Lifetime invited guests to Malibu for a Sunday Group Date filled with wine tasting along with a splash of adventure at Saddlerock Ranch’s Malibu Wine Safari ahead of the forthcoming season of “UnReal” — which the network announced will now debut in early 2018 instead of this year.
Previously, “UnReal’s” third season was originally set to debut sometime in 2017, as announced by Lifetime when the network gave the show an early renewal, ahead of its second season. For Season 3, “UnReal” brought on a new showrunner, Stacy Rukeyser. The showrunner shuffle came after the series had a rocky second season, according to many critics, following a very successful freshman season, which became a critical darling right off the bat.
At the wine tasting event this past weekend, series co-creator Sarah Gertrude Shapiro chatted with Variety about what fans can expect in the show’s third season, which explores the fictional dating competition show “Everlasting” having its first female suitor (Caitlin FitzGerald).
“I think you can expect a lot of hot dudes and a lot of feminism — that was our winning combo,” Gertrude Shapiro said. “We’re talking about what it means to be a successful woman and still wanting to have a partner or a life, and how challenging that can be with stories of a lot of our friends and ourselves: the more successful you become, the harder it is for you to find a date.”
Shapiro also shared that they portrayed navigating present-day dating in an honest way, pulled from material in real life. “We call it the tyranny of choice under Tinder, where you always feel like there is someone better around the bend or being so overwhelmed by the idea of customizing a life partner,” she explained.
She also said that the format of the female-led “Everlasting” is a little different from ABC’s “The Bachelorette.” While both women go on dates, “UnReal” focuses mainly on the suitress as a character and are not detailing the drama between the male contestants.
“It’s really more about her journey and her relationship with Rachel and Quinn, and how they feel about creating a life for this business woman,” she teased. “Quinn isn’t necessarily seeing her as a woman or a man, she sees her more as a contestant on the show that she needs to produce. I think that speaks more to our themes of humanity within reality TV and what are the consequences of starting to treat people like cattle.”
Shapiro admitted that she hasn’t tuned in to watch this season of “The Bachelorette,” so she couldn’t fully comment on how ABC handled its first African-American lead (which “Everlasting” had in last season’s “Unreal.”) However, she did state that she heard the news of a current cast member that had racist and feminist tweets surface from his time before the show.
“Oh yeah, I’m sure it was not an accident,” she said lightheartedly about the research that she did when she was a producer on the ABC franchise, long before she created “UnReal.”
Later on in the afternoon, Shiri Appleby and Zimmer hopped on the open-built safari vehicles to gaze at the animals, who had clever names such as Justin Zeber the zebra, Al Pacacino the alpaca and a llama they referred to as Llama Del Rey. “Wait, you said her name is Barbecue Burger?” a concerned Zimmer asked near the American Bison. “Don’t worry, we don’t eat them,” the tour guide replied.