'UnREAL' Is Channeling 'The Bachelorette'

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UnREAL, Lifetime's faux-reality show, has long been touted as a searing but exaggerated take on The Bachelor. The first two seasons were rife with deliberately overblown drama and behind-the-scenes manipulation, following a cast of eager women as they vie for the heart of their Everlasting suitor. But now that Caitlin FitzGerald has joined the UnREAL cast, producers have added yet another twist: She'll play the fictional series' first female suitor.

Deadline reported that FitzGerald will star in Season 3, which is slated to premiere this summer. Though the network announced back in November that a woman would be looking for love this time around, fans weren't able to put a face to the character until now. According to TVLine, FitzGerald will play a 30-something named Serena. She's described as successful Silicon Valley venture capitalist who will win America over with her outward strength and inner vulnerability — but she'll have to face off with production powerhouses Rachel Goldberg (Shiri Appleby) and Quinn King (Constance Zimmer) first.

Among the men chasing after a shot with Serena are Owen, a handsome firefighter and single father; Jasper, a cocky investment banker; August, a pro surfer with killer abs; and Alexi, a badass ballet dancer.

FitzGerald, who previously starred as Libby on Masters of Sex, boards a storyline packed with strong female characters. Rachel and Quinn are fierce, ambitious career women who go toe-to-toe with each other as much as they do their male counterparts. Last season, they sought to boost ratings by introducing Everlasting's first black suitor, though things quickly went off the rails. What started as a power struggle between Rachel and Quinn fast unraveled into a controversial Everlasting finale, including an undercover reporter, several emotional sidesteps, and ill-advised co-opting of Black Lives Matter that included an on-screen display of police brutality.

New showrunner Stacy Rukeyser has said the same kind of theatrics should be expected for Season 3, but with a little moderation. "There’s a lot that came out that wasn’t dealt with fully," she told Variety. "There’s a lot that was put out on the table that we now need to deal with the ramifications of — emotionally and psychologically, as well as just in terms of how do you continue to produce Everlasting." Rukeyser then explained how they may do that. She continued,

"We’ve talked about slowing down a little bit — there was a lot of plot and story in the second season. We want to make sure we have time to have those more emotional character moments as well, to have the balance of both of those things."

Here's to hoping a new face and fresh spin will help UnREAL work out those kinks when it returns; Fitzgerald's casting is certainly a vote of confidence.