For fans of Lifetime’s hit drama UnREAL, the second season came as a disappointment in terms of the story that was being told. After the season two finale aired Monday night, Variety caught up with the executive producer and co-creator Sarah Gertrude Shapiro and one of the writers, Stacy Rukeyser, to break down the finale episode and what went wrong with the season.
Part of the rockiness that could have contributed to a poor second season could be because co-creator Marti Noxon left the show to focus on Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, leaving Shapiro to run the show with less experience in terms of scripted writing.
When asked about the cliffhanger about the fate of Coleman and Yael, who were in a car accident at the end of the season finale while they were on their way to spill the secrets of the show, Rukeyser said viewers will have to tune in for season three to find out if the two survive.
And as for why Rachel chose to reveal her personal secret to Coleman instead of Quinn or Adam, Shapiro says it was “something that we knew from the start of the season” because Coleman was designed to be Rachel’s ideal man who got caught up in the whole whirlwind of Everlasting, the show within the show.
As for the criticism of the show’s seventh episode, where Darius’s cousin, Romeo, was shot by a police officer, Shapiro said she tries to avoid listening to or reading the criticism and said it was the story they wanted to tell months ago and added that it’s a really important issue to be addressed on television.
And while Rukeyser admits that there were some big plot reveals in the season, like the police brutality episode, she said it was all about having a balance between having big plot reveals and having the emotional moments of the season.
Looking ahead to season three, Shiri Appleby, who plays Rachel on the show, has some things that she hopes happen in the new season, telling Entertainment Weekly that she hopes viewers will get to see more of Rachel’s comeback from her hitting rock bottom at the end of the seventh episode of the season. “By the finale, she’s making a comeback. She’s regaining her strength and really wanting to focus on work and put all her personal stuff behind her,” Appleby said.
As for the season two cliffhanger, Appleby says it’s going to propel the show to it’s third season, saying “There are so many ways of handling things moving into the third season, but I think it’s creating a real opportunity for the writers to move the story in an interesting direction. That’s what I’m excited about, seeing where this is going to continue after this.”
UnREAL‘s third season is expected to air in summer 2017. All of season one’s episode are available to stream on Hulu and the second season is likely to be released for streaming on the streaming site in the future.