Let’s all admit this now, we have fallen in love with Breeda Wool and her character Faith. When she showed up in that amazing blue pant suit and acted as the best friend you always wished you had, we swooned for her. How could we not?
When promo’s and hype for episode five “Truth” started up, we were teased with a coming out story. My first thought was “Great, queer baiting to get more views. Why do all shows feel like they have to do this?” It was a very negative thought that I regret. I am pleased for the show to say that now I feel guilty for even thinking that. What can I say, TV shows have let me down before. I really didn’t want UnReal to be the same AND it wasn’t.
UnReal is truly shattering all my expectations and I’m grateful for it.
All these characters and contestants are so much more than we ever imagined when we first saw them in episode one. From eating disorders, drinking problems, ‘crazy’, abuse, and drugs; we are getting the full human spectrum of drama.
This weeks focus was Faith’s story and it delivered. Faith is picked by Adam to travel home and meet her family. Faith’s family happens to live in the bible belt of the south, which should be our very first clue, and is heavily religious just as we see Faith in her daily interactions. Rachel (Shiri Appleby) is quick to figure out, and we are quick to realize as well that Faith has some not so straight feelings for her best friend Amy. Rachel is so keen on reading people she figures this out by just looking at a few pictures and seeing the body language between Faith and Amy. It makes us a bit afraid of Rachel. Just what kind of strings would she pull for us to get us to do her secret bidding and have our skeletons come tumbling out of the closet?
The subject of figuring one’s sexuality is sure to hit very close to home with many viewers. It is a tired tale of a religious family and community that won’t accept a member’s sexuality with open arms. It hasn’t been handled well by other shows and lead to my initial negative thoughts. However, UnReal did an excellent job with this story.
We see Faith realize her feelings for Amy, find self acceptance, and confess her feelings to her best friend with a semi positive outcome. The tricky part comes with telling Faith’s family and her community which we just know won’t go well. Especially with grandma involved.
Luckily, Adam (Freddie Stroma) comes to Faith’s rescue like the white knight he sometimes is and saves Faith when she freezes before telling her church and family. Faith wasn’t quite ready to confess her sins by how long she paused at the mic and Amy wasn’t ready at all for the backlash that is easily predicted to come.
What drives this storyline home is the incredible talent and acting by Breeda Wool. You don’t feel like you’re watching a scripted show, but more that you are behind the camera, part of the cast, while these characters lives happen before you.
The scene stealer of the episode is where Rachel and Faith are talking about Amy, Faith’s feelings for Amy, and Faith’s realization of what those feelings are and mean. It’s subtle and so well played that it leaves you believing that Faith really did only just put those pieces together. All the while you cringe at how well Rachel is at pulling these invisible strings to bring about these moments that forever change the lives of these contestants.
All in all, I didn’t feel like I was baited into the episode and it really drove the story forward. For a scripted series, this one is one of the better ones.
“Truth” left us in awe of the brilliant out-pour of talent from the writers and the cast. Much applause to Breeda Wool who is this weeks MVP.
UnReal airs Monday nights on Lifetime 10/9C. You can catch up on episodes at Lifetime.