Two Takes: UnREAL “War”

Photo Credit: Stuart Pettican/Lifetime

Photo Credit: Stuart Pettican/Lifetime

UnREAL‘s Quinn and Rachel start the second season at the top of their game. Quinn is the new Chet. Rachel is the new Quinn. The daring duo are even sporting new matching mantra tattoos.

Money. Dick. Power.

In Sin City, Rachel presents her wild idea for the 14th season of Everlasting: an African-American Suitor. Darius Hill is a sexy pro football player involved in a bit of a scandal. He has a rep to rehab and he’s doing it by finding love on national TV.

What could go wrong? Everything.

Photo Credit: A&E Studios

Photo Credit: A&E Studios

Things quickly veer into insanity when Chet returns from Patagonia after claiming he has his precious manhood card back. When the action devolves into Chet vs. Quinn, Rachel finds her control slipping away.

Tina: Cortney, I am in total UnREAL mode right now. This was my favorite new series from last summer. I’m super happy we’re now embarking on what’s going to be a crazy ass second season.

Plus, we already know Lifetime has renewed the show for a third season. Life is good. For us, that is. I wouldn’t say the same for the poor fools behind the delicious train wreck that is Everlasting.

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Photo Credit: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Rachel’s already acting a bit manic. She’s an executive producer who feels she’s changing the world with her idea of introducing the first black Suitor. She’s sleeping with Romeo, Darius’ manager. She’s calling the shots. Her powers of manipulation are still on point. Chet’s return effs everything up spectacularly. And then some.

Cortney: Right?! I really wondered how this show was going to top last year’s over-the-top chaos and cringe-worthy inappropriateness but within the first five minutes, it did that and MORE! I honestly don’t know how this show gets away with some of the things that it does, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. From the “terrorist” contestant to the confederate bikini to exploiting someone’s grief, this show takes everything I hate about reality TV and turns it in to something I love.

Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/Lifetime

Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/Lifetime

Speaking of things I love, while she is a hot mess and ten times worse than ever before, I love Rachel. She really is the new Quinn and when Quinn says crazy s–t, she makes it happen. I’m also already digging her relationship with Darius. That limo chat really got me…first of all, the fact that he literally didn’t know what he was getting in to and she got him to go through with it anyways (at least until Chet came in and messed it all up): amazing. Plus, she’s right, talking about yourself in the third person — not cute.

Tina: Agree on all counts, especially how talking in third person is beyond uncool. What else is uncool is Chet coming in all caveman-like with his talk of men in control while women are supposed to be nurturing. Has he met Quinn? Has he met Rachel? Nurturing isn’t in their vocabulary. I’m pretty sure they figured out a way to kick that particular term to the curb a long time ago.

Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/Lifetime

Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/Lifetime

I’m not sure how Chet managed it, but he not only made off with Darius and his posse, he got the network president (Christopher Cousins) on his side, too. I’m sorry but Chet is not that charming. I’m going to have to chalk it up to this being the continuation of the boys’ club mentality we saw last season. He even got rid of that other network guy, Brad. I’m super sad about that because I love me some Martin Cummins. Are we never going to see that guy again?

Cortney: Before I get in to Chet’s antics, I have to say that Chet’s new slimmed-down physique made me do a double take more than once. I literally had a second where I wondered if they replaced him with another actor! And I love that Quinn totally called him out on it. Whatever his paleo-venture entailed, it may have been good for his body but it certainly didn’t fix his sleazy, conniving mind. I really thought that live-producing wedding debacle last season would’ve been enough to get rid of him. Damn boys’ club.

And yes, I agree, Rachel and Quinn are a force to be reckoned with, but I think that’s part of the fun for him. I can’t wait to see these three in all-out war. As far as Brad, I don’t know how the heck Chet did it, but it looks like he’s gone. But at least he got a wild night in Vegas before he got the boot!

Of course, Chet isn’t the only guy who’s feeling the power and making it known. What are you thinking of “new Jeremy” so far?

