I had a very eclectic weekend with regards to media and entertainment. Between the Power Rangers movie and Collective Con I definitely traveled across the spectrum. I also binged on a little known TV Show called UnReal. I literally know no one who has even heard of this show, much less watched it.
Hulu recommended it to me a while back based on my watching Burning Love, the Bachelor/Bachelorette parody with many of my favorite comedians. UnReal is a Lifetime show that centers around the making of a Bachelor-type show. I know what you're thinking. It's on Lifetime. It's about a dating show. How good could it possibly be?
The answer is that it's amazing. Yes, it's a soapy drama and there are definitely flaws, but the acting never feels forced or cheesy. The writing is on point…and the two leads? Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer? They play two of the most complex characters I've seen on TV in a while.
They play Rachel and Quinn (respectively). As producers of Everlasting, it's their job to ensure that week after week the "show" pulls in the ratings. They lie and manipulate the contestants on the show into doing what they know will garner the biggest ratings. The writing as mentioned before is superb. The webs they weave show how predictable human behavior can be when presented with the right promises. In their professional lives they are at the top of their game, but the nuanced portrayals come into play when it comes to their personal lives and their personal ethics. Each has their own personal demons to face and they use that to their advantage more often than not.
What I find the most interesting about this show it that even the smallest hint of drama can pack the biggest punch. You don't need crazy cat fights or name calling or having someone's life in peril all the time to give your audience a good drama. I think a lot of shows today forget that.
If you're into soapy shows, then you're going to fall for UnReal and you're going to fall hard. Take away the previous perception you have of anything related to Lifetime. This is one of the best non-network TV shows in its genre being made right now.
And for the love of everything…if you're already watching or watch because of this? Please tell me. I need someone to talk to about the end of Season 2.
The Flash last night was downright magical. I went on Facebook to see if anyone else loved it as much as I did. I found a lot of hate, not just for musicals in general, but for this episode in particular. People said it was a rip off of Buffy (not really), that it was cheesy (so is the genre), and that the show itself in general was just awful.
I, for one, found it delightful. The crossover musical starts at the end of Supergirl where the Music Meister (played by Darren Criss) puts Supergirl under a spell and sends her to a 1940s inspired musical world. Moving into the Flash we see Barry watching Singing in the Rain as a coping mechanism for his breakup with Iris. He’s been staying with Cisco and Cisco finally convinces him to get off the couch and do something. Frankly the idea that they have down time in which the world is not about to end is entertaining on its own. After all, what hobbies to Superheroes have?
Mon-El and Jean bring Supergirl to the Flash in an effort to save her. Of course, the Flash falls under the Music Meister’s spell as well, because let’s face it…there’s no episode without a little bit of obviousness.
From the opening number where Kara is singing Moon River, to the musical number involving Cisco/Not Cisco and Wynn/Not Wynn, the entire episode feels like a musical. And it made me miss Glee. Part of the background fun were the reactions of the characters who were not speaking. I don’t want to give things away, but don’t forget to look behind people who are front and center.
The best song of the episode though goes to the “Dads” in Barrowman, Martin, and Garber. These three and their older, more developed voices blow me away every time I hear them individually, but together they made magic.
I came for the schmaltz. I came for the cheese. I came for the music. The Flash did not disappoint. I read another review where the writer said that they could do a musical episode every year and it wouldn’t be enough. I’m compelled to agree. I need more musical weekly shows. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend does an excellent job of providing this, but I still want more. I hope there are more people like me out there. Who loved the episode and were left being happy with the result. What did you think?