Even harder was navigating the criticisms of the most recent
run following near universal acclaim for UnREAL’s rookie run. Active on
Twitter, Zimmer was well aware of the critiques some viewers had of the second
season, which went darker and more subversive with storylines involving a
police shooting, mental illness and race.
The response following the July 18 episode, “Ambush,” in which a police officer shoots one of the show’s prominent black characters, loomed large in Zimmer’s mind. “When we [filmed] it [months earlier], we were all worried about it. I don’t think we ever anticipated that another shooting would have happened again,” she said, referencing the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile just weeks before the episode aired.