The Golden Globes are notorious for going their own way and being the first awards show to honor new TV series, which is great news for a critical smash like Lifetime's "UnReal." This fan-favorite drama starring Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer takes place behind the scenes of a "Bachelor"-like reality show and had social media buzzing when it aired last summer. Will it be a hit with Globes voters?
Created by Marti Noxon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro ("The Bachelor") based on Shapiro's short film "Sequin Raze," the show details the manipulation that goes on in the reality television industry through the guise of a fictional dating show called "Everlasting."
Appleby plays the feminist producer who hates what she does but is just so darn good at it, while Zimmer is the show's bottom-feeding executive producer. Craig Bierko also stars as the creator of "Everlasting" who cares more about ratings — and drugs — than integrity. The series aired 10 episodes this summer and will return for Season 2 in 2016.
Golden Globes voters aren't opposed to rewarding shows about Hollywood. In fact, in recent years HBO's "Extras" (2007) and NBC's "30 Rock" (2008) both won Best Comedy Series. Even though "UnReal" is at times laugh-out-loud funny, it's ultimately a darkly dramatic tale and will enter the TV Drama categories at the Globes.
The inaugural season of "UnReal" has an impressive 98% at Rotten Tomatoes and a 78 score at Metacritic, suggesting our odds-makers are seriously underestimating it in our Golden Globes predictions for Best TV Drama Series. Among the critical raves are these:
Katey Rich (Vanity Fair): "Starring Shiri Appleby, charismatic even when deeply rumpled and grouchy … 'UnReal' skewers everything from the false romance promised by such shows to the brutal schedules of every Hollywood production."
Emily Nussbaum (New Yorker): "'UnReal' takes a fresh route into the subject matter by dramatizing the lives of the producers, especially Rachel, who, despite appearances, considers herself a feminist — she's the type who might watch 'Everlasting,' but from an ironic distance."
Willa Paskin (Slate): "'UnReal' is darker than a locked box inside a lightproof cube sitting on the bottom of the ocean at midnight. It is an ice cream sundae laced with ipecac, delectable and poisonous all at once."
Joanne Ostrow (Denver Post): "A smart scripted drama set backstage at a 'Bachelor'-style show about what it took to be a good reality TV producer and how soul-killing a job it is."
What do you think, Derbyites: Will the Golden Globes go their own way and honor a newbie like "UnReal," or will they instead just copy the Emmys' decision to crown HBO's "Game of Thrones" as TV's Best Drama Series?
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Photo Credits: Joseph Viles/Lifetime