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UnReal: “Relapse” Review - AVClub

AVClub: UnREAL is a far darker show than I was anticipating. It’s a frequently funny show, both conceptually and tonally, but it’s incredibly dark, uncomfortably so at times. Rachel’s backstory is what makes UnREAL so bleak. If there was the potential for Rachel’s rapidly deteriorating mental state to culminate in a freak-out, one in which she ruined the Everlasting finale by crashing the proposal scene to inform the world that the show is “Satan’s asshole,” there would be a sense of a light at the end of the tunnel. But that probably won’t happen because it already did. The upshot is that UnREAL has found its sea legs remarkably quickly, and that’s partly to do with the way its pilot feels more like a second-season premiere. “Return” feels like the continuation of a first season that ended with Rachel’s breakdown, a moment that would strongly suggest the end of Rachel’s career and leave the show with the shortage of narrative options that makes for an ideal cliffhanger.

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