UnREAL may be a fictional show with series regulars, but the "show within a show" has got a new flock of contestants and, just like all reality shows, they each have a story to tell. Who is London on UnREAL ? According to actress Sunita Prasad, she's using Everlasting as an excuse to let loose.
"London comes onto the show," Prasad says, "and she wants to find love, but she also wants to explore a different side of her because she's such a conservative girl. She's alway kind of had a conservative life. She's an engineer and she's a Pakistani American. She's had an, I don't know if you'd say sheltered, but a conservative life." I think that's an important distinction to make. We often conflate conservative or modest lifestyles with being "sheltered" from the real world, when that simply isn't always the case.
Isn't it also interesting how so many reality contestants come from engineering, sales, the gym, and so many careers that have nothing to do with performance? Prasad posited that "maybe it is that attraction of getting to get outside of your box, outside of your comfort zone and try something different." Finding love is obviously an appealing concept, but so is the adventure, and I think London is a realistic example of that.
I do love the idea that London is using a show like Everlasting as a kind of party or vacation from her regular life as well. Still, there is a goal at hand, and I have a feeling that this character's background and personality might make for some charmingly awkward moments when it comes to playing the game. "She's definitely not as outgoing as the other girls on the show," Prasad says, "which kind of makes it more challenging for her to catch Darius' eye. So she's kind of forced to push herself to get a little more wild."
According to Lifetime's official description of the character, "raised Muslim, London refuses to let the producers stereotype her because of her religion." I can't wait to see what UnREAL does with this, given their sharp ability to satirize and unpack societal issues. The writing is so good, and the fact that the show has two female creators makes it even more awesome, feminist, and befitting the Lifetime audience.
They're the "right women for the job," Prasad says. Executive producers and creators Sarah Shapiro and Marti Noxon are "tackling issues that are relevant and controversial," she says, "and they do it in a way that it doesn't skim over the topics. They really delve into them." When the show premieres on Lifetime June 6, it'll be interesting to see where that goes.
Images: Ryan Orange; Sergei Bachlakov/Lifetime