‘Awkward.’ Season 1 Review

When I first saw the promos for Awkward in 2011, I was not interested at all. I thought it would be another lame show on MTV that would fail. Seeing a girl walking around in a cast did not catch my attention, so I passed on the show. Two years later, I saw on twitter Awkward. was put on Netflix instant for one month only. I thought, why not give it a chance when I’ve read and heard great things about the show. Within the first 5 minutes of the pilot episode I was hooked. Next thing I know, I finished the first two seasons in a 12-hour span.

Awkward. premiered on July 19, 2011 as a teen comedy drama series on MTV created by Lauren Iungerich which is centered around the life of a nobody high school junior and blogger Jenna Hamilton (Ashley Rickards) dealing with a very awkward yet regular high school life with her two best friends: gossip and chatty Tamara (Jillian Rose Reed) and Ming (Jessica Lu) who’s more laid back. Like every girl in high school, Jenna has boy troubles and is surrounded by the cute, popular, and single Matty McKibben (Beau Mirchoff) and his best friend Jake Rosati (Bretty Davem) who is dating a Christian cheerleader Lissa (Greer Grammer), who is best friends with Jenna’s nemesis Sadie Saxton (Molly Tarlov). Meanwhile, Jenna also has to deal with her unprofessional crazy counselor Valerie Marks (Desi Lydic), her supportive and protective father Kevin (Mike Daiola) and her wannabe teenage mother Lacey (Nikki Deloach).

Season one starts off with Jenna losing her virginity to Matty at the end of summer camp, then has an accident that has her parents believe it was a suicide attempt, leading to her returning to school with a neck brace and the worse embarrassing arm cast. Also in the pilot episode, Jenna receives an anonymous harsh letter on how to improve her sad and pathetic life. As Jenna checks off the list on the letter throughout the season, she also tries to figure out her relationship with Matty, who is embarrassed because he cares about what others think about him and chooses to hide his “friends with benefits” relationship with Jenna from his friends and classmates. Meanwhile, Jenna gets kissed by Jake, who later on realizes he has feelings for her after he breaks up with his demanding and clingy girlfriend Lissa.

Although a love triangle storyline is very common in shows and sometimes in movies, I am a sucker for the messy situation. Rickards (One Tree Hill) has great chemistry with both actors Mirchoff (I Am Number Four) and Davem (The Pool Boys), and play off each other very well. Either it’s Mirchoff acting as a jerk that wants to hide and not be in a relationship with Jenna, or Davem creating his character to be a dork that isn’t afraid to show it and is easy to talk to, Rickards can respond to their acting. The same with everyone else on the show, which is why the show works; it’s a great cast.  All of the actors have chemistry with each other, either it’s the adults of the kids; it’s well balanced.

Jenna and Matty continue their secret relationship throughout out the season, and Matty tells no one including his best friend. Except the plot thickens in the season finale when Jenna hits a breaking point with Matty and decides to go the Winter Formal with Jake. As Matty shows up to the dance and sees Jenna with Jake, realizing how much he likes her. He’s falling for her, and wants to be in a relationship with her. In the end, Jenna decides if Matty gets another chance and discovers who wrote the anonymous harsh letter

This show reminded me of another MTV show called My Life as Liz. Although that show was a horrible reality scripted TV show, Awkward. is a better version of that show. This show brings out the high school girl I once was. For example, Mirchoff’s character makes me gush like the way I did when I was crushing on the school’s popular babe. It definitely makes me wish to relive my high school years. I can’t exactly explain it and I don’t know if it’s the writing, the acting, and/or the storylines that makes me wish I had seen it back in 2011. It’s absolutely a show you should be watching.

More thoughts:

  • Good-looking parents. I like that Kevin is supportive and protective of Jenna, while Lacey tries too hard to be a girlfriend rather than a mom. She needs to take a few notes from One Tree Hill’s Haley or Gilmore Girls’ Lorelai.
  • Valerie is the coolest and most unprofessional guidance counselor. Why wasn’t my high school counselor that awesome?
  • We all have (or had) that one high school friend who’s over dramatic, does anything to fit in and become popular. Jillian Rose Reed nails the role.
  • Ming reminds of Gilmore Girls’ Lane, but not as interesting either until season two.
  • Nikki Deloach is too pretty to be a bully.

Awkward. is currently on Instant Watch on Netflix for one month only. Tune in in two weeks as I talk about season two.

About Amy

I watch A LOT of tv shows and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I'm obsessed with couples from my favorite TV shows. I get lost in the different worlds of books. I sing my heart out and have my own concert in my living room with my iPod blasting. Lastly, I love to write. You can follow me on Twitter @iAMart_22

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