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UnREAL: the Reality Behind Reality Television

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

Famous for pitting twenty-five women against each other in a race to win the heart of one eligible man (how can anyone be okay with this? No wonder the women act insane sometimes), The Bachelora show that has everyone questioning everything they know about love and relationships, has become a fan favourite for women and men alike.


The Bachelor, now on its twentieth season and starring one of the hottest bachelors to date, Ben Higgins, is a show not to be missed. Everyone is either watching it or wishing they were on it. It has all of the elements needed in order to produce a mind-blowing show; it has the drama, the romance, and occasional comedic acts from the women. Every woman watching it questions her own sanity and that of others but it’s just impossible not to obsess over who will end up becoming Mrs. Higgins! With so many amazing women to choose from, it’s no wonder Ben has such a hard time letting go every week.

Personally, season twenty is the first bachelor season that I’ve been hooked on, but I can see why everyone else has been watching it for the past nineteen seasons. Let’s not forget its popular counterpart The Bachelorette, which has also had the same viewer response. So far this season on The Bachelor, we have already identified Lace and Olivia as the crazy ones, Lauren B. and Amanda as the fan favourites, and Caila as the one that will possibly become the next bachelorette. However, if you want to know what really goes on in a show like The Bachelor, I highly recommend watching the critically acclaimed Lifetime show: UnReal!

This past summer while all my TV show obsessions were on hiatus, I came across an interesting show called UnREAL, and from the first episode I was a fan. UnReal is a show created by Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, who previously worked on The Bachelor for nine seasons – clearly a great reason already to give UnREAL a shot.

UnREAL is a dark comedy; it revolves around Rachel, the producer of a reality show titled Everlasting, and how, under immense pressure from her boss, Quinn, manipulates the cast of the show in ways you cannot even imagine. The show takes you into the world of The Bachelor and what it takes to make characters out of real women in order to get ratings. It really causes concern for the mental well-being of these women. It makes you wonder if the producers of such a show even have a conscious.

Everlasting has an equally attractive and charming bachelor in the form of Adam Cromwell, played by the handsome Freddie Stroma. His character has all the qualities of a great bachelor: he is easy on the eyes, smart with his words, and the creators of UnREAL make him even more desirable with the combination of his British accent and more-than-fascinating family background.

The show matches The Bachelor in terms of the female contestants as well; it has its own share of Olivias and Laces, and if they aren’t already crazy or dramatic, the copious amounts of alcohol the producers in the show give them really make them do some outrageous things. In addition, the mind games that are used to make the show as juicy and entertaining as it can be are unbelievable. The extents to which they go to will make you question everything about The Bachelor, and I can promise that once you are done with UnREAL, you will have an entirely new perspective on The Bachelor; you will never be able to stop overanalyzing every move that a contestant or bachelor makes nor will you be able to stop wondering if their love is real or just for the show.

If you still need convincing, here are five reasons you need to start watching UnREAL now:

1)  One of the creators actually worked on The Bachelor, so there might be some truth to the plot, which makes it even more intriguing.

2)  FREDDIE STROMA. This man is flawless; he has the perfect body, and that accent can make anyone weak in the knees. Plus, his character is multi-faceted and once you binge-watch UnREAL, it will make you question the true motives of our current bachelor, “perfect Ben,” to be on the show and his intentions with the women.

3)  The two main protagonists Rachel and Quinn have the craziest friendship, which leads to insane storylines. Each comes with their own share of baggage, which shapes Everlasting‘s plot as well. In particular, Rachel – played by Shiri Appleby – is a character that will pull you in from the first second. You will just want to know her story and why she does the stuff she does. These two ladies use the craziest schemes to make their show sell; nothing is off-limits.

4) It’s DARK, DRAMATIC AND DREAMY. Everything that makes reality shows your guilty pleasure – this show has it all. You will not believe your eyes when you see what goes on behind the scenes of a show like The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. It delves into the reality of reality television.

5)  Last but not least, UnReal is honest in what it portrays. It shows us what the viewers really want and how shows like The Bachelor try to give just that to its audience.

You will just have to watch it yourself to see what made this show a summer sensation!


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