Awkward. brings back Annoying Jenna (Ashley Rickards) for another round as our protagonist randomly decides to make a stand in another weak episode.
Let’s bitch it out…The start of the season had such promise! But after only a few weeks, it seems that Awkward. has abandoned its well constructed arcs in order to turn Jenna into an unlikeable character again. Thus far this season she’s mistreated Matty (Beau Mirchoff) by not trusting him with her pregnancy scare, feared that she wasn’t “hot” enough and now she’s decided that she needs to martyr herself out of pity for the unpopular girls at school.
Mmmkay…so where did this come from? I can certainly appreciate that the show is making an effort to reinforce that Jenna is not so far removed from her days as an outcast that she doesn’t feel guilty for having a boyfriend. The problem is that her reaction in ‘Guilt Trippin’ feels completely overboard. In all honesty, the plot of this episode feels like an idea hatched in the writers’ room when they realized they needed another episode and had already run out of ideas; it’s not funny, it won’t be referred to again and it’s really, really annoying.
The only moment I can say that I truly enjoyed is when Lacey (Nikki Deloach) barges into Jenna’s room, steers her straight and forces her to go to the dance. When Lacey is the voice of reason and actually makes rational arguments, you know that something has gone terribly wrong.
And yet here we are.
So far Awkward. S3 has been significantly more successful than S2 (with all of its love triangle drama), but the show appears to be having more difficulty forming some kind of master narrative. Instead we have these one-off episodes that fail to contribute to our understanding of the characters and their world.
But hey, isn’t it hilarious that Christy Patton is actually a high-school drug dealer? Because clearly no one would have ever suspected that she was anything but a suicidally depressed loser! Sooooo funny
- I don’t recall this level of animosity between Sadie (Molly Tarlov) and Clark (Joseph Haro) before. It makes sense that they would dislike each other, but there’s a certain amount of genuine hatred between them now as they spar over the theme of the dance (Side Note: why are they making these decisions days beforehand? Aren’t these things planned for months in advance?)
- The Asian Mafia storyline returns, but it’s yielding significantly lower returns for each subsequent appearance. Not only is Becca’s (Jessika Van) schtick getting old, but Ming (Jessica Lu) seems completely powerless to fight her, which is more pathetic than amusing. One exception to this rule: Becca’s text that she’s already anticipated Ming’s next move. Unexpectedly funny and exceedingly brief – like a funnybone tickle and then gone
- Yes, the “white bitch for Asian advice” is funny, but it feels like it’s only really amusing because of the expletives. Kudos to Lu for the pitch perfect delivery, though
- Guys who can’t dance = a tired, old stereotype
- Jokes about emulating Footloose to find the courage to dance = more acceptable (but still kinda tired and stereotypical if we’re being honest)
- While I’ll admit to being frustrated with the vast majority of this episode, the final scene when Jenna and Matty dance in front of the car is kind of adorable
- Sources say that Tamara’s (Jillian Rose Reed) proclivity for telling Jake (Brett Davern) – and therefore Matty – about everything will soon come back to bite her in the ass. (The source is me, so that’s not a spoiler, but it feels like a storm might be brewing here)
- Ming (to Sadie): “Hey, so…do you consider yourself a manipulative bitch?”
- Jake (when Matty makes a footloose reference): “Like you’re ready for the warehouse”
Am I off base with this criticism of the show? Did you find ‘Guilt Trippin’ particularly memorable? Is Jenna waffling far too much this season? Do you remember Sadie and Clark being so confrontational? And is Tamara going to seriously screw-up her friendship with Jenna thanks to her over-sharing habit with Jake? Comment away below
Awkward. airs Tuesdays at 10pm EST on MTV