Unreal Season 3 Fixes

UnREAL Season 3: 9 Fixes for an Everlasting Creative Rebound

UnREAL, we’re on the verge of wanting our key back.

Just like the ladies lined up to find a husband on Everlasting, your reality-show-within-the-show, we fell hard for your charms back in Season 1. You were a funny, sharp, behind-the-scenes drama unafraid to skewer both The Bachelor and those who love to hate it — and you were on Lifetime. Lifetime! You were refreshing and fun, and we enjoyed your flawed characters as much as we adored watching them do dastardly, backhanded things to each other. Swoon. You were so dreamy.

But when Season 2 began in June, you’d changed. And while we were too evolved to think that we could change you back — that’s not how healthy relationships work, Oprah says! — we also didn’t immediately decry what looked like the beginning of a sophomore slump. Because growth is hard. And B.J. Britt is fine.

As the season went on, though, the edgy, feminist Lifetime series felt more and more like the over-the-top Lifetime movies our moms used to watch. We wouldn’t say the show completely Hot Rachel’d its white cocktail dress, but the episodes definitely took a turn that harshed our Season 1 buzz. So by the time Jeremy and his Grizzly Adams beard caused the car crash that maybe killed Coleman and Yael, the whole situation felt like Mother May I Sleep With Danger? (the 1996 or 2016 version, take your pick).

But with every new season of Everlasting — and UnREAL — comes a fresh start and a chance for something amazing. So with that in mind, we’ve pulled together 10 ideas the dramedy might want to try in its third season. Click through the gallery below to see what we’ve got in mind, then hit the comments with your fixes for Rachel, Quinn & Co.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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21 Comments
  1. Patrick says:

    This show should probably have been a 1 off. It didn’t really need a follow up. The only way to continue a show is to focus on interpersonal relationships. Beyond that, a show like this will always be cast dependent. With the right group, it will be fantastic. But that changes every year, so sometimes you may get a bad group, and that will kill the show. They caught lightening in a bottle in season 1 by giving a realistic look behind the curtain of a popular (style of) reality show. Well, once we’ve seen that, what else is there to show?

  2. Liz says:

    I couldn’t agree more! I thought I was crazy by disliking season 2 after most critics raved about it. But glad my favorite TV site also saw the error of their ways. I just started to feel awful watching and it made me sad. I completely agree about helping Rachel in someway. She is going to end up dying if it keeps going this way. Constance Zimmer is amazing in this role and it makes me hate the character SO much because she plays it so well, sometimes too well. I know people like this exist in Hollywood but it is too real for me. And ya Jeremy has got to go!

  3. tallsy says:

    1. Everlasting should always be a show that people who watch reality TV romance shows would want to watch. Forget about unReal’s audience or what the most shocking/outrageous thing would be.
    2. Cut out the “image repair” stuff. I’m not saying S3’s Suitor/ess should be there for the proverbial Right Reasons but force Rachel/Quinn to operate in an environment where the lead has nothing to lose if s/he quits.
    3. Give characters not named Rachel or Quinn clear cut motivations that remain consistent.

  4. tallsy says:

    1. Everlasting needs to be a realistic reality TV dating show that people who like those shows would watch.
    2. A Suitor/ess who doesn’t need image repair so can quit with nothing to lose.
    3. Clear cut motivations that remain consistent for supporting characters.

  5. Ian says:

    This happens to all acclaimed new shows. They go into a sophomore slump that’s the total result of shamelessly trying to shock and fanservice it’s audience. They need to try and go into the third season as pure as possible. But it isn’t really. So.

    • Patrick says:

      Time is another factor. Often the first series of shows like this, or movies, can be very good. The follow up is less so. Part of that is time. Often, the writers spend years on a project, off and on, refining it. The end product is pretty good. But, then, because it is successful, the producers want a follow up, immediately. Or sooner. Rather than let the creatives take their time, it gets rushed, and the end result suffers. Unreal S2 probably could have benefited from an extra few months in the writing room. But that didn’t happen, so…..here we are.

  6. Lala says:

    I disagree about Jeremy; season 2 was such a trainwreck and all the male characters were butchered, Chet, Jeremy, Jay, Darius, Coleman…and why was Romeo even on the show, if not for only getting shot towards the end of the season. The show needs to redeem and repair the images of these characters. I don’t care who did what, they are all as horrible as each other. In season 1 they were flawed but I still loved them, in season 2 I can hardly pick a fav character, they were all so unlikable, all of them. Talk about that girl Quinn & Rachel put in their little jail overnight; is that even legal…or the girl Rachel poisoned. So I think it’s unfair to just try and chuck Jeremy away from the show when they were all horrible characters. They need to redeem his character.
    Also really upset about how Adam was brought back just as a way to shut fans up. He was one of the main reasons season 1 worked. Darius was all kinds of boring.

  7. Geo says:

    1) Don’t try and deal with social issues if you totally don’t know what you want to say about them. Case in point: UnReal’s jaw-droppingly awful police shooting storyline, which somehow managed to be both incredibly offensive and incredibly boring at the same time. It’ll be hard to beat that storyline as the absolute worst storyline for any show, on any network, this year.

    • EM says:

      Yes, the PC and social issues killed it for me. I stopped watching after that episode. But the first episode really turned me off with Rachel and the sex and drugs. I was rooting for her in the first season but this season she just wasn’t likeable and Quinn had no redeeming qualities either. Maybe I’ll watch the last 3 episodes when nothing else is on but for now…..have no interest. The actors are great. The writing was trying too hard? Not sure if I will give it a shot next season.

