‘Unreal’ stylized as ‘UnREAL’ is an American drama television series that aired its first three seasons on Lifetime before it was acquired by Hulu. The show first premiered on June 1, 2015. It has been created by Marti Noxon, known for ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘ and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro. Notably, the concept is based on Shapiro’s short film ‘Sequin Raze’.
The series offers a behind the scenes look at the chaos that surrounds the production of a show about a dating competition. We are made privy to the perspective of a young reality television producer who is constantly barraged by her boss to be unscrupulous and to swallow all integrity and do whatever it takes to come up with salacious content that will make the show a success. It is a self-reflective work of art that is bound to leave you amazed.
Critics too have praised the series, saying, “The revealing and thought-provoking UnREAL uses reality TV as a suitably soapy springboard for absorbing drama.”
Unreal Cast: Who is in it?
The main cast of ‘Unreal’ is basically the crew involved in the making of the reality show. Obviously, the contestants of the show serve as the recurring characters who change over the seasons, but it is the interaction between them as well as among the cast members that captures the true essence of the show. Noxon, one of the showrunners commented on this, saying, “We thought uncovering the behind-the-scenes machinations would make great stories, and we wanted to comment on the kind of bully culture of a lot of reality television”. Shapiro added to this, saying, “Viewers want to believe in fairy tales, and those reality shows tap into that want. Our show dismantles that want.” She also spoke about the genre of reality television in general, critiquing it and saying, “Contestants come in and think they can beat the game, but it’s truly an unbeatable game … You’re ritually manipulated and charmed and edited beyond your control. Viewers think the contestants knew what they had signed up for. But they couldn’t have. There’s no way”. All this is evident in the characters of the show.
This brings us to Rachel Goldberg, who is played by Shiri Appleby. She is one of the producers who is conflicted about manipulating the contestants. However, being quick to think on her feet, she is a closer and knows what to do in order to create drama for the show. We also meet Quinn King played by Constance Zimmer of ‘Entourage‘ and ‘Boston Legal’ fame. She is the scheming and demanding executive producer who is willing to cross any boundary on the show as long as it increases ratings. She also has an affair with Chet Wilton, played by her ‘Boston Legal‘ co-star Craig Bierko. Chet, the creator of this reality television series, is shown to be an eccentric but self-destructive person whose lifestyle of vulgarity, callousness, and immaturity has made him aware of what the audience wants but has also made him self indulgent.
Brennan Elliott is seen as Graham, the host of the show, and Francois Arnaud, known for roles in ‘The Borgias‘ and ‘Midnight, Texas‘, plays the role of Tommy Castelli, a devious new producer. Although Castelli initially locks horns with Rachel and her underhand manipulations, they later lock bodies as well, when they begin dating and eventually are engaged. Quinn however, intervenes and paints Tommy as a scapegoat, trying to protect Rachel.