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Friday, September 30, 2011

It's "Fateful" that Awkward. rocks

     MTV's Awkward. ends its first season run with "Fateful." After feeling like Matty (Beau Mirchoff) is never going to be the boyfriend that she wants, Jenna (Ashley Rickards) accepts a date to formal with Jake (Brett Davern). Too bad for Matty, who tries to make a big apology, but is too late. Valerie (Desi Lydic) stands up to student bully Sadie (Molly Tarlov). As Sadie tries to sneak into the big dance, Lissa (Greer Grammer), blaming Sadie for costing her Jake, also tells her off. Ricky Schwartz (Matthew Fahey) makes a play for Tamara (Jillian Rose Reed), who, as a drama queen, is very receptive to such things. Jenna is devastated to learn, or think she learns, that her mother, Lacey (Nikki Deloach), wrote the infamous letter.

      This season is too short. That's my biggest complaint about Awkward., which definitely ended up being my favorite series of the summer. Authentic characters that are pitch perfect, a protagonist that must be fallen in love with, and clever humor set this show head and shoulders above its peers. Almost every minute was pure joy to watch, and it will be extremely hard to wait for season two. This is one of those rare series that might demand a re-watch on DVD before new episodes return.

     The twist at the end of Lacey writing the letter is shocking, but not. Lacey has established a pattern of trying to help Jenna, but often seems clueless about how to do so in a way that her daughter will appreciate. This could be because Lacey is a bit immature, trying to recapture her youth, which she considers robbed from her by teenage pregnancy. But even for her, this is definitely a step too far. Yes, the letter is honest and somewhat helpful, but it's also not very nice. Considering how much Lacey values their mother-daughter bond, is it possible she could have done something so inconsiderate? Sadly, it is conceivable. But why not just talk to Jenna instead?

     Another possibility is that Jenna's dad, Kevin (Mike Faiola), wrote the letter. This seems far less likely for a number of reasons. The letterhead pattern is feminine. Guys don't generally plays games the way that girls do. They tend to be more straightforward. There hasn't been nearly as much on screen interaction between Kevin and Jenna as there has between Lacey and Jenna, making their relationship a tad harder to pinpoint. Yet, the letter certainly smacks of drama, and Kevin seems relatively drama-free.

     It might just be a coincidence that Jenna finds the same type of paper in her parents' junk drawer as the letter was written on. However, that seems far fetched. More likely, Lacey is going to have a lot of explaining to do.

     Jenna seems to at least be happy in the romance department, though. Having finally gotten pretty comfortable with herself, she finds two guys pursuing her. Yes, she has a strong, heartfelt, sexual attraction to Matty. She also knows Jake is more honest about who he is, and less concerned with what others think, an appealing quality after dealing with a shy Matty all of these months. Jenna chooses Jake, for now, because she's tired of drama. This is a very understandable reaction. But she's young, and her tears as she tells Matty that he's too late seem to indicate that it might not be. Poor Jenna has some real thinking to do. She should be with Jake for now, to get an idea of the differences between the two guys. We'll see who she picks in the end, though, as the jury is definitely still out on that.

     Tamara is captured more perfectly in "Fateful" than in any previous Awkward. episode. Her character is, at first, a bit hard to figure out. But as the season progresses, it is clear that Tamara is a huge drama queen, and she craves drama in her life, invented or otherwise. Her ongoing back and forth with Ricky Schwartz, and the fact that she keeps coming back to him, shows that he is feeding her what she desires. His CraigsList prom stunt is a wonderful capper... for now. They can't possibly last. If they burn too hot, they will flame out. That's the downside to drama. It must be continuously replenished, which is exhausting. One day Tamara will realize that. Hopefully not before Awkward. comes to an end, though, because her characters it totes entertaining just the way she is.

     Finally, it will be interesting to see if Lissa's break with Sadie will last. Sadie pushed her best friend way too far with Jake, a nice guy who will only put up with so much. It is unlikely that Lissa, a dumb, but somewhat sweet, girl would have done the things she did without Sadie's influence. Jake would not have been with Lissa in the first place if that was the type of girl that she is. It's definitely refreshing to see her stop being such a patsy, and only losing someone she cares about as much as Jake could push her to be so. The question now is, does Sadie still want to be friends, and is she willing to eat a little humble pie to fix things? This seems unlike Sadie, but we know Sadie's attitude is covering insecurities. Losing her only real friend could be devastating. Surely, Lissa will forgive her if Sadie gives an inch, but she shouldn't unless Sadie shows remorse. Their relationship in season two could be slightly, or very, different. I'm going to guess slightly.

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