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The 'UnReal' all-star of the week: Rachel's mom(s)

Season 1 | Episode 3 | “Mother”| Aired June 15, 2015

This week’s UnReal all-star—in true reality-show fashion—is the weirdest, craziest, most ridiculous person capturing our very short attention spans. Maybe she is sweet or endearing and makes fall in love with her, or maybe she reveals the depths of her depravity and proves herself worthy of ultimate guilty-pleasure status. Either way, the all-star is always the star of the show.

In a fun twist of events, the UnReal all-star of the week landed in a tie … sort of. Things got a little Mommy Dearest for Rachel, as she works out her mother issues in the episode of the same name.

The tie goes to Rachel’s actual mother, the reason why Rachel is so screwed up in the first place—and to Quinn, her abusive surrogate mother who mercilessly capitalizes on that fractured relationship.

Rachel gets shrinked by her mother on UnReal

I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t feeling sympathetic to her “poor little rich girl” problems until I met her mother, and immediately diagnosed Rachel with Münchausen syndrome by proxy. You know: when parents make their kids sick on purpose because they get some twisted pleasure in taking care of them? That’s dark, even for Lifetime, but man, does it make for a good all-star.

Her mother obviously disapproves of her choices, and you can tell Rachel feels judged, but that’s just what it is to have a mother. However, it becomes pretty clear that Rachel’s mother has been dabblling in some pretty murky ethical waters, and probably is a pretty bad person, not to mention doctor. One look at Rachel’s poor, drooling dad will tell you that her mother isn’t afraid to dole out the meds.

First she diagnosed Rachel with ADHD, then bipolar disorder, then borderline personality disorder, and maybe narcissistic personality—Rachel has a hard time keeping those two straight. Rachel is reduced to a sniveling mess when her mother gives her a withering glance, and it becomes clear what kind of psychological warfare Rachel has had to endure. Her mom is the worst kind of creep: the kind you don’t see coming.

Rachel gets the Mommy Dearest treatment on UnReal

Okay, so it’s scary that Rachel’s mom is treating her for all these phantom disorders and overmedicating her family. But what is the creepiest of all, and all-star-worthy, is the masterful way in which she turns Rachel around, reiterating, “You have to admit you’re sick before you get better,” as she strokes Rachel’s hair. Chilling stuff.

That phrase resurfaces later when Rachel is trying to get Anna to turn on Grace. Obviously, we don’t really have to guess how Rachel got so good at her job. Her mom is not only the co-winner of this week’s all-star, but she’s also the front-runner for world’s most sinister mother.

Quinn turns on the Mom charm with Rachel

Moving from Rachel’s actual mom to her surrogate mom, Quinn gets the co-all-star prize for bullying Rachel in a way that only moms can.

Quinn is far too young to be her real mother, even in Hollywood, but she’s a damn fine stand-in, criticizing Rachel’s train-wreck relationships, her mussed hair, and her generally disappointing life. The two scenes mimic each other in an eerie way, down to the body language of the two women.

Just like Rachel’s mother in the earlier scene, Quinn grabs her face and says some pretty hurtful things—not standard operating procedure for a boss/employee relationship. Quinn does a spot-on impression of a critical, angry mom, and earns her all-star status in one scene.

Rachel gets mommed by Quinn on UnReal

Mom(s) get the all-star award this week because having one nightmare of a mother is bad enough, but Rachel has to suffer through two. Seeing Rachel’s whacked-out family really shed a light on her own crazy and made us understand her even more. But Quinn’s little performance was unexpected—and, let’s face it, downright delightful.

Well done, moms, for creeping me out and startling me into loving this show even more. I didn’t know that was possible.

UnReal airs Mondays at 10/9C on Lifetime.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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