It’s been a painfully long year and a half since UnREAL closed the chapter on its not so critically acclaimed second season. What a relief to put that behind us (whether you watched it or not) and jump back into the deep end of the Everlasting pool!
A pool now populated by a bevy of beautiful men.
On UnREAL Season 3 Episode 1, it’s a new beginning for UnREAL’s Dream Team — Rachel, Quinn, Chet, and Jeremy — who've all returned to Everlasting as slightly improved versions of themselves, starting over, after a blood oath, with a clean slate.
It's not easy to see four grownups pricking their fingers in the name of leaving a secret dead and buried. Yet these aren't just any grownups. They are a family, no matter how dysfunctional, Quinn and Chet are hellbent on protecting.
As a former producer of both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, I know what goes on behind the scenes, and let me tell you — it is just as intense as what you see on UnREAL! (Minus the murders and suicides.).
The high producers get from digging up a great story, being patient enough to ask the right questions, to unearth the best bites (aka quotes) is electric!
Of course, for every amazing day you have nailing an episode, there's a night you go home feeling less proud of yourself, feeling so dirty multiple showers can’t cleanse your soul. It's all part of the job.
If you watch UnREAL online, you know UnREAL Season 2 ended with a particularly large amount of blood on the gang's hands. So Rachel, Jeremy, and Chet have come into UnREAL Season 3 fully intending to be more honest and honorable.
But do they have the luxury of being better people when it's part of their job to be BAD?
On The Bachelor, while we didn’t get cash incentives to make genius TV, we were driven by a different kind of reward — moving up the ladder faster than a speeding bullet.
On the season premiere, Madison is back and out to prove to Quinn she’s not just a young, pretty, unseasoned newbie that needs to rely on her feminine wiles to thrust her up the chain of command.
Jay: Oh my god is that Madison?
Rachel: What happened to the pigtails?
Jay: Did you hear she sold a pilot?
I mean... they're not wrong.
When we find out Gary wants little Maddy to return to the show because she's "the future and Quinn needs her," but the truth is Gary's sleeping with her, it's the juiciest piece of gossip yet!
So first she blows Chet to further her career, and now she's moved onto Gary?
This chick is
wicked smart seriously setting us women back! So much for #girlpower.
Madison's clearly climbing up the corporate ladder using the strength of her vagina.
That's why it's so crazy when she seeks out Quinn to insist it's over with Gary.
Your respect means everything to me. And I don't want you to think that I am just my pussy.Madison
But who doesn't love when Quinn fires back, “Prove it.”???
Now there's a storyline I cannot wait to see play out. 'How will Madison prove she’s more than just her pussy?’
Rachel, on the other hand, is already on the top of the Everlasting food chain based on her powers of production.
Quinn rescuing Rachel to bring her back to reality is an important reset for the lady bosses.
Quinn: I need Everlasting to get back up and running so I can rebuild my empire.
(Rachel won't look at her.)
Quinn: Fine, you want me to say it?
I need you. I miss you.
Given Rachel and Quinn's extremely co-dependent relationship, the idea of being loved by Quinn for her work is one Rachel can't resist.
It's certainly the best thing FOR QUINN to have the Money Dick Power Twins Reactivate! But Rachel's gotta be in for a rude awakening.
She may be on a winning streak without producing, manipulating, lying or f**king! on the “farm," but now she’s gotta come down off that essential honesty high and rejoin the real-ish world of Everlasting, a world in which she gets paid to make things happen.
Rachel and Quinn need to be stronger than ever because they have another powerful female with whom to contend — Everlasting's first Suitress, Serena. Serena's unlike past suitors not only because she's a woman, but because she's there to find love. And she's not about to let anyone else call the shots.
Serena: I look like a stripper mermaid.
Quinn: Are you kidding me? You look amazing. I'd bang you standing up if I swung that way.
Serena: Rachel tell me the truth. Do I or do I not look like a stripper mermaid?
Rachel: This is how the girls on these shows dress. Sequins pop. Cleavage projects a certain willingness to participate in the process.
Serena: No. I brought my own dress. I'll wear that.
Quinn: That would be great if you were accepting a Nobel Prize. Not to catch a husband.
Serena: I don't know how to talk to people with my tits out this far.
Quinn: Well good news, no one's gonna be listening, just starring.
Given the current climate of female empowerment in Hollywood and the rest of the world, it couldn't be a more perfect time for Serena to shake things up as the first woman calling the shots IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA.
The challenge the producers face will be selling Serena to America — a beautiful, smart, successful, and prominent woman who’s in her 30s and still single.
It's not only a timely story but one women — and Quinn in particular — have been struggling with since women first took male exclusivity out of the workplace.
Quinn putting her career above all else has served her as a female executive becoming a dominant force in the cutthroat world of network television. But at what cost?
It will certainly be part of the narrative throughout UnREAL Season 3. As women, we rarely have the luxury of doing whatever our male counterparts do and enjoy the same success. We have to fight for power and recognition while (some) men sit back and take the credit.
