While I probably wouldn't recommend someone who's never seen Awkward to watch "Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes"/"Responsibly Irresponsible" as a way to understand what all the hype is about, as a fan of the show, I'm so happy that it's back and as dark as ever. The problems the show's always had are still there -- Val's role, the emotional intelligence of Lacey, the bizarrely silent extras (or is that new?), Tamara's speech patterns, the more ridiculously cartoonish moments -- and I think Jenna's pregnancy scare felt out-of-nowhere and was really oddly acted between Ashley Rickards and Nikki Deloach. Still, there were some pretty great gags last night that cracked me up and made me hope I was at least half as wise-beyond-my-years in high school as Jenna Hamilton is. Given that I really appreciate MTV letting this show continue to exist, I'll resist nitpicking and instead go over the highlights:
-Jenna worrying about her relationships with Tamara and Ming, which honestly sounds a lot more interesting than last season's #TeamMatty versus #TeamJake plot (and I say that as someone who firmly enjoyed the rivalry, though I wish it had a little more maturity interjected in it... but I understand the writers' choice not to).
-Val loving Tamara now -- I would feel like total shit if I were Jenna.
-Tamara's Euro-bragging and brand new world knowledge now that she spent a few weeks abroad.
-Mr. Heart, played by The Breakfast Club's Anthony Michael Hall. He's potentially the most realistic adult Awkward has ever had, which I find very promising.
-So much Kyle! I'm excited to see him in Creative Writing with Jenna, and he was fantastic at the memorial and vigil.
-Sadie calling Jenna out for being horribly selfish and thinking her stupid high school problems are as big as Sadie's pregnancy. (Of course, as far as we know now, this turned out to be ironic given that Sadie's actual problem is that her parents have a little less money than they used to -- but still enough to have a maid -- and Jenna's the one who actually had a pregnancy scare. Sometimes I wish Jenna was written a bit more selfishly, but again, I get why she isn't.)
-Lacey's excitement over someone in Jenna's class being pregnant.
-Ricky Schwartz dying! RIP, you boob-loving, pimp-aspiring freak! I can't begin to imagine the challenges he now faces as a ghost, what with vapor arms and what have you.
-Matty YOLOing, especially when he kissed Jake.
-Tamara's spell book and voodoo kit for Ricky, including the spell for "Excessive Pubes."
-"It's gonna be okay, no one ever died getting touched by their uncle."
-Lacey's sexual responsibility talk turning out to be written directly in front of her at the doctor's office.
-Tamara mouthing, "Me too," about Sadie paying someone to cast a spell on Ricky.
-Clark revealing that he's been hooking up with Ricky for years and later spooning with his fake corpse.
-The introduction of Nolan Gerard Funk, who I'm pretty sure I hated on Glee but is another nice new piece of eye candy for the show. Woohoo!
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