August 3, 2012

Episode Review: AWKWARD., "What Comes First: Sex or Love?"

Last week, I wrote about how I've come to the conclusion that Awkward. is just not my kind of show, and that didn't really change after I watched "What Comes First: Sex or Love?," but I did like this episode more than the previous one.

Jenna was feeling guilty after responding to Jake's declaration of love with "awesome," and she tried to understand why she couldn't say those three magic words back to him. According to everyone around her, including Aunt Ally, it started to become apparent that the only way she could get to the answer was by sleeping with Jake. Ultimately, she decided it was time to do the deed, and since it's Awkward. this led to uncomfortable conversations with Valerie and her proposition to her boyfriend being blasted over the P.A. system. The added public pressure had an effect on Jake, but he was game only if it was because Jenna wanted to and not to prove anything to him. Before getting down, Jenna realized that she didn't need to sleep with Jake to figure out how she felt because she knew that she did love him.

Elsewhere, Aunt Ally broke the news that she was getting married to someone she barely knew, and as it turned out her future husband was Sadie's uncle. Speaking of Sadie, her tryst with Ricky Schwartz continued after the Black Hearts party, and he spent most of the episode trying to convince her to give him a shot. After an impromptu girl talk session with Ally, Lacey, Valerie and Jenna, she cut him a break.

Since I'm a member of Team Matty, I thought I was going to hate an episode dedicated to Jenna and Jake talking about having sex, but it ended up working for me. For one, I felt that sex was given an appropriate discussion because it involved not only the physical act, but a conversation about how it could affect teenagers. Rather than trivializing sex, which could be argued was what happened between her and Matty, Jenna's first time with Jake was well thought out and dare I say rational. As for Matty, I actually like the idea of him and Jenna being just friends at this point because it could allow him to show his different sides. I still think Jenna should end up with him (mostly because Jake's so boring), but I'm OK with them taking some time apart for now.

"What Comes First" was not flawless though. Aunt Ally's up there on my "Awkward. Characters I Cannot Stand" list along with Lacey and Valerie, so the fact that she just popped up almost single-handedly took me out of the episode. Sufficed to say, the gab session involving the three of them was hard to sit through, but it did lead to some genuinely nice moments, so I guess it wasn't all that bad. The whole Saide/Ricky stuff also didn't quite land for me because it felt like it was introduced just to give Molly Tarlov something to do since her character's been pushed to the side this season.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • Thankfully, we didn't get too much Tamara this week. If I had to witness yet another one of her Ricky-induced meltdowns, bad things would have happened.
  • It's just too bad that less Tamara also meant less Ming.
  • Even though I'm not a Jake fan, his scene with Matty where he showed his vulnerabilities was charming.
  • Also charming, Matty talking to Jenna about her do's and don'ts.
  • While I appreciated the scene where Lacey told Jenna about how every first time is truly a first time, her character's to far gone for me to sympathize with.
So, "What Comes First" may not have completely won me back, but it was one of the more enjoyable Season 2 episodes to date, and it did remind me of what I liked about this show to begin with.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this! The new episode (August 9th) is on & I was so extremely confused.. I read this during the commercial break & it explains everything!

Marcos said...

Happy to oblige. Thanks for reading.

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