Jenna (Ashley Rickards) continues to spiral out of control as she tries to take her relationship with cardboard cut-out Collin (Nolan Funk) public. Unfortunately nobody – including this reviewer – is having it.
Let’s bitch it out…Awkward. has never been afraid to make its protagonist unlikable. It’s one of show’s greatest strengths, as well as what makes it so frustrating. After all, we’re forced to watch an emotional teenage girl make excessively poor decisions as she navigates life and love, all the while wondering why she’s being such a tool.
I’m finding it really difficult to remain objective as we make our way through this third season. We’re being asked to watch – and judge – as Jenna impulsively cheats on and dumps her boyfriend of several years for a guy that no one in her life knows anything about. As I discussed countless times in the first half of the season earlier this year, that list of people who know nothing about Collin includes us viewers. So basically at this point we’re watching Jenna rip apart all of the relationships in her life for some guy that even the series seems uncertain about. “We don’t know Collin” mom Lacey (Nikki Deloach) patiently tells Jenna early in ‘Taking Sides’ and that line rings true to me. Even after a “get to know you” BBQ gone awry (no one under 30 turns up!), we still have absolutely no idea who this guy is – Collin’s like an ephemeral mass that enters and exits scenes, hollowly delivering lines of dialogue that are meant to sound supportive or sexy. The problem is that nothing he does really helps us to better understand why Jenna has chosen this guy above everyone else in her life. And that’s maddening.
Maybe Val (Desi Lydic) has it right when she suggests that it’s his bod? (Side Note: see The Canyons for a bikini brief view…or rather don’t. That festering turd is sure to turn up on my Bitch Awards list and not on the Best side. Here’s a link instead).
By the end of ‘Taking Sides’ nearly everyone has. None of them are on Jenna’s side. Tamara (Jillian Rose-Reed) and Ming (Jessica Lu) are on the receiving end of some serious text haterade, Jake (Brett Davern) has cut ties after finding out Tamara kept Jenna’s secret from him before the party and even the adults have confirmed that Collin is “no Matty”. It’ll be interesting how Jenna’s new selfish/vindictive attitude plays out in the weeks to come, especially since it appears that Matty (Beau Mirchoff) will be moving on nearly as quickly as she has.
- I wasn’t sure how the Matty/Sadie (Molly Tarlov) relationship would handle his break-up considering her sexual interest in him in the past. It’s kind of refreshing to see the two of them leaning on each other during their respective times of hardship. I especially liked how they joke about the hotness of each other’s sexual prospects
- Welcome back, Austin (Shane Harper)! I don’t remember him being quite this weird when last we saw him in ‘That Girl Strikes Again’ but he’s fun and this show can use a good dose of quirk if Clark or Kyle aren’t going to make regular appearances
- It seems that the writers have found the sweet spot when it comes to using Lissa (Greer Grammer). She seems to pop up in a few scenes, deliver some crazy-cat lady statements and then vacate. Now that I think about it, she’s kind of a teenage version of Val
- Finally, good to see Kevin (Mike Faiola) again, even if it is just for a random scene threatening Collin’s dangly bits with BBQ utensils if he doesn’t take things slow with Jenna (sexually speaking). I know that there’s a big focus on how Jenna’s relationship with her mom, but I really like what Kevin brings to the mix, so I hope Awkward. uses him a little more
- Sadie (describing Austin to Lissa): “He’s some bitch’s Boo Radley brother”
- Austin (to Sadie, about Lissa): “Who’s that one?”
- Austin (after Lissa tells him about Sadie’s past with Ricky): “If you ever kill me, I hope you’ll keep our murder-baby”
- Tamara (after Jenna explodes): “Were they serving cray poop-on at your BBQ?”
You’re up: do you think Jenna has gone off the deep end or is this a fairly realistic portrayal of a girl who’s fallen too far, too fast? Is Lacey the worst mother EVER for being so inappropriate with Jenna’s friends? Do you think Jake had a right to feel betrayed by Tamara? And should Matty and Sadie hook up, or are you glad that Austin is back in the picture? Sound off below
Awkward. airs Tuesdays at 10:30pm EST on MTV