You are an overpaid incompetent man-baby who's riding on the backs of women who do all your work for you. You're too dumb to know how pathetic it is that we had to use you to push Serena through the network just because you were born with a dick! And I never understood what Quinn saw in your fat, sweaty, drug-addled ass, but whatever it was, you wasted the best years of her life and destroyed the one person who is ever gonna care about you. So that's the truth.Rachel
I'm sure Quinn’s career-first strategy seemed like a good one in her 20s, but the day she finally woke up powerful, successful and in charge was the same day she woke up alone. Just like Serena. That is why Rachel fought so hard to book the Suitress on the show. To prove to that strong, powerful, successful women can still be lovable.
Quinn does not appreciate the parallel.
Is that why you picked her? You think I'm her? Look at me. I'm not her. She is not the avatar for smart women everywhere. She is the star of a reality show that I have to make work!Quinn
Quinn doesn't just make the first Everlasting episode with a Suitress work; she produces the hell out of the season premiere.
Are we ready to get this sausage party started? May they all be blessed with thick dicks and full heads of hair!Quinn
Speaking of Sausage... Ah, the pretty faces and hard bodies that shall be prancing around our screens this season.
While we're ogling the man candy sweetening the set, can I just say that Rachel's celibacy seems in serious danger with hunky August sleeping outside in a hammock with his shirt unbuttoned!
As for the other new man on set, Dr. Simon, when we find out he's not only there to manage the cast but also to watch over Rachel, it seems likely he'll become an important part of Rachel changing her ways beyond the season opener.
While everyone else is busy being better versions of themselves, thank God, Quinn is still exactly the same ol' Quinn we know and love. Serena's lame toast "to a superior and effective season" is OK by me since it gets Quinn's motor running.
And all the dicks just went limp. She's boring! Goldberg, go! Make my pussy wet! Now!Quinn
And when the team turns it around...
And panty drop! Now everyone wants him to be her husband.Quinn
Another Quinn classic.
As things progressed, it was difficult for the UnREAL 3.0 versions of themselves, particularly Rachel and Jeremy, to stay above the fray.
Rachel: You killed two people. What were you thinking? How do you even do that?
Jeremy: Because you told me to.
Rachel: No way. I was upset. I was venting to you.
Jeremy: Come on Rach, you know me. You knew I'd do something. You wanted me to.
Rachel. No. No.
Jeremy: I did it to keep you out of jail. Cuz I still love you.
Jeremy's undying love for Rachel does not come as a big surprise. How the hell will he handle the newest swarm of bachelors sure to be buzzing around the love of his life? (I'm guessing not well.)
It feels like Jeremy has done the most work on himself but has changed the least. Still a prisoner of Rachel's unrequited love, it would do him good to follow the others' lead and refocus on himself.
And where's that new Rachel Goldberg during her talk with Jeremy? It's impossible for her to take responsibility for the part she played in the accident. That doesn't seem like practicing the essential honesty she preaches.
Her disdain for Jeremy from first sight, refusing to even listen to his apology for hitting her, is evidence she has a long way to go as far as her self-reflection and acceptance of her role in what happened between them last year.
As long as she can blame and even hate him for both their complicated relationship and her part in the accident, she doesn’t quite have to deal with THAT guilt.
And then there’s Quinn, who spent the whole time telling us how fine she is with being alone but is clearly crushed when Chet tells her he's with Crystal, the 20-something bimbo because it's just easier, "She's easier." OUCH.
Meanwhile, is anyone else having trouble liking Serena from the minute she arrives on set? She's an uptight pill that's frankly hard to swallow. A real PITA (pain in the ass)!
Perhaps the biggest question of all is what shall become of our Suitress?
When Rachel found herself unable to resist manipulating Serena into kissing Norm the shorty, like many of Rachel's morally questionable moves, it had serious consequences.
Sure the wild chain of events may have started with Rachel arguably needing to knock Serena off her high horse, but of course, it ended with the uptight Suitress riding the jockey.
Serena: God, how could I do that?
Rachel: You're like everyone else on the planet. You are screwed up and lonely and trying to figure it out.
Serena: Maybe your friends are like that, but my friends are all married...The weird thing is I did everything right. I did everything just like them. My friends say that I'm too picky. That no guy is good enough. But the truth is, nobody picks me.
Rachel: Listen to me - you're incredible. You deserve to find somebody who loves you just the way you are. I promise, Im gonna make that happen.
It seems like we're in for an uphill battle trying to find the Suitress the love she deserves.
But she's not the only woman who might be in over her head.
When we find Madison off set mounting Gary, the reveal that he's not interested in how it went on Everlasting with Serena but only wants dirt on Quinn raises a major red flag!
Just how dangerous is Madison with her secret network alliance?
Hey Maddy...here pussy, pussy.
Now THAT is an UnREAL start to an epic new season!
So now what, TV Fanatics? Do you believe Rachel can produce the miracle of marrying off Serena?
How long do you think the new and improved Rachel, Chet, and Jeremy will last?
Which hunky Suitor is your early fave?
Rebecca Eisen is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.