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UnREAL - Season 2 WORK

Season one features Freddie Stroma as Adam Cromwell, the "suitor" of Everlasting, while Johanna Braddy, Nathalie Kelley, Ashley Scott, and Breeda Wool starred as the contestants. Aline Elasmar also starred as a producer on the series. Season two features B.J. Britt as Darius Beck, the "suitor" of Everlasting, while Monica Barbaro, Denée Benton, Kim Matula, and Meagan Tandy star as the contestants. The second season also stars Michael Rady as a new producer on the series, and Gentry White as Darius' manager.

UnREAL - Season 2

On July 28, 2017, it was announced that Unreal has been renewed for a shortened fourth season of eight episodes.[3] The fourth season completed production in January 2018 before the third season had aired.[4] By May 22, 2018, the fourth season had been acquired by Hulu. The streaming service distributed the series exclusively as a "Hulu Original" in the United States for a set period of time before the episodes aired on Lifetime.[5] On July 16, 2018, the fourth season was released on Hulu and it was confirmed that the season would be the series' last.[6]

On July 30, 2013, Lifetime placed a pilot order on Unreal, inspired by Sarah Gertrude Shapiro's award-winning independent short film Sequin Raze.[17] Shapiro had previously worked at the American reality dating series The Bachelor.[18] The pilot was written by Marti Noxon and Shapiro, and directed by Peter O'Fallon.[17] On February 6, 2014, Lifetime officially green-lit Un-Real with a 10-episode series order.[19][20] In March 2015, the premiere date was announced as June 1, 2015.[2] On July 6, 2015, the series was renewed for a second season of 10 episodes, to premiere in 2016.[21] The second season continued to feature the fictional show, Everlasting, with Quinn and Rachel returning as main characters.[22]

In July 2017, it was announced that the series has been renewed for fourth season[3] that completed production in January 2018 before the third season had aired.[4] On May 22, 2018, it was reported that the fourth season had been acquired by Hulu. The streaming service would distribute the series exclusively as a "Hulu Original" in the United States for a set period of time before the episodes are to air on Lifetime.[5] On July 16, 2018, the fourth season was released on Hulu.[6]

Season two received acclaim from critics. On the review aggregator Metacritic, the season holds a score of 87 out of 100, indicating "universal acclaim".[47] The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes lists an 83% approval rating, based on 38 reviews, with a rating average of 8.6/10. The site's consensus states: "UnREAL is smarter, more shameless, and more confident in its thrilling and riveting second season."[48]

Season three received generally favorable reviews from critics. On the review aggregator Metacritic, the season received a score of 63 out of 100 from six critics.[49] The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes lists a 95% approval rating, based on 21 reviews, with an average rating of 7.86/10. The site's consensus states: "Timely and unapologetic, UnReal continues its satirical skewering with newfound fervor."[50]

"The suitor fake-proposing to one of these bimbos might have been interesting 14 seasons ago, but now we have an obligation to our viewers. We have to escalate the tension, up the stakes, complicate the story."

As each new subplot was layered in, forcing the series to rush more and more, we began to wonder how time was even working on the series anymore. In the span of but a few episodes, Quinn went from meeting Ioan Gruffudd's John Booth to being madly in love with him and ready to have his child. Not only did it feel entirely unearned, but it truly felt as if it all transpired within a week or two of the narrative. This season was a runaway train, plowing through story at such a pace that nothing really had the opportunity to resonate or even feel plausible.

In her quest to show the cynical underbelly of The Bachelor and shows of its ilk, Shapiro has twisted the idea of Everlasting so fully that we're not really sure why it's a show people would want to watch. "So that's it, huh? This is just what we do at the end of every season now, humiliate the suitor?" Jay (Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman) asked Quinn in last night's episode. That's not what The Bachelor does. What show are they even spoofing here? And don't even get us started on the fantasy of Everlasting's production schedule. Does the show air live? Next day? Because that's now how reality TV production works. Like, at all.

UnREAL has already been renewed by Lifetime for a third season, but they've got some work to do to earn our trust back. There's still a lot to like here. Quinn and Rachel remain two of TVs most fascinating, unapologetically strong female characters. Now they just need a show that won't let them down.

