**** Awkward (Season 1) 2011
I only have a couple of things that I count as truisms in life, one of them being that I’ll never enjoy anything MTV produces. Well, that might have changed with the release of Awkward, a half hour MTV-produced program about the trials and tribulations of a 15-year-old high school student named Jenna. Awkward gets a lot right and it feels like an extension of the Emma Stone breakout Easy A from a year or two back. It has a similar vibe, comparably quirking writing and a similarly strong cast. It was Kendall that recommended Awkward and I’m glad she did. In what could easily have been another tired, re-tread comedy about the difficulties faced in high school, Awkward rises above the fray on the strength of its stellar cast and crisp, often hilarious writing.
Ashley Rickards is the show’s greatest asset. She’s a perfect fit for the lead character – a smart dweeb with terrific comic timing. Desi Lydic as an inappropriate counselor and Nikki Delouch as Jenna’s young and bizarrely vain mother are both standouts as well.
I’m not sure who this series is aimed at – I guess high school kids – but it played well enough for me to stick through a dozen episodes on the strength of the writing and Rickards’ engaging performance. Perhaps we all have a soft spot for our formative high school years and it makes relating to the characters in Awkward an easy leap. In spite of the fact that much has changed in the thirty years since I was in high school, the experience itself remains the same. Everyone still wants to be accepted, liked and if at all possible… popular. There was also a lot less sex than I recall… with other people, I mean.
So, I’m left with only one truism, now that Kendall’s suggestion has shot holes in my MTV generalization, but I think it will be a little harder to undermine this last one… People who drive Audi’s are almost always douchbags.
Go ahead, you 4 circle psychos, prove me wrong.