OnlyOnAOL: Shocker: This 'unREAL' star doesn't own a TV

Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman On "UnREAL"
Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman On "UnREAL"

By: Donna Freydkin

You might call it love at first smite.

Lifetime's hit "unREAL," which debuts its second season on June 6, reveals the inner workings of a dating show that mirrors the long-running ABC hit "The Bachelor." And Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman plays Jay, one of the producers, a sharp-tongued take-no-prisoners operator who, this season, strangely finds his inner moral compass.

"Last season he really went down a dark path. This year he's in it but not necessarily of it. He's surrounded by that energy of manipulation, chaos and drama. So this season, he's turned over a new leaf. He's quite political. He's very strong in his morals this year. He has to be able to look at himself in the mirror at the end of the day," says Bowyer-Chapman.

In fact, he goes up against newly-named showrunner Rachel (Shiri Appleby) in one of her key casting choices. In this case, his ideals trump her need for ratings.

The appeal of these reality dating shows is clear to Bowyer-Chapman, who himself didn't own a TV for a decade: "It's entertaining. Everyone wants love and everyone is seeking love. It's this big elusive thing. No one understands why sometimes it comes or doesn't come, why it lasts or doesn't last. Everyone can connect to that notion of wanting to be loved."

In Jay's case, he's openly gay (as is Bowyer-Chapman) but it's not a major topic of the show, nor is it a plot point this season -- it just is who he is and part of his character. "He's always been out. What I love so much about Jay, is that not once this season do we mention he's gay. We present it in a matter-of-fact way. It's not what the show is about," says Bowyer-Chapman.

He recalls being a fan of the "Bachelor" when it debuted in 2002. "I remember when it first came out, I remember getting together with friends and watching it. Jumping on the bandwagon. It was so new and nothing like it had been done on television before. The first couple of seasons, I watched. It's become such a staple in my zeitgeist," says Bowyer-Chapman.

Plus, given the many ways singles now meet each other, who's to say TV is weirder than anything else? "In 2016, it doesn't seem that crazy. People are dating over Grindr and Tinder and Skype. It's not that huge of a deal," says Bowyer-Chapman, who's in a happy long-term relationship.

Take a look at snaps from this season's "Bachelorette" below.