Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Love Reality TV? 10 Reasons You Need to Watch ‘UnREAL’ Right Now

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Fordham chapter.

Ever wondered what how much of reality TV is, in fact, real? Airing last summer on Lifetime, UnREAL is a drama series based on the real-life experiences of a former producer on “The Bachelor.” The show takes you into the world behind the camera on the fictional show “Everlasting”, as the producers manipulate the contestants to get the juiciest footage while juggling their own complicated personal lives. Riveting, entertaining, funny, and dark, it’s a must-watch show – and Season 2 is coming soon, so now is the perfect time to catch up!

Not convinced yet? Here are ten more reasons to check it out:

1. The show-within-a-show format.

While the main characters on the show are mostly producers, the “on-camera” characters are still a major part of the story. The fictional Bachelor-like show “Everlasting” is entertaining all on its own – from the romance to the catfights – and you’ll want to watch all the way to the end, if only to find out which of the girls ends up winning.

2. The producers.

Meet Rachel Goldberg and her boss, executive producer Quinn King. They, along with several other producers, will do pretty much anything to manipulate the contestants for good footage – including exploiting their fears, interfering with their psychiatric medication, using their past against them, getting them wasted, turning them against each other – you know, all the stuff normal people do at their job.  Speaking of…

3. Female anti-heroes like you’ve never seen them before.

Rachel is the best kind of morally grey character: a talented producer who majored in Women’s Studies and now spends her days destroying women’s lives on national television. She’s ruthless and manipulative yet complex and sympathetic. Well, maybe sympathetic is too strong of a word. Either way, she could give Walter White a run for his money.

4. The behind-the-scenes aspect.

One of the most interesting parts of the show is seeing the producers manipulate the girls to get the best footage. The producers don’t write scripts, but they carefully select who to make the villain, the slut, the MILF, the “wife,” among other tropes, and build the show around that. The contestants are aware of this to some degree, and sometimes try to make deals or manipulate the producers themselves. Although some of it is (hopefully) exaggerated, people in the industry have attested to its realistic portrayal.

5. Adam Cromwell: the season’s “suitor.”

Remember watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and kinda crushing on Cormac McLaggen? Well, actor Freddie Stroma is back and cuter than ever as the season’s “suitor.” A wealthy British playboy fallen from grace, Adam is on the show to clean up his image, but his refusal to play by the rules makes everyone’s lives harder. Also, there’s definitely some ~tension~ between him and Rachel.

6. The contestants.

Ever wondered what kind of girl signs up for a reality dating show? The contestants on Everlasting are a lot smarter and more self-aware than they might seem, with complex motivations for being on the show, from gaining publicity for their business to actually looking for love. They’re playing to win by any means, including making deals with the producers, seducing Adam, and playing to reality-TV tropes.

7. The drama: on-camera and off.

In case twenty women all vying for one man’s love on national TV wasn’t enough, UnREAL throws in several love triangles, multiple deaths, drug and alcohol abuse, betrayals, pregnancy, mental illness, messed up families, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

8. It’s funny.

Yeah, it’s dark, but many of the characters are really funny, especially Quinn and her shameless one-liners. It’s definitely not a comedy, but it’s still a pretty funny show.

9. It will change the way you think about reality TV.

This show will make you question everything you thought you knew about reality TV. Once you see the way that the producers manipulate the contestants as well as the actual footage, you won’t be able to watch reality TV shows without feeling like you know what’s really going on behind the scenes. #staywoke

10. Season 2 is coming soon!

After the amazing season 1 finale, you’ll be dying for season 2. In the meantime, UnREAL Season 1 is available to watch on Hulu as of February 3rd!


Hannah is a Fordham University junior from Massachusetts studying Psychology, Communications, and Women's Studies. As an aspiring TV writer, she spends most of her time watching, writing, and talking about TV. Her favorite shows include The X-Files, Scrubs, and Orange is the New Black.