'UnREAL' Is Best New Summer Series of 2015 (July Preview)

Josh Kelly, Siobhan Williams and Shiri Appleby star in UnREAL.
Photo by James Dittiger Copyright 2015
My favorite summer series of 2015 is Lifetime's new primetime serial UnREAL. From co-creators Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, and starring Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer, UnREAL gives a fictitious behind-the-scenes glimpse into the chaos surrounding the production of a dating competition program.

Set against the backdrop of the hit dating competition show Everlasting, UnREAL is led by flawed heroine Rachel Goldberg (Shiri Appleby), a young producer whose sole job is to manipulate her relationships with and among the contestants to get the vital dramatic and outrageous footage that the program’s dispassionate executive producer, Quinn King (Constance Zimmer), demands. What ensues is an eye-opening look at what happens in the outrageous world of unscripted television, where being a contestant can be vicious and producing it is a whole other reality. Appleby and Zimmer are perfectly playing the many layers of their fascinating multi-dimensional characters.

UnREAL also stars Craig Bierko as Everlasting's eccentric creator, Chet, and Freddie Stroma as the dating show’s handsome and intelligent suitor, Adam Cromwell. Josh Kelly plays Jeremy, a cameraman who is Rachel's ex-boyfriend, while Siobhan Williams is Lizzie, Jeremy’s current fiancée and on-set makeup artist. Everlasting's contestants include Grace, portrayed by Nathalie Kelley, who immediately wins Adam’s heart; Anna, played by Johanna Braddy, who is classy and shrewd, with her eye on the prize; Faith, a sensitive and vulnerable tomboy from the South portrayed by Breeda Wool; and Mary, played by Ashley Scott, a gorgeous single mom who has been unlucky in love. Arielle Kebbel guest stars as Britney, a contestant who has no filter and isn’t on Everlasting to make any friends.

Below is a sneak peek at the four upcoming July episodes:

"FLY" (#106)
Airs Monday, July 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Adam gets to meet Mary’s family when the show arranges their one-on one date. Rachel and Quinn make some questionable decisions to win a bet with Chet.

"SAVIOR" (#107)
Airs Monday, July 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Tragedy hits the set affecting the contestants and everyone behind the scenes.

"TWO" (#108)
Airs Monday, July 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
With the final elimination ceremony right around the corner, Adam is offered an interesting proposal. Rachel is pulled between Jeremy and Adam. Chet makes a decision about his relationship with Quinn.

"PRINCESS" (#109)
Airs Monday, July 27 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Rachel deals with the repercussions of her impulsive decision. Quinn and Rachel question their future as producers. The final three contestants return to Adam’s vineyard for romantic dates.

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