8 Times UnREAL Everlasting Producers Were Awful People
It’s hard to believe that there are only four episodes left of the first season of UnREAL, Lifetime’s smart, funny, intense, dark series about behind-the-scenes machinations in the control room of fictional reality dating show
The Bachelor “Everlasting.” The last episode, “Fly” was a jaw-dropper, the brutal producers pushed a contestant over the edge. Here are eight times the Everlasting producers were very bad people. Spoiler alert: Stop reading right now if you haven’t seen Episode 6 yet. Still with me? Let’s go!
- Shia’s tampers with Mary’s drugs Overlooked Bitterella Shia, devised a diabolical scheme to squeeze more drama out of Mary, a 40-something single mom and Everlasting’s designated desperate cougar. The show’s psychiatrist Dr. Wagerstein helpfully told Shia that Mary takes medication because she’s been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I thought the psychiatrists employed by reality shows were supposed to help the contestants handle the pressure. Nope. Armed with the tittle-tattle, Shia slipped into Mary’s room and substituted Mary’s psych meds with something else. Added bonus, there was a gift basket with a bottle of booze. Remember when Real Housewives of New York’s Kelly Bensimon had a mental collapse during a cruise? I’m not saying the producers deliberately drove Kelly to the brink, I’m just saying, uh, you know what I’m saying.
- Rachel makes Britney cry. Every reality series needs a villain or villainess, the reality show gods decree it. Currently, Nick Vialls is the supposed bad guy on The Bachelorette Season 11. As villains go, meh. He needs to step up his mustache-twirling, but I digress. Thanks to meddling from producer Rachel Goldberg, the Suitor rejected kittenish Britney in favor of strapping Faith, who wicked queen bee Quinn King had intended to be a humiliated first-episode evictee. Britney tried to do the impossible, make an exit with her head held high, but Rachel kept poking the bear, dredging up painful episodes from Britney’s past until the ersatz Courtney Robinson freaked out and did the requisite amount of crying. So that explains why the ladies who have only spent a few minutes talking to The Bachelor on the first night bawl in the back of the limos. Who knew they weren’t just clingy nutters? Britney knew how these shows work, but playing on childhood trauma is wicked.
- Anna doesn’t get to be at her dad’s side To make sure that wide-eyed Anna stuck around for another ceremony, the producers didn’t immediately inform the contestant that her father was ill. When Anna found out she escaped from the mansion, only to find that her father had already passed away. Rachel hauled eligible bachelor Adam to the funeral to manipulate vulnerable Anna into returning to the show. Rachel was getting close to one of the circles of hell with that one.
- Athena gets stereotype cast. Where would reality TV be without embarrassing racial, cultural and regional stereotypes? The Real Housewives of New Jersey showcased the reigning queen of guidettes, ditz turned jailbird Teresa Giudice, Shahs of Sunset presents tasteless and ostentatious Persians in L.A. The classic trope is the argumentative black woman. Unlike Everlasting contestant Shamiqua, who has couth, Athena was egged on by ambitious producer Jay to be loud and aggressive. The Apprentice bad girl Omarosa Manigault raised it to an art form and Real Housewives of Atlanta star Nene Leakes is the title-holder. Athena brought some Nomarosa realness to the role and given enough time, would have stirred up plenty of facepalm drama. Jay should be ashamed of himself for promoting demeaning media clichés, but he was doing his job and he was upfront with Athena, who planned to milk her bad behavior for publicity.
- Faith sticks her head out of the closet. Adam and country girl Faith came across as a couple of buddies, not a potential couple, but the suitor kept the popular underdog around anyway. When Adam visited Faith’s small Mississippi town, Rachel pushed the religious virgin to finally get it on with Adam. Faith’s heart belongs to someone else, her friend Amy. Rachel gleefully captured the coming out on camera, but when Amy wasn’t ready to be outed, Rachel pressed Jay to destroy the footage. Of course, he didn’t do it, but for now at least, Faith can tell her story in her own way. Rachel depicted Faith’s sexuality in a salacious manner, but she was pretty spot-on about how telling the truth would liberate Faith. Jay didn’t fabricate anything, but it was shady.
- Anna is exploited again. After losing Britney, Quinn is determined to have a new love-to-hate contestant and she’s set her sights on poor bereaved Anna. In addition to giving the relatively sweet Anna the bitch edit, Quinn plans to take advantage of Anna’s eating disorder. Quinn sucks, but Anna already missed her father’s death and let the show exploit her some more, Anna should have known better.
- Maya’s walk of shame. When Adam’s friend Roger was brought in to get to know the girls, Shia persuaded Maya that she’d impress Roger, and thus Adam if she behaved like a party girl. Maya who appeared to be dignified quickly boasted about her hedonistic ways, got wasted, stripped down and made out with Roger. The whole spectacle ended up with Roger and Maya engaged in an off-camera sex; judging by the way she stumbled out, it was implied that Maya was too drunk to give consent. Maya is a grown woman and should have known better than to carry on like she was on a Girls Gone Wild reboot. Shia was just doing her job, but should be ashamed of herself for encouraging another woman to behave in such a way.
- Mary goes over the edge. After unwittingly going off her meds, thanks to Shia, Mary became manic and started downing booze. Tipped off that Mary was a battered wife, Rachel attempted to liven things up with a surprise appearance by Kirk, Mary’s violent and emotionally abusive former husband. After tussling with Adam — which the producers thought would make for a swoon-worthy moment — Kirk convinced his unstable ex-wife that she’s an awful mother and Lilly Belle would be better off without her.
Mary took his vile words to heart and jumped off the roof of the Everlasting mansion. It’s mostly Sha’s fault, you can blame Dr. Wagerstein, too, but Rachel didn’t help matters, there’s a lot of blame to go around. Shia had every chance to come clean and it’s hard to believe that Quinn wouldn’t have given her a bonus. Rachel, who is smarter than dumbass Shia, forced an unsuspecting woman to face her abuser for ratings and Dr. Wagerstein deserves to have her license revoked.
UnREAL airs Mondays at 10/9c on Lifetime