Thursday, September 8, 2011

Awkward: Not Shy to Say I Like It

I recently caught Awkward, a new MTV series, a few episodes into its run and it pleasantly surprised me.  In Awkward, Jenna Hamilton, who gets injured in an accident, however it is misconstrued as an accident. Jenna then has deal with her newfound fame in high school, navigating reactions from friends, enemies and adults.

The primary storyline of the show is the romance between Jenna and Matty, a jock at her high school.  Jenna's rival for Matty's affection is Sadie, the school's spoiled, rich, bully.  There is a second thread about an anonymous, mean spirited letter Jenna receives after her accident.

Awkward is a surprising good comedy-drama.  The writers have slowly built the characters over the year to make them layered and interesting.  For example, the spoiled and rich Sadie is a chubby girl and over the season you have seen that her weight and family issues play a large parts in her meanness, not just at Jenna, but at herself.  Jenna's mother was a high school mean girl who got pregnant right out of high school and wants to relive her fun high school days through her daughter, yet doesn't want her to make the same mistakes as she did.  Of course, their are characters that don't work, such as the high school's counselor who just isn't funny or interesting and sticks out as a sore thumb as misplaced.

Jenna herself is an interesting character.  She seems like she is a typical high school girl who believes that she is smarter than almost everyone about her, however she is constantly discovering how little she does know.  Her relationship with Matty is a one sided affair; he is unwilling to publicly acknowledge their relationship or to even define it.  At the same time, Matty's best friend has told her how he feels.

Awkward is fun gem of a show.  The writers seem to care about developing the characters.  The acting from the lead character is really good and many of the supporting characters hold their own.  I really want to see how this show develops.

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