How MTV’s ‘Awkward.’ and ‘Faking It’ Overcame Gimmicky Beginnings by Telling …
August 31, 2015 - Finding Carter
The many frustrating thing about a unconstrained exercise of “But MTV doesn’t even play song anymore!” jokes — besides a fact that they’re totally played out — is that they implicitly write off the excellent programming that MTV does have to offer.
Granted, there is a lot of disaster on a network (it’s unequivocally time to retire Teen Mom and all associated shows), yet there’s also a handful of great, teen-centric programs. Teen Wolf has been a big success, Scream has been… interesting, during least, and Finding Carter has wavered between surprisingly romantic teen play and totally absurd yet interesting thriller. The dual best scripted shows on a network are Awkward. and Faking It, both of that lapse tonight.
Both are teen sitcoms that are marketed to tween and teen girls yet remain consistently interesting and intelligent for adult women as well, yet conjunction accurately had an portentous start. Awkward.‘s strange commander featured a viewed self-murder attempt, a oppressive letter, and, well, ungainly sex with a renouned guy. Meanwhile, Faking It had a cringeworthy and rather descent premise: dual teen girls fake to be lesbians in sequence to turn popular. But both shows disfigured around their strange loglines to turn something deeper, smarter, and some-more meaningful.
Awkward. is on a approach out (the arriving fifth deteriorate is apparently a last, though who unequivocally knows), and while it’s loyal that a peculiarity has been usually declining, generally given a depart of a strange showrunner, there are still some good moments here and there. While final deteriorate devolved into weird storylines about evil, psycho classmates with legitimate crazy walls and pregnancy traps, a uncover has dialed behind a thriller aspects and returned to a high propagandize roots.
The episodes sent to critics understanding with standard comparison year mishaps: comparison antic day, perplexing to buy drink while underage, and — of march — adore triangles, that is fundamentally what Awkward. was built on (teen wardrobe association dELiA*s even sole Team Jake and Team Matty T-shirts; a usually thing that stopped me from shopping one was that we usually couldn’t decide). It helps that this deteriorate takes place during comparison year, definition a array can strike all those fun milestones: prom, graduation, college plans, etc. Awkward. is best when it sticks to a smaller aspects of high propagandize life: traffic with your too-fun-loving parents, carrying heated crushes on a million boys, and usually perplexing to keep adult your grades when you’d rather fuck around with your friends and fume weed underneath a bleachers. Returning to these elements could bring Awkward. back to a uncover it once was — usually in time to send it divided on a high note.
While Awkward. is sailing away, Faking It is usually picking adult steam. Again, that show started off a bit hilly — we unequivocally most disliked a initial few episodes, that hinged entirely on Karma and Amy faking being lesbians. But Faking It slowly grew adult and divided from that by incorporating some reality, some exploration, current depictions of several forms of queerness, and even an intersex impression (who usually becomes some-more renouned once a propagandize learns about a temperament she’s been gripping secret).
Once a array focused reduction on their device and some-more on Amy’s doubt — is she gay? Straight? Bi? In adore with Karma or usually super tighten to her best friend? Only odd for Karma? — Faking It became truly great. It approaches teen sexuality with an open mind and ethereal writing, unequivocally removing into a grittiness and difficulty that come along with doubt when you’re in high school. The far-reaching operation of characters — true Karma, bi Amy (she still finds herself captivated to men), happy Shane, intersex Lauren, etc. — is not something that we see mostly on television, generally in a teen comedy.
The initial few episodes of Faking It‘s third season further this loyalty to teen sexuality. Karma is perplexing to have a particularly friends-with-benefits conditions with a child who is in adore with her (and who she is expected in adore with too), Lauren is traffic with a propagandize meaningful her tip while also being tyro legislature president, Shane is perplexing to omit a fact that he fundamentally outed his MMA warrior beloved so they could be seen together, and Amy is perplexing to have a plain attribute with another lady who might not be cold with her bisexuality, instead wanting Amy to be 100% gay.
MTV has found success with these teen sitcoms, exploring specific aspects of high propagandize life but entrance off as pandering or out of touch. Sure, some of a discourse (especially in Awkward.) will make we groan, and both series still tend to go overboard with outlandish storylines (there’s a narc impression in Faking It posing as a high schooler, a vital drug bust, and a storyline about Karma’s family’s financial troubles). But Faking It and Awkward. are shows that understanding delicately and respectfully with teen life — and a best approach to emanate a teen sitcom is to provide teenagers with respect.