Instead, UnREAL has returned for another season of Everlasting, making the correct assumption that the combination of a comfortably repeating format and an endless supply of archetypal contestants can continue to make for effective television.

In this second season, UnReal ups the stakes even more when Quinn and Rachel go against the network's wishes by casting NFL quarterback Darius Hill (B.J. Britt) as a black "suitor" (Everlasting speak for "bachelor"), breaking a pattern that The Bachelor still hasn't after 20 seasons. The network's reluctance to cast a black man instead of what Quinn calls "another small-dicked white boy from Indiana" makes for some of the season's most pointed and skin-crawling moments.

Just as significantly for UnReal, the second season also follows a Rachel who's fully stopped resisting the rush that comes with making people say exactly what she wants. She's now running the show, fully embracing the dark side of producing captivating reality television.

The first season of UnREAL was a exceptional delight. The show, created by former Bachelor producer Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, delves into the shocking drama happening behind-the-scenes of a popular romantic reality show. The conceit is that everything the audience sees is carefully engineered storytelling and the truly shocking twists are happening off-camera. The show won a Peabody Award and became a critical darling.

The writers and producers of NBC's This Is Us, which was unquestionably the breakout network hit of the 2016-'17 TV season, barely had any time to bask in their freshman year glory before they found an ominous question staring them in the face: How could they possibly sustain the momentum heading into Season 2?

Famously, second outings are fraught territory for people in any creative field. The concept of a "sophomore slump" is all too real, indicating a dip in quality that renders out-of-the-gate success a mere flash in the pan (See: Mr. Robot, UnREAL, Heroes). Even shows with all the cards in their corner stumble and fall when their creators are unsure how to expand the Season 1 story. And when it comes to This Is Us, a second season stumble was highly probable: the concept is a family drama, a classic format that doesn't quite reach the spectacle of other shows it competes against. After all, none of the Pearsons have superpowers, the show isn't set in a post-apocalyptic landscape, and the multiple timelines aren't a gimmicky excuse to reboot. However, in today's television landscape, the show's back-to-basics simplicity proved key in helping the writers avoid a second season slip.

"Obviously there is this big looming question about how did Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) die in our series," says Berger. "And one of our number one challenges [moving into Season 2] was, how do we give some answers right away, but also show that we have enough interesting stuff going on this season that there's other great stuff to focus on until we get there? How do we spread out Jack's story in a satisfying way?"

After filling in a big piece of the puzzle in the season premiere, which revealed that Jack died in a fire, Aptaker knew that this was a real opportunity to "hold the audience's hand a little bit less and just go deeper into our characters."

The strategy was wildly successful with the "Big Three Trilogy," culminating with a midseason finale that drew nearly 11 million viewers. "It was a really great opportunity to tell stories in a different way that we didn't get to do last year," says Berger of trip of episodes. Thanks to the show's refocus, the writers went deep on storylines including Kate's miscarriage, Kevin's years-too-late processing of his father's death, and Randall and Beth's first attempt at being foster parents. And the added depth to the siblings paid off, elevating the show beyond the addictive tearjerker it was in Season 1 into somewhat of a guiding light for its viewers, many of whom are wrestling with the same questions as the Big Three: How do I keep from making the same mistakes as my parents?

While the answer to this massive question won't be answered fully in Season 2, it's clear that NBC finds the emotional refocus worth exploring. Not only did the network renew the show for a third season before Season 2 even premiered, but it also gave This Is Us the coveted post-Superbowl slot. Aptaker and Berger (who were promoted from writer-producers in Season 1 to executive producers and co-showrunners for Season 2) say the network's faith in the show puts "a healthy kind of pressure" on the cast and crew.

"The hardest part, I think, in network television is trying to pace yourself, and part of that is because you literally don't know if you're running a 5k or you're running a marathon," Aptaker points out. "What's so great about this show is that right now we have this three-season order, 18, 18, 18 [episodes], so we can really plot it out in a way that you just can't do when you don't know how many years you're on, how many episodes you're doing. We're really able to have conversations where we hear a story and go, 'Oh, no, let's save that for, like, the middle of Season 3,' which is a very nice way to be able to work." 041b061a72


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