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'Unreal' season 2 to take on gender and equality based issues

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MUMBAI: Critics' Choice Television Award winner Unreal will push the bar on equality and gender based issues, according to show runner Sarah Gertude Shapiro.

Unreal takes place behind the scenes of a fictional reality dating show, “Everlasting”.

The first season features Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer in leading roles as producer Rachel Goldberg and executive producer Quinn King respectively. They are joined by an ensemble cast which included Harry Potter alumni Freddie Stroma as Everlasting’s devastatingly charming suitor Adam Cromwell, Johanna Braddy, Josh Kelly and Jeffrey Bower-Chapman amongst others.

The second season which will be telecast in India on Star World is all set to tackle issues of race, gender and men’s rights. Featuring B.J Britt as the latest suitor, the show’s season two is already breaking the norm by doing what no dating reality show did – casting an African-American leading man.

Joining him will be veteran actor Bruce Davison who plays Randy, a cowboy musician from Quinn’s past, Christopher Cousins as Gary, the President of the channel that airs the fictional show and relative newcomer Lindsay Musil as Beth, a small town girl vying for Britt’s character.

Shapiro said: “The first season was really about the princess fantasy, and the power of this fantasy of being rescued. For both sides of the gender spectrum. or all sides of it, [there is] the idea that one person can show up and rescue you and change your whole life. And [in] the second season, we’re really exploring race and masculinity. And that is a big shift for us. It’s still Everlasting, but with a different suitor, and the suitor is going to be black, so [we’re] exploring the race politics of that.”

Shapiro said Season 2 will top all the reality TV tropes covered in Season 1, “I think race is a big way to top that. It’s the elephant in the room … the fact that those shows have never had an African-American lead. For us, I think you top that by pushing our universe into a place the real universe hasn’t gone.”

Unreal is created by Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, and was inspired by Shapiro's award-winning independent short film Sequin Raze. The show has been awarded the Critics' Choice Television Award for being the Most Exciting New Series and the American Film Institute Award for Top 10 Television programmes of 2015.

Unreal season 1 is currently being telecast on Star World and Star World HD. The show’s second season will be telecast on the channel following the US premiere.

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