Tina: I’m not going to lie. I want to say I’m conflicted on Jeremy. After all, Rachel burned him bad last season. But I feel he should have known better than to get back with her…especially when he had a girlfriend/fiancée already. This season, he’s still on the crew. No, he didn’t quit. I, like Rachel, thought he’d go running for the hills after the nastiness that went down between them at the end of last season.

I didn’t expect him to be all mature but, man, I can almost choke on his bitterness towards Rachel. He’s not being quiet about it. In fact, he’s being pretty in-her-face about this whole thing. And even worse, he’s still talking to Rachel’s mom. He knows how to hurt her. Go for the jugular.

I know Rachel’s far from blameless in this scenario. In fact, I could probably heap more of the blame on her. But I won’t. #TeamRachel #AllTheWay

Your thoughts on Jeremy?

Cortney: Hahaha, #TeamRachel #ForSure. Like you, I get why he’s mad and think he has a right to be, but he is acting like such a child. This line was particularly harsh:

Jeremy: I don’t give a rat’s ass about you, but if anyone needs me to testify that you’re a threat to yourself and others, yeah, I’m there….but it’s mostly for the others though because at this point, I’m actually okay with you hurting yourself. In fact, I’m fairly certain that you will.

Ouch, am I right?! And that whole thing about “killing old Jeremy”. Me thinks he may be going off the deep end as well. Not to mention, it’s one thing to be cruel to her in private, but when he undermines her in front of everyone at the meeting. Not cool. Even if the whole “hot Rachel” bit was pretty funny. But I do love that Rachel stepped up to the plate and fired the focus guy just to prove who’s boss. Two can play at this game!

Tina: I like how Rachel knew she couldn’t touch Jeremy so she found a different way to let the guys know she’s the boss. Once again, I’m not going to lie. Rachel scares me sometimes.

Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/Lifetime

Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/Lifetime

Cortney: That being said, when Madison railroaded the contestant about her fiancée’s death, I did see a glimmer of old Jeremy (you know, that guy from last season who actually has a heart!) and it gave me hope. I know he’s being a jerk to protect himself, but I want that other guy back. Soon. Please.

Tina: I don’t think I buy this new Jeremy that seems to be roaming around the set, but I don’t know if I need to see the old Jeremy either. Let’s say he did make a comeback. I think if the old Jeremy returned, he’d have no choice but to leave Everlasting. That guy knows working on this show is toxic. I don’t think he’d stick around to let the place poison him again.

Cortney: Okay, I see your point. But I also don’t like to see good people go bad. I want to believe somewhere in his heart, he still cares about Rachel and not letting her spiral. Even if he says otherwise.

Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/Lifetime

Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/Lifetime

Now on to another character I just mentioned. Madison, wow. I can’t even. After watching her shockingly believable breakdown as Rachel played the voice in her head, “that was amazing” were the last words I expected to come out her mouth. Was it just me or did that scene put you through the ringer?

Tina: I don’t even know what to say about that scene. Rachel was in Madison’s ear playing puppet master or God or whatever they want to call it. And Madison comes off tentative and frightened and says everything Rachel tells her to say. Once the collective gets what they want out of Chantal, Madison throws up from the intensity and, I guess, the thrill of it all?

Yeah, I didn’t expect her to enjoy it as much as she claims she did. I wonder if by the end of the second season, Quinn is the new Chet. Rachel is the new Quinn. And Madison is the new Rachel.

Cortney: I think you’re on to something here! And I will say that I do like her sort of, kind of starting to fit in to the team with the inappropriate jokes. They’re starting to accept her, even if they do beat her up in the process. But isn’t that what they do to everyone? As they alluded, Quinn is like an abusive husband to Rachel and I don’t think these relationships would know how to function without the disfunction.

Tina: I look at how everyone treats each other on this show. And I wonder, are people really like this in real life? I just couldn’t exist in an environment where the person you trust today might not be the person you can trust tomorrow. And I couldn’t work in a place where people constantly talk to you in such a condescending manner. I say that yet I can’t get enough of everything that happens on this show.

Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/Lifetime

Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/Lifetime

I mean, take Jay. He seems to have grown a bit of a conscience this season. And I don’t know how I feel about that. Does that make me twisted?

Cortney: Hahaha, yes! I actually like where he’s going so far. He didn’t really stand up for himself or stand for anything last season and I’m glad that he’s “grown a pair” this season. I mean, someone on this show has to have a conscience, right? If not, there would be no one for us to relate to. Or at least not anyone we can take seriously since we all know the doctor is more or less considered a joke, even though I find her eye-rolls and motherly reactions amusing.

Tina: And don’t forget her healing nook or whatever that thing she negotiated is called. haha

Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/Lifetime

Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss/Lifetime

Cortney: What are your thoughts on the contestants so far? Do any of them “pop” to you like they did last year?

Tina: I’m going to need more info on the contestants before I make any complete judgments. But I will say that the two that pop for me right now are Ruby, the “Blacktivist” and Chantal, the girl who recently lost her fiancé. I’m interested in how she’s going to deal with that.

Plus, I recently interviewed Meagan Tandy, the actress who plays her. Cortney, I don’t know if you watched the (then) ABC Family series, Jane By Design. She was in that. She’s also in Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse and MTV’s Teen Wolf. I love everything she’s in so I’m even more interested in seeing her story.

There’s another one who pops — I can’t remember if we saw much of her in this premiere episode so I’m going to hold off on mentioning who it is until next week.


Cortney: We’re on the same page here. I feel like Ruby and Chantal were the only ones who really got backstories in the premiere, so I’m definitely intrigued by them as well. However, having seen episode 2, I’m not so sure that I’m going to continue to feel that way about one of them. Its always hard to tell where the new characters will go after one episode. I mean, last season we didn’t get to know much about Mary until well into the season and she ended up having such an impact on the show.

That being said, none of them are really popping for me the way some did last season, but that may just be because they are focusing more on what’s going on behind the camera so far.

Tina: I think it’s going to take a little longer to get to know the contestants this season. So far, it’s all about the behind the scenes machinations, maneuvering and mayhem.

Photo Credit: Sergei Bachlakov/Lifetime

Photo Credit: Sergei Bachlakov/Lifetime

I do want to say that the Everlasting host (that Brennan Elliott wonderfully plays) continues to be a pompous ass. I wonder if they’re going to let him do a little more this season?

Right now I’m all about what’s going on with Rachel and Quinn. Chet has interfered and is staking his territory. He wants his so-called kingdom back and he’s not going anywhere until he gets it. This has caused Quinn to take the reins of the show. She only trusts herself to defeat Chet. She says this power move is simply to get them through this Chet business. Only time will tell if that’s the truth.

Photo Credit: Sergei Bachlakov/Lifetime

Photo Credit: Sergei Bachlakov/Lifetime

Rachel doesn’t like being undermined but she has no choice in the matter. She may have thought she had some control but she never really did. Not when Quinn’s around. The two may have been on the same page at the beginning of the hour. By the end? Not so much. We’ll see how they continue to relate to each other in the weeks to come.

Cortney: Funny you mention Graham, I was just going to say that I noticed he seems to have more of a role already this season. Interested to see if that goes anywhere.

And as far as Rachel and Quinn, they are the heart of this show. They had so many ups and downs last season and despite the matching tattoos, it looks like this season will be much the same. I was kind of sad to see how this episode ended for Rachel as she was blatantly usurped by Quinn and seemed to be totally blindsided by it. I’m not saying she should’ve seen it coming, but it is Quinn so it’s really not all that shocking.

And yes, I agree that Quinn thinks she is the only one who can take on Chet professionally, but there’s also a personal element to it as well and as such, she can’t take any chances by letting Rachel lead the charge. That being said, now that Rachel has a little more “Quinn in her,” I’ll be interested to see if she’ll continue to wallow in her sorrow and spiral downward or if she’ll say b–ch, please (*term of endearment!) and stand up for herself more this season. Either way, I’ll be glued to the screen as this awesomely amazing train wreck continues to unfold.

UnREAL airs Monday nights at 10/9c on Lifetime.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.