August 31, 2012

Episode Review: AWKWARD., "Pick Me, Choose Me, Love Me"

After a few adequate to mediocre episodes, Season 2 of Awkward. delivered one of the best outings of the show's short existence with "Pick, Me, Choose Me, Love Me."

Last week, Jenna made her private blog public as a way to help Jake understand what was going on between her and Matty, but her decision had some unexpected consequences. First off, she humiliated those she cared about most by airing her dirty laundry, but something even odder happened; her blog made her a celebrity. Apparently, her lifestory was tawdry and entertaining enough that she somehow turned into a arbiter of taste and an expert in love. Ironic, right? Not only were people asking for her advice, but the school also turned into a battleground between Team Matty and Team Jake, and whichever move she made was going to be witnessed by everyone.

As for the boys, the drama revolving around Jenna was impacting their friendship, and their supporters were not helping as they constantly voiced their opinions on who was in the right and who Jenna should end up with. It looked like the bond between bros was officially broken until Val made them watch a movie in French class which solved all of their problems. They decided to not let a girl get in between them, so they told Jenna that she was going to have to choose one. As a way to help her make up her mind, they pointed out why she should pick the other one, and the pressure got to her so she said they should just date each other and walked off.

Jenna's blog not only affected her life at school, but also her life at home. Since she wrote about the whole care-frontation debacle, everyone knew about what Lacey did, and she was getting an earful from those who thought she was a horrible monster. Much to her credit, Lacey did not get mad at Jenna for exposing her actions because she knew that she deserved whatever was being thrown at her, and she repented for what she did. By the end of the episode, we found out why Lacey wrote the letter and how she's not as bad of a person as we first thought.

Let's be honest, Matty and Jake being together makes the most sense since they were perfectly fine until Jenna showed up. While we all know that's out of the question, it's just something to thing about. Team Make aside, this was a great episode for the two guys since they actually showed some maturity and rationality unlike our heroine, and it'd do them both good just to move on for the time being to let Jenna catch up. Yes, she's destined to end up with one of them (Matty!), but taking a step back from all of the relationship angst would be welcomed break.

"Pick Me" was also a strong episode for Lacey. Not only did we get some insight into why she wrote the letter but also into why she's the kind of person that she is. For the longest time, Lacey's been nothing more than an annoying bother, but I actually found myself caring about her after this one. While I don't see myself ever being a fan of her, at least I have a better grasp on where Lacey's coming from, which makes her at least more interesting. It was also good to have Kevin back in the fold, but I was less enthused by his admission that he wasn't the best guy in the world, but he too was far more developed than when the episode started, so I can't complain too much.

Other Odds and Ends
  • Ming's still straddled with the Asian Mafia non-sense?
  • It was pretty clever how the show went all meta and made Jenna's life into a television show just like the one she's on.
  • That said, I'm not sure I get how she became a celebrity. Maybe it was a sly commentary on how today's youths only pay attention to self-destructive train wrecks.
  • Since I HATE Tamara's slang, I did not care for the fact that it started spreading all over school, and I literally cringed when she started coaching people on her inane babble.
  • How cute were the boys when they were vouching for one another? Team Make!
  • That final scene between Jenna and her dad was hands down the best thing this show's ever done. We definitely need more of those types of moments.
Romantic frenzy might be what Awkward. banks on, but "Pick Me, Choose Me, Love Me" proved that you need compelling characters to make it all work. After the last episode, I felt myself reaching my limits in regards to the love triangle, but I ended up caring again by the end of the half-hour because I was reminded of why I got invested in the first place. I liked some of these people and the fate of their lovelives. Dang you Awkward. for sucking me back in ... for now.


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