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Why We’re Glad Awkward Is Back

by Rachel Stein June 29, 2012 12:30 pm
Why We’re Glad <I>Awkward</i> Is Back

While we weren't crazy about the Awkward pilot back when it premiered last summer, over the course of the first season we became smitten with MTV's little teen sitcom. If last night's Season 2 debut is any indication, it's safe to say that Jenna Hamilton won't drag us into a sophomore slump, despite the fact that she's online official with Jake. Here's why we're looking forward to following all the dramz:

Matty vs. Jake
Two extremely good looking guys vying for the love of one awesome sarcastic nerd? Obviously a rivalry of that nature brings out our inner fangirls in full-force. What's more is that Awkward doesn't paint either of them as the obvious choice of a mate for Jenna, so the will they/won't they is an actual constant struggle -- a rarity in teen shows, if not sitcoms in general. And the layers of secrecy and complicated friendships inside the love triangle make it all the more fun to watch.

Everyone is Equally Crazy
Guys, girls, teens and adults all play on the same level of insecurity, heightened emotion and unyielding sexuality. Instead of falling to archetypes, we're left with fun characters who are capable of pretty much anything, from Jenna's mom writing her daughter a cruel carefrontation note to Tarama's sort-of boyfriend Ricky sending her gross texts about his him and his hand missing her. While this sex obsession didn't work on MTV's failed (but underrated) I Just Want My Pants Back, both the actors and the writing on Awkward are genuinely funny and therefore able to carry the more ridiculous moments, as opposed to having jokes about a dad watching porn be horribly cringe-worthy.

The Supporting Cast
Nearly every player brings something to the table. It's hard to capture quite how great of a villain Sadie is -- after all, her most hurtful words are usually in the form of "You're welcome!" -- but she steals every scene she's in. Her well-meaning former minion Lissa has turned out to be a fun character as well (extra points go to her for promising to delete the Hamilton's a Whore online group), and we were especially happy when Jenna finally slapped her. Tamara and Ming aren't quite as captivating as Jenna's best friends, but Val makes up for them twofold. And one of the highlights of the premiere was the return of minor player Carl, who got to share his resolution: "This year, I'm gonna be on top --unless I'm in a monogamous relationship."

Ashley Rickards
When all else fails, we can rely on Rickards to carry a scene with her comedic timing and excellent portrayal of a confused teenager in pain. She knows how to turn on the sweet, the sexy, the angry and, of course, the cynicism. After all, it takes some solid acting for us to enjoy a scene where a dad buys his teenaged daughter a box of condoms.

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