Elizabeth Barone


Tag: tv (page 1 of 2)

The Perfect New Adult Show

11950269_932209006835457_2088864213728206536_oI am just crazy about Chasing Life, you guys. I can’t get enough of this show—even if it totally makes me cry, every time.

I’m still reeling over the loss of Leo, even though I saw it coming. Big, heavy sigh. It was really, really hard to watch April go through that. Not only did it echo aspects of my own life, but Italia Ricci’s performance was just heartbreaking. I think, even if you’d never lost anyone, you’d still find yourself tearing up at her reaction when she tries to wake Leo up.

Still, I came back last week and this week. (Technically, I waited until yesterday and today to catch up, but hey. That’s life for you.) I don’t even know where to start. So much happened!

For one, April’s behavior in the aftermath of losing Leo reminded me too much of how I would react. It was absolutely heart wrenching to watch her careen through her grief. Being a Type A, she is stubborn and fiercely independent—one of the reasons why I relate to her so much. When her mom offers her help, she proudly refuses, saying she doesn’t need counseling. But she tries to go back to cancer support group. I knew this was a bad idea; that is, after all, where she met Leo. Her detachment from other people’s problems was all too realistic.

Then, the crushing blow: Beth, in the heat of the moment, tells her to “just get over it.” April completely bottoms out, ending up at a club where she does Ecstasy.

Meanwhile, Beth goes to April’s mom for help. She feels helpless, like she can’t talk to April about her own life because so many good things are happening for her. Sara assures her that April wants her to be happy. Still, the rift between the girls remains.

The show picked up this week where last week ended, right before a major snow storm. Oh, New England. How I love thee. Not! Living in Connecticut, I could totally commiserate. A few years ago, Halloween was canceled because the sky dumped like three feet of snow on us.

April’s entire family plus Beth end up snowed in at her house, and the drama unfolds. April and Natalie finally confront George. The truth comes out, and it’s a total surprise. I honestly wondered whether Thomas was still alive somewhere. I thought maybe he caved under the pressure of having two families and faked his own death so he could get out of it.


The girls are left reeling after George finally divulges that their father had ALS and crashed his own car so that he wouldn’t have to suffer. He also wanted the Carver girls to get his life insurance money. Natalie is hurt that her father didn’t even think of her and takes off, stripping her and Beth’s apartment of all of her belongings.

April and Beth make up, but they’re left in shock.

The grief started to ebb in this episode, which is good. It’s a delicate balance. I really hoped the writers would move April through it realistically, without dragging it on. Looks like that’s exactly what they’re doing.

I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes next, and whether April can find Natalie. I like her a lot, and I love how close the sisters have all become despite their rough beginning.

Three things I’ve learned about writing from this show:

  1. Be unpredictable. Brainstorm the possible outcomes that your audience might come up with, then go in the completely opposite direction. Of course, it still has to make sense with the plot and things you’ve planted beforehand.
  2. Ground your story in realistic characters. That way, even when the drama unfolds, they will react to things just like actual people would, making them more relatable.
  3. Pepper the heavy mood with jokes or quirky character traits. Things can’t be all serious all the time, or you will depress the hell out of your audience.

Have I mentioned how much I love this show?

Liz Watches UnReal: Episode 4

via Lifetime

via Lifetime

Catchup complete!

I realized, while watching this episode, that I may be expecting too much from this show. I like it a lot. I find it compelling and addictive, and I am really starting to like the characters. (I’m also finally remembering Adam’s name. Poor guy.) (Also, I’m shocked that the words “Stop thinking with your clit!” came out of a Lifetime show. 😂)

In this episode, Rachel sets up a date at Adam’s winery. The problem is, it’s completely run down. In order to shoot there, first she has to get the electricity turned back on and then give at least part of it a makeover. Her work is cut out for her.

While running around trying to get things going, she finds out that Jeremy has been promoted. He thinks that she said something to Quinn to help him get the job. When he finds out that she didn’t actually help him, he gets mad. He reminds her that he’s with Lizzie, though—almost as if he’s really reminding himself. He also warns her to stay on guard with Adam, who’s been flirting with her.

I called it. The love triangle begins!

Adam complements her eyeliner in front of Jeremy, who seems a little jealous. He also kisses her in front of Jeremy. Meanwhile, he has sex with Chet’s friend’s wife, who is investing in the winery—in front of Chet and company, as a favor to get their support. He’s also been busy sexting his ex. Rachel doesn’t seem affected by any of his behavior, past it interfering with the show… until the end, when she watches the footage of Adam kissing her.

I’m sad that I have to wait ’til Monday to see what happens next. UnReal is definitely engaging. I did want more from it, but I’m learning to just enjoy it for what it is. Maybe I was off with the whole mental illness thing? All I know is, it’s interesting to see the seedy things that happen behind the scenes of the show. It’s also interesting to watch Rachel, who is definitely the wild card. I’m hoping to really see her get even more wild, but again, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy it for whatever it is from this point on.

Liz Watches UnReal: Episode 3

via Lifetime

via Lifetime

Things start to really pick up in this episode. We meet Rachel’s family, and find out a little bit more about her relationship with Jeremy.

Rachel’s mother is a real piece of work. She seems like she’s trying to help, but she’s also got some serious control issues. She suggests that Rachel comes back for more sessions. It turns out that she’s a psychiatrist and has diagnosed Rachel with all different kinds of mental illnesses in the past. Rachel’s mother has put her on medication after medication, to no avail. Her mother has also put her father on some kind of medication.

We start to wonder: Does Rachel have a mental illness? Or is everyone around her just misunderstanding her? It’s hard to tell whether she’s just good at her job or has a compulsion to manipulate people. Could she really have Borderline Personality Disorder? With everyone around her manipulating her and pushing her in different directions, it’s hard for her to even come to grips with herself. Between her mother and Quinn, who insists that nothing is wrong with her, Rachel feels torn.

I wish UnReal would illustrate Rachel a little bit more. It seems like even the writers are uncertain as to what’s going on with Rachel. Each episode is very structured, with an immediate problem that needs to be taken care of and is resolved at the end. In the case of Episode 3, Rachel’s going home leaves the show unattended, especially when Chet has a heart attack and Quinn takes him to the ER. Without these two key women, everything goes to hell. Prince Charming’s best friend takes advantage of one of the girls, and a huge party breaks out on set—even though they’re supposed to be filming a date with just a few of the girls.

via Lifetime

via Lifetime

When Rachel gets back, she doesn’t have time to try to figure out where she stands with her mother or herself. She immediately jumps into cleaning up the mess on set and works on creating more friction between two of the girls. Meanwhile, her ex-boyfriend Jeremy’s fiance Lizzie freaks out on him. When the entire staff got Rachel’s saved photos and steamy emails between her and Jeremy, it created a rift between him and Lizzie. Jeremy and Rachel had talked about leaving the show and going to chase bigger dreams. Lizzie feels insecure because Jeremy never said things like that to her.

Jeremy assures her that it was all just talk, telling her that Rachel’s feelings ran way deeper than his did. It definitely seems like everyone views Rachel as a loose cannon, but again, I have to wonder: Is she actually suffering from a mental illness, or just deeply misunderstood?

I have one more episode to watch before I’m all caught up. I hope the show hits its stride. There’s definitely something there, but I’d like to see Rachel pushed harder. I’d like a little more conflict between her and Jeremy. It seems like they might be setting up a love triangle between her, Prince Charming, and Jeremy. (There’s definitely some chemistry between her and the bachelor.) I’d also like to see a more solid picture of Rachel.

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