UnREAL s1 ep 6

“Who let Shia talk me into this family play-date? It’s a Grade A boner-killer, people!”

Heh. Quinn isn’t the only one unimpressed with the idea of an Everlasting episode centred round Adam hanging out with Mary and her daughter: “I hate children,” whines Adam, “Their rosy cheeks and their desperate eyes…”

Of course, Rachel (OMG just admit you’re into him, girl, and go for it) has just the right advice to help him hit it off with the little girl, though, and things could all have gone on to work out reasonably smoothly were it not for the terrible thing Shia did last week, coupled with the terrible thing Quinn and Rachel do this week, the combination of which means things don’t work out at all.

At all.

A dark, difficult, excellent episode this one, covering a lot of deeply uncomfortable ground on domestic abuse, mental health and exploitation in an uncompromising, unvarnished and fearless fashion. Ashley Scott is superb as poor, doomed Mary, with the usual great work from Shiri Appleby, Freddie Stroma and, of course, Constance Zimmer as Quinn, a truly awful person but an absolutely awesome character, whose mind-bogglingly callous but blackly comic reaction to finding out she has a suicidal contestant on her hands is everything UnREAL is trying to say about reality TV in a nutshell: “Do you think I care about a bet? I have a girl on the roof. And no camera. I need eyes on the roof, now!”

Heh again. I know there are very few people in the UK (or indeed anywhere) who would dream of watching this, tucked away as it on a fluffy “women’s” cable channel on a Tuesday night, but that’s a real shame, to be honest, because UnREAL is about as far from shiny, happy, predictable fare as a show about showbiz can be, and it is terrific.

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