I had UnReal thoughts from last night's ep and the ep before last night. I actually wrote my thoughts on the ep before last night earlier- it's just been sitting in my drafts folder. But I'll repost with each ep under their own cut.
I'm pretty damn disappointed that there's going be some mythology that RACHEL NEVER LOVED AS SHE LOVED ADAM BEFORE....AND COLEMAN NOW...AND IT'S JUST SEASON 2. It's far too convenient. By the time the curtain opens on S1, Rachel's lived a whole life as a producer to become Quinn's second hand, had a nervous breakdown on television, got the commemorative crashed Ferrari and before that, suffered pretty epic gaslit emotional abuse from her mother that still imprisons her father. In short, she's lived a dramatic life where it's clear that a bunch of her drama is romantic hysteria. The Rachel in my head had big epic romantic love stories with guys lasting a few months before they crashed and burned FOR YEARS NOW. It's the only Rachel that makes sense. Especially since I don't think Coleman is going to be Chet as in, he's Rachel's last stop to railroad her life for the next two decades. I think Rachel will get that he's a Chet earlier.
I also feel like some Darius stuff is accidental. On the big moments, he seems like an unusually good guy for UnReal, if imperfect. Setting up the college fund, seeing Ruby's worth and genuinely falling in love even if he was too cowardly to follow through, going to Alabama to soothe Rachel, supporting so many people with his football career. However, he does bullshit stuff like dismissing Beth Ann with a "I value honesty" while keeping the football heiress even though, Beth Ann actually came clean to Darius about her pregnancy once she found out while the football heiress lied about giving Romeo a BJ through like, five eps of the show, and only came to Darius's room to come clean after she was outed on camera. Even if Darius didn't know yet what forced the football heiress's hand, he does know that she's been sitting on the information while Beth Ann actually took a huge risk to tell Darius as soon as she could. It doesn't feel intended, but it instead feels sloppy to explain the football heiress's win while not holding true to Beth Ann's story because she's mainly a joke character who was leaving the show in the next two minutes.
I'm still very entertained- but stuff feels sloppier about S2 of UnReal and like it's lost its luster of being the next classic.
I really wasn't sure how to feel about this ep. It had some amazing moments. However, it's trading on some dangerous ground. First, Coleman and Rachel were both SO WRONG. Completely disgusting. Put it this way- they not only possibly got one innocent man killed and another innocent man permanently injured, but they completely missed the point of Black Lives Matter and arguably gave fodder to racists. The Black Lives Matter cases that have rightfully gained traction because the police over-reacted to a minor traffic infraction or selling illegal cigarettes or petty theft or nothing at all because the "suspect" was black and the police carelessly/aggressively used OTT force in putting down a minor crime out of anything ranging from a lack of concern in dealing with the suspect safely for all parties to an outright interest in putting down the suspect as hard as possible out of a racist power fetish.
The Bentley theft is a miserable case study for Black Lives Matter. The police didn't see evidence of a petty crime or a traffic infraction. They were called responding to grand theft of a Bentley. To make matters more dramatic, the police were called on a car theft and found two drunk women (Tiffany particularly falling down drunk) in the backseat of the supposedly stolen car with two entirely sober men in the front seat. Both men couldn't provide ID. The police had probable cause to arrest Darius and Romeo. Given their efforts to arrest and serious and potentially violent nature of the crimes, the police had every right to harshly slam the suspects on the care, especially since they didn't know that Darius was severely injured but masking his pain with epidurals. Then when the police shot, it wasn't one of the standard cases that we've seen where a police officer shoots a suspect from behind or where a police officer exaggerates his mortal fear of a looming or violently approaching suspect to justify pulling out far greater force and shooting said suspect or even where a police officer says that he saw the suspect pull out a gun and it becomes a question of what the officer was likely to imply with a movement of a black suspect's hands. In this case, Rachel CHARGED out of the bushes in a deserted natural location in the middle of a highly charged arrest to begin with. It's not even clear that the officer aimed at Romeo and it's entirely likely that the officer was aiming at whoever charged out of the bushes, whether white or black, because the night was obscuring Rachel's appearance.
So I've been hard on Jay this season because I think he's been talking out of his ass to Rachel about their differing moral levels. However, I was solidly on his side in this ep. Not only did Rachel recklessly produce reality show television that endangers lives (as they've done in the past), she evidently has an unbelievably shallow understanding of the Black Lives Matter movement and apparently has just understood those cases as an exciting television event instead of barely understanding the real grievances. It's really NOT her story to tell, and it's not merely because she's white but because she's particularly shallow and ignorant, even for a white person. I would really like it if the show goes in the direction that this story has become grist for Fox News and racist Trump supporters- liberal Hollywood tries to stage a Black Lives Matter incident and it just proves the cops react reasonably so everyone focus on this instead of Trayvon Martin/Sandra Bland/Freddie Grey/Michael Brown/Eric Garner. In other words, THE OPPOSITE of what Rachel said Everlasting was going to do for black people.
We'll see where this goes with Rachel ending up in her mother's care. I've seen a lot of comments on Previously TV, at least, along the line of "Why should I care about Rachel's widdle hurt feelings and her need to cry to Mommy when innocent men are fighting for their lives in the hospital because of Rachel's assholicness! It was disrespectful to cut to Rachel's drama like her bullshit is somehow self-punishing enough to absolve her and make her the object of sympathy. Why focus on Rachel in the hospital instead of her innocent victims in the hospital?" I have really mixed feelings about this. For one, I resent that Rachel's abusive, toxic relationship with her mother is being suddenly dismissed and devalued because Rachel committed her latest and greatest heinous, repulsive action. The two aren't related. Rachel's mother can still be abusive even though Rachel put lives in danger out of nothing more than a desire for attention and praise and because she felt on the defensive from her romantic drama with Adam/Coleman. The asylum scenes can still be creepy. Rachel's choice to go back to her mother can and is still a self-punishment.
But yet on the other hand, Rachel's actions here were tantamount to manslaughter. I actually think she could be convicted of reckless endangerment and a good judge would throw the book at her. By all rights, she should be locked up for this. That's the Black Lives Matter accountability that I'm getting out of this incident. It's more appropriate for Rachel to be treated like a criminal than a patient. Mrs. Goldberg is abusive but it still hurts to see Rachel get out of having to give a police interview because she was ducking and Coleman was protecting her and instead, hide in a room being treated like a patient. To do justice to the Romeo/Darius story, there needs to be some clarity that Rachel is practically getting away with murder....AGAIN. (But even more so than the Mary story, IMO. I think Rachel just intended on a horrible ugly confrontation that pushed the reality show envelope when she invited Mary's abusive ex. Here, Rachel really intended on an extremely violent confrontation between Romeo/Darius and the police, even knowing that Darius has severe spinal injuries and the wrong move could paralyze him. And I'd even say with some confidence that Rachel WANTED the produce the next Black Lives Matter major case and get Darius or Romeo killed, even though she'd never consciously say that to herself. However, she was even consciously wishing for extreme violence.) But yet at the same time, I wouldn't want the show to go back and dismiss and short-change one of the main emotional stories of the series which is Mrs. Goldberg's abusive behavior with Rachel and how it shaped/shapes Rachel's character.
I don't envy the writers, here. They really wrote a powder-keg that's going to piss off a lot of viewers, however you slice it.
- UnReal Thoughts