Awkward (TV series)

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Awkward
Awkward title.png
GenreComedy-drama
Created byLauren Iungerich
Starring
Narrated byAshley Rickards
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes63 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)Robert West
Location(s)Los Angeles, California
Running time20–44 minutes
Production company(s)Remote Productions
Mosquito Productions
Crazy Cat Lady Productions
MTV Production Development
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channelMTV
Original runJuly 19, 2011 (2011-07-19) – present
External links
Website
 
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Awkward
Awkward title.png
GenreComedy-drama
Created byLauren Iungerich
Starring
Narrated byAshley Rickards
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes63 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)Robert West
Location(s)Los Angeles, California
Running time20–44 minutes
Production company(s)Remote Productions
Mosquito Productions
Crazy Cat Lady Productions
MTV Production Development
DistributorCBS Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channelMTV
Original runJuly 19, 2011 (2011-07-19) – present
External links
Website

Awkward is an American teen comedy series created by Lauren Iungerich for MTV. The show's central character is Jenna Hamilton (Ashley Rickards), a Palos Verdes, California, teenager who struggles with her identity, especially after an accident is misconstrued as a suicide attempt.

The series premiered on July 19, 2011. MTV renewed the series for a second season on August 24, 2011.[1] The second season premiered on June 28, 2012 at 10:30pm.[2] Awkward was officially renewed for a third season with an order of 20 episodes on July 25, 2012, which began airing on April 16, 2013 at 10:00pm.[3] On June 26, 2013, it was announced that the show's creator Lauren Iungerich would be exiting the show after production of season three concludes on June 27, 2013. The rest of the show's third season began airing on October 22, 2013.[4]

MTV renewed the series for a fourth season on August 5, 2013, that premiered on April 15, 2014 with new showrunners, Chris Alberghini and Mike Chessler, to replace creator and former showrunner, Lauren Iungerich.[5]

Awkward '​s first season was generally well-received with television critics praising the show's realism and writing as well as its central character, and was included in various critics' top ten lists. The show also earned several award nominations, winning one Teen Choice Award and one People's Choice Award.

On October 8, 2014, Awkward was renewed for a fifth and final season.[6]

Plot[edit]

Social outcast Jenna Hamilton, after receiving a "carefrontation" letter, has an accident, looking like she tried to commit suicide. By making changes and embracing her misfortune, she becomes well-known to her peers through her blog, as she also deals with different boy troubles throughout the years.

Synopsis[edit]

Season 1[edit]

After losing her virginity to the popular Matty McKibben during summer camp, Jenna Hamilton continues a secret relationship with him that only her two best friends Tamara and Ming know about. Upon returning home from camp, Jenna receives a "carefrontation" letter from an anonymous source, brutally criticizing her for being a "loser". When Jenna attempts to get rid of the letter, she falls and breaks her arm, accidentally making it look like a suicide attempt. Gossip spreads fast, which makes Jenna receive unwanted attention at school, especially from nosy guidance counselor, Ms. Marks, and mean girl Sadie Saxton. Jenna decides to take the advice in the carefrontation letter to become bolder and more outgoing, and her popularity increases as a result. Jenna's growing popularity initially creates tension between her and her friends but the three eventually make up. Jenna begins to resent being in a secret relationship with Matty. Later she finds out that Matty's best friend, Jake Rosati has a crush on her. Jake breaks up with his beautiful but ditzy girlfriend, Lissa, to ask Jenna to the Winter Dance. Jenna ends her relationship with Matty to be with Jake, and both eventually agree to not tell Jake about it. After several false leads, Jenna finds out who wrote her the confrontation letter--her mother, Lacey.

Season 2[edit]

Jake falls in love with Jenna and they begin a relationship, but this leads to awkward tension between her and Matty. The two try to keep any evidence that they were together a secret. Meanwhile, Jenna makes her mother tell her father that she herself wrote the "carefrontation" letter. After that, Kevin moves out and breaks up with Lacey because he can't understand how she could have done something so cruel to her own daughter. Meanwhile, Sadie begins dating Ricky Schwartz, much to Tamara's dismay. Jenna's Aunt Ally returns to get married and Jenna worries that Lacey's high school boyfriend, who is invited to the wedding, will ruin her parents' chances of getting back together. Jenna intervenes and eventually Kevin and Lacey make up. Jenna struggles with her feelings for Jake and realizes she is still in love with Matty. Sadie tells Jake about Jenna's previous relationship with Matty and he breaks up with her. On his way to apologize to Jenna, he witness her kissing Matty. The two boys get in a public fistfight but eventually make up and ask Jenna to choose between them. After much deliberation, Jenna chooses Matty over Jake and the two begin their relationship anew although Jenna wonders if she made the right decision by choosing to stay with Matty instead of going to the summer trip to Europe. At the end of the year party, Jake and Tamara kiss and become a couple while Sadie is devastated to find Ricky cheating on her with another guy, Clark.

Season 3[edit]

When school starts again, Jenna is jealous to find out that Tamara has a new look and has become closer with Jake and Valerie. However, Tamara's increased popularity creates tension between her and Jake, especially when they run against each other for student body president. Ming finally finds a boyfriend and becomes head of the "Asian Mafia" although the power quickly goes to her head. Jenna starts taking a creative writing class where she meets Collin, an attractive intellectual. As Jenna gets bored with her relationship with Matty, she starts a fling with Collin.

