Occasionally, I’ll read a review and wonder if I watched the same movie/TV show as the critic, given their wildly different interpretation of events and story arcs. This would be one of those times. I’m sure the writer has watched and is more knowledgeable of TV than myself but I see some key areas to disagree.
To start, Rachel’s love interest still remains one and the same. There has been no mention or even going of romance between her and Darius. The interplay between Rachel and Romeo, the manager/cousin, was also short-lived.
Darius has also proven more resourceful in leveraging the show to suit his own needs. The “controversy” with which we are initially presented seems pretty weak judged next to actual athlete outbursts. But once that shifts to Darius hiding his potential career (and life) threatening back injury, “Unreal” captures the zeitgeist in illustrating the choices that football players face; stuck with an deteriorating body, without guaranteed contracts, and needing to plan for a future in which they are no longer the superstar. Hence, Darius’ motivation to remain on “Everlasting” and parlay this season into a broadcasting deal.
Even with the more odious characters like Chet and (especially) Jeremy, where their arcs may not inspire much emotional interest, it’s important remember that “Unreal” also acts as meta-commentary on the TV industry in general, reality TV specifically, and how gender, sexuality, and now race complicate individual ambitions in these spaces. So Chet and his “Paleo-masculine” BS retreat isn’t emotionally arresting but it does serve to present a male executive’s response to losing his power and status. Similarly, Jeremy’s devolution from boring hunk/safe love interest to bitter ex/dangerous individual is less about him, the character, as it is about illustrating the fallacy of the “nice guy” in hetero relationships.
Power grabs, falls from grace, backstabbing. All are part for the course within “Everlasting” and therefore, are essential to “Unreal”. While it may not be TV perfection, I think S2 has more than acquitted itself at only 5 episodes in.