  8. Cate53 says:

    So many misjudged storylines, so many poorly developed characters. Jeremy is a repulsive character and needs ditching. Any time Shiri Appleby or Constance Zimmer were not on screen was a total waste of time. None of the contestants worked despite a promising opening episode. I think it says a lot that TV veteran Marti Noxon left after the first episode. The show lurched from weak story to weak story.

    • Nero tTVFiddler says:

      I have to admit, I’m not the target demo for this show; but the two leads, Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer are dynamite – two of my favorites. I would watch a half hour of them just reading names out of an old telephone book (if those still existed!)

      I was going to post a comment, but I liked the fact you focused yours on SA and CZ… my thoughts exactly. If it was my show, I’d focus the show around these two and reduce the rest of the cast and associated storyline(s). Make it a ‘Thelma & Louise’ for reality television – them against the system. More dark humor, more fun for those ladies… let them be brave and bold and daring and get away with stuff and laugh about it. From day 1, I wanted to see both SA and CZ laughing, having a good time manipulating the show, the system, but the show in S2 (even S1) seems so down and sad and serious. Why take a reality TV show seriously? – turn it on its head, and have fun doing it via UnREAL.

      Lighten it up a bit, give Ms. Appleby and Ms. Zimmer more to do, more fun and dark humor and less of the soap opera. I know people want to see the ‘behind the scenes’ of a reality dating show, but with two lead actresses like these two, the writers can do more with them, and they should.

  9. Jared says:

    Im really struggling to get through S2 of Unreal. I honestly just don’t care about any of the characters, even Quinn who I fell in love with last season. I wish Unreal would have chosen a different reality format instead of staying within the confines of Everlasting/Bachelor for its second season. I highly doubt ill even make it to S3.

  10. Phil says:

    First, I can’t find the answer to this question, and yes it’s pretty petty: Did Jeremy put on a few pounds in between seasons because of his actions, or did the actor get hefty? Or was it just the beard adding weight? I couldn’t figure out if it was character-motivated weight gain, because Chet’s weight loss was a definite plot point. This threw me, because no one ever mentioned how crappy Jeremy looked.

    • Phil says:

      Nevermind! Thanks to the person who mentioned The New Yorker article I found the answer to this question – apparently it was Josh Kelly coming back forty pounds heavier, and the production decided to use it.
      Also, that article pinpoints exactly what is wrong with Unreal in Season Two – ego. Wow! If Shapiro could allow herself to hear others, I think the season would have ended up better. But she’s so much like Rachel that she’ll self-destruct before listening to advice.
      If anything, I think the real issue with Season Two was Quinn taking the show back from Rachel. There was no real reason for her to do that beyond that one “crisis,” but that plot never ended, and it divided the routable “couple” and turned them into regular women frenemies. It was much more progressive before this turn of events.

    • Jbj says:

      I have to admit that I’m curious to hear Josh Kelly’s side of what happened this season. I’ve been familiar with him since his OLTL days, where he was a bit of a meat puppet, but endearing enough that he outlasted the characters he was meant to support. Shapiro, though seemed to really resent him and was a bit condescending about his military service. I wonder if his physical transformation was a conscious choice to redefine himself as more than a hunk, or just a side effect of life changes. Supposedly, he was uncomfortable with Jeremy’s dark turn, but I think it worked to his benefit. I think he performed outside his comfort zone and created a version of Jeremy that was eerily realistic. I mean, it was always a bit irrational that Jeremy continued to hold a torch for Rachel, but it makes sense as his sense of self-worth is tied into being “the one who can save Rachel.” Her rejection of him devalued his self worth, so he showed the dark side of the “knight in shining armor” syndrome. For a show that is trying to turn romantic tropes on it’s ear, his evolution was perfect.

  11. Luli says:

    I want Rachel and Quinn on the same team next season. I missed them in season 2, when they were together the show was on fire. I agree on new producers, Madison grew on me this season, but I just don’t like Jay. And YESSS on Jeremy leaving.

  12. abz says:

    Yeah I’d like to see a bachelorette round this time or actually even a gay/bi suitor. It’d be interesting to see how Rachel/Quinn handle a bunch of male contestants. I don’t watch the real Bachelor/ette show but I kept hearing about this Chad contestant who apparently was pretty off the rails or something. They could go off that. Oh and regarding that two contestants falling in love idea, wasn’t there that whole controversy with the Bachelorette a while ago where they had those two guys and they created this whole thing about the bromance and edited it to make it seem like the guys were in love or something. Quinn would go crazy over some drama like that. She’d probably have some real fun with that.
    I will miss Freddie Stroma. But yeah there’s no real reason to have him back for another storyline unless Adam gets like some spin-off reality show or something maybe.

  13. abz says:

    Also please no more Coleman. I don’t know if it’s the actor or something. I didn’t even like his character on the Jane the Virgin

  14. Ally Oop says:

    I think the best way to improve the show would be to kill Everlasting. Maybe Rachel and Quinn could create a completely different new show and bring some of the other crew onboard. The best thing about Season 1 was its exploration of morals and ethics and the Adam/Rachel pairing and Id like to see more of that. For Rachel to stay with Everlasting is depressing and won’t lead to character growth (hence the second season) so to revitalize things, Everlasting must go.

  15. Juke says:

    It’s done. Over. The final rose has been rejected. Time to call it a day and let the talented cast members find other jobs.