Awkward Review: A Great Series Premiere
Whatever is in the scripted water over at MTV, the folks there need to keep drinking. Between Teen Wolf and Awkward, I’m in love with this network for all the right reasons.
Awkward is perhaps the most aptly-titled show on television. Everything Jenna Hamilton goes through fits that word and I can’t help laughing and feeling second hand embarrassment right along with her.
Yes, Jenna dreams of being noticed in her high school and having a reputation. Of course, no one fantasizes about being known as the girl who tried to off herself (accidentally, of course). But with that unfortunate predicament comes a lot of heart and charm.
Much like How I Met Your Mother, most of the story is hilariously told through Jenna’s narration. Like most teenagers, Jenna doesn’t voice most of her concerns socially; it’s best left to the anonymity of the Internet and the privacy of her own room.
As a result, we’re treated to Jenna’s innermost sarcasm and insecurities. She gives a voice to what viewers are thinking, bonding us even more so to her character as we catch glimpses of a girl navigating through adolescence and into adulthood.
Then there's Jenna’s crush, Matty, the boy to whom she also loses her virginity. I really wasn’t feeling Matty in the beginning of the episode. He reminded me of Stifler from American Pie - having a sensitive side, but sometimes being a little too insensitive. Having seen the second installment, though, without giving anything away, I will say I like the path Matty by this time next week.
Then there’s Tamara, Jenna’s best friend, the girl we can rely on for awkward human. She sometimes feels like a living tabloid, making wildly inappropriate remarks and telling Jenna to do things like flashing certain body parts to the world. In other words, I basically love every sentence that comes out her mouth.
I don’t have very many concerns about the show and where it’s heading. The most pressing issue in the "pilot" was Jenna’s “bucket list” for standing out. It’s only one page, and granted, we don’t know what’s on it, but there can’t be very much. How long will it last and where do we go when it runs dry?
I could also nitpick Sadie and Valerie, the mean overweight cheerleader and Jenna’s school counselor, respectively. I found no redeeming qualities in Sadie whatsoever, she’s just a bully. I understand the need for a villain, but she’s manipulative and every bad thing that happens to her seems well deserved.
As for Valerie, she’s just wildly inappropriate for a school counselor. It’s funny and I love it, but I wish the adults on the show had a bit more of a grip on a reality.
Even so, Awkward is hilarious. I'm glad I didn't attend this high school, but I'm gonna enjoy watching the escapades of those who do.
Nick McHatton is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.