TV Club: UnREAL: “Future”

Genevieve Valentine posted a great essay today about UnREAL and the concept behind most reality shows. Even though we suspect that they are scripted as all-get-out, we still watch for the chance of seeing something unscripted, unexpected. We want to see drinks tossed in faces or tables overturned. Competitive, noncompetitive: We want fights and bleeps and the chance to see people like ourselves on TV, only slightly more unhinged.

The first night UnREAL aired, I tweeted that if all 12 episodes had been available right then, I would have watched the whole thing immediately. I still feel like that, but this finale was definitely worth the wait. What made UnREAL such an instant must-watch? It showed us what was behind that reality-show curtain. Co-created by Bachelor ex-associate producer Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, it gleefully depicted all the machinations behind those romantic foibles we dutifully watch every week. It was an unreal …

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