Well, Bachelor Nation fans, we may not have been given an after show for this season of The Bachelorette, but there is another television series that's worth a watch if you're a die-hard (or even casual) fan of ABC's reality dating franchise. Want to take a peek — or a full blown tour — behind the scenes of a reality dating show, in an entertaining and scripted way? Lifetime has you covered. Here's why UnREAL is the one show Bachelor fans should watch, from the mouths of those who help bring the Lifetime series to life.
In an interview with Bustle, Josh Kelly, who plays Jeremy the director of photography on UnREAL's show-within-a-show Everlasting, weighs in on what it's like to watch both The Bachelor and Lifetime's breakout summer series.
"Personally I found [watching The Bachelor after watching UnREAL] way more interesting," Kelly tells Bustle. "It adds another level." But, that's not the only significant change to television since UnREAL premiered in 2015. According to Kelly, "Since we've been on the air The Bachelor's been breaking the fourth wall a lot more than they used to." The Bachelor has been quick to mock things about itself in recent seasons, like the contestants' overuse of the word "amazing" or Chris Harrison's love of all things dramatic.
Plus, it seems UnREAL hits incredibly close to home for those who have been through the Bachelor process: "The contestants that I've met have said, 'Your show should be called Real, not UnREAL. It happens just like that, sometimes crazier,'" Kelly claims.
For The Bachelor's part, host Chris Harrison claimed to Variety that UnREAL 's take on reality TV dating is completely fictional.
In fact, in terms of shedding light on being a part of a reality dating series like ABC's Bachelor franchise, Kelly thinks UnREAL has played a part. "People in middle America think [reality shows are] real. ... You don't think about [the behind-the-scenes] stuff when you're tuning in," says Kelly. But, he explains, "Entertainment can still happen with honesty."
For her part, UnREAL co-creator Sarah Gertrude Shapiro — who was a producer on The Bachelor for two years — had a purpose in mind for the series, as she told the audience during the Vulture Fest. "Using the show for good is really important for me," Shapiro tells Bustle. Certainly, UnREAL has done a world of good for opening up the eyes of reality TV fans by tackling topics like mental health and how women are treated in Hollywood throughout the first season. Meanwhile, Season 2 of UnREAL will go even further (and even further than The Bachelor franchise) by exploring how race is handled in reality television with Everlasting's African-American bachelor, Darius Beck.
So, if you love watching The Bachelor and/or The Bachelorette and other similar dating shows, then I've got news for you: You should also be watching UnREAL. Season 2 premieres June 6 on Lifetime.
Images: Joseph Viles, Sergei Bachlakov (2)/Lifetime