After much prodding from various friends, Mister and I recently started watching UnREAL (Lifetime). Basically, it’s a scripted, behind-the-scenes of a reality show show. Make sense? We’re through 6 episodes of season 1 and, speaking for myself, I have definite opinions about this oddly entertaining program.
The leads are great. I love, love, love Constance Zimmer. She’s a top-notch actor and I’ve been a fan for years. If I know she’s acting in something, I am likely to watch just to see her work. For reals. And while actor Shiri Appleby is relatively new to me, she isn’t a rookie and the girl is good. So the 2 chick leads are awesome.
The subject matter? Well… Let me tell you I have never seen a single episode of The Bachelor. You couldn’t pay me, people. With the exception of food and house shows (and So You Think You Can Dance – not the kid version, thank-you-very-much), I’m not a fan of reality TV. Please don’t feel judged if you watch loads of reality television. It just isn’t my keg of beer, um-kay? Still – I get the gist of this show. And the way they portray the making of reality TV is great. (Spoiler alert: if you thought anything you’ve seen on reality TV was real, you’re in for quite an awakening, as it’s all controlled and guided and made up.) So far, the show appears to be well-written and well-executed. And it’s won a Peabody Award, for cry-eye. So they must be doing something right, right? And one last thing – it’s a good show. It really is.
But here’s the deal. After watching an episode of UnREAL, I feel UnGOOD. This show is so dark and sinister, I pretty much feel like I need a shower after watching it. And when Mister and I have watched 2 episodes back-to-back, I’ve had actual nightmares about the ugliness in the show. That’s just crazy.
So what I’ve been wondering is whether or not I should even be watching UnREAL. I mean, if I feel skeevy after taking in an episode, do I really want to subject myself to that? And why? And then I thought about other shows that leave me feeling UnGOOD. Like House of Cards. That’s a great show. Truly. And yet I can’t claim the characters are redeemable or good. And there have definitely been times when I’ve felt uneasy after watching certain episodes. So why watch at all?
As of now, I don’t have an answer. Not for myself, and certainly not for others. I will probably finish season 1 of UnREAL and then decide if I’m up to moving on to season 2. Honestly, I don’t know. I guess it depends on how quickly I recover from the viewing. I’m a sensitive cuss. I know it. And I’m the only one who can protect my too-thin skin. I guess I’m hoping the final 4 episodes of season 1 of UnREAL leave me feeling something more than dirty. Being entertained may not be enough, either. Fingers crossed.