believe that Adam so willingly led along with being forced to keep Anna waiting and thinking that she might not be chosen to stay on the show with him. Zimmer’s Quinn is showing no signs of calming down as the season is intensifying, and she was not at all pleased to learn that Chet’s wife was pregnant and that he was planning to build her a house to live in all by herself. I don’t plan to watch this show past episode three, and we’ll see how that installment goes.

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