‘UnREAL’ Season 2 Will Play Up Male Characters

TCA 2016: “You hear about the token female writer in writers’ rooms and we were really like, ‘Bring us men!’ EP Sarah Gertrude Shapiro says

While Season 1 of Lifetime’s dark “Bachelor” parody “UnREAL” skewered the princess fantasy, Season 2 will tackle more immediate, real-life issues.

Most prominently, the drama will tackle the experience of men in the rise of feminism, according to showrunners.

“There’s such a paradigm change,” executive producer Marti Noxon said on stage during the Television Critics’ Association’s winter press tour. “The women on this show are the ones in control. [The male characters], they’re reacting to the women, which is so diametrically opposite of what we’ve seen, where women are reacting to male characters. Women are the deciders, men are the reactors. This microcsm we’ve created is reflecting something that’s really new.”

“UnREAL” features Shiri Appleby as the producer of a “Bachelor”-style dating reality show, who will stop at nothing to make compelling television. Constance Zimmer plays her boss, and the male characters on the show include Craig Bierko as Zimmer’s character’s partner and on-and-off boyfriend, and Josh Kelly as Jeremy, the show’s DP and Appleby’s character’s love interest.

“There’s so many more women in roles that men had,” said Zimmer. “Now there are men being beat out by women for the same jobs. What is that doing to masculinity – in a household, in a workplace, or wherever? Everyone’s talking about equality….we’re also going to address both men and women’s experiences.”

To that end, EP Sarah Gertrude Shapiro described actively searching for more male writers to balance out the Season 2 writers’ room.

“We were interviewing a male writer and he said [of a Season 1 storyline], it’s not that Quinn dumped him, it’s that she humiliated him in front of his boss,” she said. “You hear about the token female writer in writers’ rooms and we were really like, ‘Bring us men!’ We got guys and we’re really going to explore the male experience of feminism. “

“UnREAL” Season 2 will premiere in Summer 2016 on Lifetime.