Last night UnREAL cemented its place as the most satisfying show of the summer with a season finale that had jaws dropping, tongues wagging, and Twitter flipping out. So what do creators Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro have in mind for season 2? Here’s what we know, and what we’re speculating.
Spoilers for the UnREAL finale ahead.
A few episodes back, Chet was laying the groundwork for an “Everlasting” spinoff called “Royal Love.” Rachel was spinning it into “Royal Renovations.” Then Quinn was trying to jump ship while sinking Chet. And who was Rachel going to choose in her busted love triangle, the “manipulative slut” Adam? Or the scruffy and self-righteous Jeremy?
The show seemed like it could go just about anywhere with season two. Some even speculated that the series could jettison its cast and pick up a new one and a new plot True Detective style. But 1) That would mean losing two of the most fascinating anti-heroes TV has seen. And 2) That concept didn’t work out so great for True Detective, did it?
Now let’s play (True) Detective ourselves, shall we?
After of UnREAL’s penultimate episode Vulture asked Freddie Stroma, who plays the randy Adam, if he was signed for season two, and he answered,
“I’m not signed as of now. I think they have no idea where they are going to go with this. They have the opportunity to do a million different types of reality shows if they want to. They could go outside of the dating world if they wanted to. So, I’d say the chances are they’d probably do a new reality show, therefore, I probably wouldn’t be involved.”
But like with Quinn and Rachel, it’s a mistake to assume Noxon and Shapiro don’t have a master plan for their show. (Silly Adam.) When Vulture spoke to UnREAL’s creators, Shapiro confirmed the focus will remain on their delightfully dastardly duo of anti-heroines, adding, “We know we’re sticking with “Everlasting” as a format. “Everlasting” and the romance genre still have a lot for us to [work with].”
Remember how last night’s ep ended with Quinn and Rachel pondering how to make the “Everlasting”s next season something different, and arguably less horrific for women? (No more murders by mass manipulation is a goal.) Well, it seems like “Everlasting: The Full Package” won’t be a Bachelor/Apprentice mash-up as Rachel accidentally pitched, but instead The Bachelorette. Ahead of the finale, Noxon had confessed:
“Part of me just wants to flip the formula and have a female suitor with a bunch of guys. Sarah’s told me, having worked on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, that the dynamic is totally different. It’s very hard to get drama out of the bros. They tend to default a lot more; it’s much harder to coach the bear. Part of me is interested in staying within the conventions that people know, but then we’ve talked about taking it to the tropics or having them naked and afraid.”
As much as I love Naked And Afraid, I’d wager that tease is just Noxon having fun with the press. And it seems like last night, Quinn unwittingly setup her new season’s lead, after Rachel purposely did. The moment Anna, draped in a wedding dress and caked in tears, looked into the lens of “Everlasting”s cameras and delivered her big, brave exit speech, we knew that couldn’t be the last of her, right? The lovely lawyer with a big smile, a dangerous eating disorder and a hole in her heart where her dad used to be still needs to find love, right?
So here’s where us speculating comes in. Next season, Rachel and Quinn are reteamed working once more on “Everlasting.” But rather than seemingly cynical but secretly lovestruck, both are deeply bitter about love, and have a new playground of props/people to run through the grinder. And their loyalty to each other is firmer than ever before. So watch out haters…and lovers.
My bet is Anna returns as “Everlasting”s lone bachelorette. She gets her chance at redemption and finding love, while being a bit less naïve this time around. Plus, I suspect that’s not the last we’ve seen of Adam, left at the altar by both shows. Maybe he’ll return as a plot twist of UnREAL or “Everlasting.” And amidst all this, we have Jeremy (who I told you was the show’s biggest jerk ) and Rachel’s monstrous mom teaming up for the kind of “no good” they’ll say is for her own good.
“It’s like a starfish,” Shapiro has said of season two. “You cut off a leg and one grows back in another direction. The problem has never been, What is the story? The problem is focusing the story and keeping it about Quinn and Rachel.”
UnREAL season two won’t come until 2016. In the meantime, marathon season one here.
Kristy Puchko wants to see Faith come back too. If only so we know she and Amy are out and okay.