UnREAL "Relapse" Review

UnREAL continues bringing all the drama you wish to see on your screen. This episode Quinn, Rachel, and the other producers need to find a new “bitch” character for the show. With that, comes a bet that Rachel is desperate to win so she can pay off her blackmailing ex-roommate. In the meantime, one of the contestants father lands in the hospital, Quinn and Chet deal with a bump in the relationship, and it’s all sparking lights at a princess ball dancing lesson.

The storytelling and acting for this show are phenomenal. The prize for best performance goes to Shiri Appleby who plays Rachel. Rachel is one of the freelance producers for “Everlasting”. We find out in the series opener that Rachel went ‘crazy’ during the filming of last seasons Everlasting and is now trying to rebuild her life from that fallout. What a fallout we get to see; Rachel is living out of a truck on set, lusting after showers, and being blackmailed by her former emo roommate.

There are so many layers to Rachel’s character alone that it’s riveting to watch on screen. Shiri Appleby’s acting and the writing for this character are award winning and enticing. My favorite scenes are the ones that show the moral choices that Rachel makes or ignores. When Rachel makes the decent humane choice, the strings pulled still work in her favor as she turns Anna into the shows new ‘bitch’ character. In this episode, it’s the scenes between Rachel and Anna in the bar and shortly after that reflect these choices made and the resulting actions. You best see this as Rachel stops Jeremy from following Anna with a camera, but then tells him to film the bloody footprints. It’s a perfect example of the line Rachel dances back and forth over. It comes back to the brilliant acting by Shiri Appleby and the writers.

Shiri Appleby isn’t the only mind blowing talent on screen for UnREAL. Constance Zimmer as Quinn King, the executive producer, is equally as captivating. The best way to summarize Quinn is best said by Zimmer’s character herself, “Every show needs a villain.” And what an amazing villain we have. Quinn doesn’t blink twice in pulling strings to create for better T.V. while behind closed doors you see how human Quinn is. The perfect villain; one you can sympathies with. That character only gets better as  Constance Zimmer is dominating in all her scenes, even when sharing a screen with Shiri Appleby. Having these two actresses is the most captivating power acting duo I have seen on my screen in a while.

The storyline and characters created are fascinating. The extreme talent Rachel has at her job, Quinn’s merciless manipulation of the show, the layers of blackmail, and the contestants leave you sitting on the edge of your seat. I’m interested in seeing how Anna being a lawyer effects the production team, and how they evolve the action for the show. Also, the fallout of the mass sent email from Rachel’s ex-roommate. UnREAL just keeps getting better and if you haven’t seen it, it’s not to late to catch up. Watch the previous episodes and episodes 3 & 4 at Lifetime.com.

UnREAL airs Monday nights 10pm ET/PT on Lifetime.

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