|Nothing Awkward. Here | MTV Show Brings the Laughs
Categories: Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: August 6, 2012
by Ted Greenberg
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There is nothing awkward about Awkward., the self assured comedy series created by Lauren Iungerich. There show is part of the female comedy revolution on TV. I recently blogged about the Emmy nominations, highlighting those for writing secured by Lena Dunham (Girls) and Amy Poehler. Dunham,Poehler and Iungerich aren’t the only ones dominating the channels. We’ve got Tina Fey at least for a few more episodes on 30 Rock, Melissa McCarthy on Mike and Molly, Zooey Deschanel on New Girl. Ever since Marlo Thomas sashayed into our hearts with That Girl, there have been female heroines front and center in comedies. Mary Tyler Moore, Valerie Harper, Roseanne Barr, The Golden Girls, Sex and the City, Candice Bergen and Carol Burnett to name a few.
Awkward. follows California teenager Jenna’s harrowing journey through the maze of high school and young love. It delivers heartbreaking, bittersweet laughs week in and week out. Let’s be clear. Jenna and her friends would make anyone grateful that they don’t have any children. While their trials and tribulations are funny, who wants to deal with the mood swings, the ever evolving social system and the inherent narcissism of being a teenager.
As Jenna struggles to overcome the harrowing things a 15-year-old deals with, she puts on a brave face and struggles to fit in. Ashley Rickards in the title role gives such a spot on performance that you cannot imagine anyone else doing the role. She’s a little bit Claire Danes in My So-Called Life with a dash of Ellen Page from Juno and some rocking Molly Ringwald thrown in. Her facial expressions and quizzical delivery will at once break your heart and have you on the floor laughing. And thankful that this is not your life. Her BFFs are played to perfection by Jillian Rose Reed (the blabber mouth, high strung Tamara) and Jessica Lu (the slightly rebellious and sardonic Ming). All three of the girls hate the mean girl Sadie, played by Molly Tarlov, who is like a more modern brunette Busy Philipps.
Ashley Rickards in Awkward.
Awkward. is now in its second season. The first dealt with Jenna’s accident that was perceived as a suicide attempt by everyone in her life (parents, friends, fellow students) and her secret relationship with hunk Matty McKibbin (the excellent Beau Mirchoff). Matty had trouble committing to Jenna, and his best friend Jake, who is oblivious to their relationship, swooped in and stole Jenna’s heart. Season 2 has played with the romantic triangle in surprising and hilarious ways as Matty tries to prove to Jenna that he does care. It’s a huge credit to show creator Iungerich that the show has been able to (1) mine this triangle in such a funny and entertaining ways for nearly two seasons and (2) that Jenna choosing the good guy had so much drama. Normally, shows only find it in having the characters do the wrong thing. In this case, Jenna makes the right choice, but it still feels so wrong.
Awkward. hasn’t received the love and adoration (or Emmy nominations) that Girls has received. But, this show is another fine example of women creating rocking and funny television.
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Tags: Ashley Rickards, Awkward., Lauren Iungerich