MTV's Awkward. has steadily been one of our favorite summer sitcoms for two seasons now. Though the Season 3 premiere wasn't great, we assumed that Jenna and the gang would bounce back quickly... and it turns out, we were wrong. After watching last night's midseason finale, "Redefining Jenna," we're starting to wonder if we need to DTR back to "not worth watching." Here's why:
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:
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:
Hope you're not over Jessica Lange.
It's (not gonna be) Britney (anymore), bitch.
Best. Spaceship. Ever.
We could go on for days about our love of Dance Moms, or about how much we've enjoyed this sexed-up season of True Blood, but we expect to be entertained by reality TV trash and our favorite returning shows . What really surprised us this summer was just how many new scripted programs kept us genuinely enthralled -- a pleasant change from the years when all we had to watch in between trips to the pool and barbecues was the likes of Swingtown. And bonus points to ABC Family for really upping their game as a network in recent months. Here's what made it a summer to remember:
Many shows as of late have tried to capture the energy (and more importantly, the attention) of the current teen generation -- Teen Wolf, Chloe King, Switched at Birth, Glee, Make It or Break It, Secret Life, Gossip Girl, 90210...and this isn't a new thing; we could go all the way back to the original Degrassi if we wanted to. MTV has always been in the troop of networks trying to appeal to a teen audience, with varying degrees of success. Last night's premiere of the network's new show Awkward was no different: another attempt on MTV's part to stay hip, represent the youngsters and capture what they believe high school looks and feels like in a money-making bottle. If only they weren't trying so hard.
From the fashion to the lingo to the logo (and, let's face it, the title itself), this show is so hilariously stuck in the '80s that I actually had to look it up to make sure that it wasn't meant to be set thirty years prior. I would have still questioned it, had it not been for the use of smartphones -- well played, Jane By Design. I guess this just leaves one question as far as this inevitably short-lived series goes: Do the writers know less about being a high school student or about working in the fashion industry?