This affair is then revealed on Jenna's 17th birthday party. Matty is willing to forgive Jenna, but she breaks up with him for Collin. Jenna becomes increasingly isolated from her friends as she spends more of her time with Collin, who encourages her to smoke pot. Eventually Jenna and Collin split after she gets suspended and realizes her mistakes. Her friends forgive her, but her actions aren't forgotten.

Ming's reign of power in the Asian Mafia eventually ends when she negotiates with Becca to keep her position as the leader as long as she leaves her and her boyfriend, Fred Wu, alone.

Season 4[edit]

Jenna is in her senior year hoping to make amends for the prior year's mishaps. She attempts at being more involved in school, improving her academics, preparing for college and rekindling her relationship with Matty. A new character, Eva, enrolls in school. Ming has broken up with Fred Wu and moved away to Vermont while Tamara and Jake partake in a sexually active relationship. Jake changes his image during the summer and starts making music. He eventually decides to break up with Tamara. Sadie lives with her adoptive parent, Allie, while working nights at a food truck. Matty gets a job and continues to be friends with Jenna. However, they end up having sex and what Jenna interprets after, by his evasive actions, as embarrassment to be with her, is grieving over the fact that he's adopted. He eventually quits his job in rebellion over his adoption. In sympathy, Matty and Jenna become friends with benefits. Jenna eventually ends it and becomes romantically involved with Luke, a college freshman. It causes more friction between Matty and Jenna and to compensate, Jenna tries to get him and Eva together. Yet, Jenna realizes that she hasn't truly let go. This puts strain on her relationship with Luke as Matty and Jenna argue whenever they see each other due to Eva causing trouble. She's generally up to no good, black-mailing Sadie so Austin breaks up with her and trying to make Jenna jealous of Matty's new relationship. One of these acts include leaving her underwear in Jenna's bed, so that it looked like she and Matty slept together. The mid-season ends with Luke and Jenna breaking up, Eva being caught in her lies and confessing to being pregnant, Tamara and Jake becoming friends, and Mr. Hamilton being injured. However, Matty figures out that Amber (Eva) was lying about everything and breaks up with her and tells her to leave forever. On New Years, Matty, Jenna, Jake and Tamara get together and decide to crash Sadie's aunt's party. While there, Matty reconciles with his mother and Jenna finds a new guy to kiss at midnight, a guy who she later finds out is a sophomore. Meanwhile, college acceptances are rolling in and it seems as though everyone's been accepted everyone except Jenna, that is. Jenna also attempts to get into Lockard U. but doesn't get accepted though her mother does. On the episode of Matty's 18th birthday, Jenna competes with his new girlfriend Gabby, only to realize Gabby is genuinely nice and means no harm. She ends up confessing to Matty in her bedroom that she feels like Gabby's virginity is worth waiting for, and that Jenna's wasn't. Matty argues this by telling her that he didn't want to be alone when he opened a letter in which would tell him who his birth parents are, which showed how much Jenna meant to him. After Matty's disappointment of reading that his birth mother does not want to be found, Jenna comforts him and the two end up kissing. To which Jenna stops him and tells him she can't because she needs to be loyal to Gabby. Matty then argues by saying, "It's us. It's kinda different, goes a bit beyond the rules of high school."

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

Conception[edit]

"The first season is really about identity and an exploration of 'Who am I?' through the eyes of Jenna as she's exploring who she is. This season [season 2] the driving theme is, 'Who do I want to be with?' and that doesn't just pertain to romantic entanglements but also to friendships and family for everyone. The driving force of Season 3 will be 'Who do I want to be?' and making a choice in the decision of identity."

Lauren Iungerich on Awkward '​s themes[9]

[10] She spent time with actual high school students to elaborate the teen dialogue of the show.[11] She also met them to talk about their lives and to make sure the show reflects the reality.[9]

Citing her writing influences, Iungerich said she likes Friday Night Lights: "What Jason Katims did in five seasons was utterly beautiful. The story and who the people truly were came first. That's what I sort of took away from it; to be so bold as to graduate people, and wrap up story lines or allow them to come back in organic ways and to fall in love with the new characters. I want to take a lesson from that. Moving forward, I'm going to take a note from the brave things that he did in that show."[9]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Awkward mostly received positive reviews for its first season.[12] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the TV series received an average score of 74, based on 13 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[12] The Wall Street Journal '​s Dorothy Rabinowitz explained Awkward is a "series about a high-school girl that's neither maudlin nor alarming nor conceived with intent to preach or to shock. It's further distinguished by its focus on entirely recognizable teenage pains, as endured by an entirely recognizable teenager, Jenna (Ashley Rickards). Its other distinction: strong echoes of an older kind of storytelling, the sort whose characters grow and acquire depth. This is a lot to expect these days from TV writing of any kind, much less a series about teenagers—it's relief enough when it's not about vampires."[13] Hank Stuever of The Washington Post found that series "funny", which was "a pleasant surprise from MTV, the maker of so many lame teen comedies that I’ve lost count."[14] The New York Times called Awkward as "a wry show about longing—for love, certainly, but also for consistency, that great intangible in the ever-morphing world of high school life".[15] John Kubicek of BuddyTV website wrote "Just like Easy A, Mean Girls or other strong, female-centric teen comedies, Awkward has a quick wit and a very distinct vision of the world. It's the perfect blend of comedy and painful teenage awkwardness, and in the end, the title says it all." He concluded "The result is one of the most enjoyable and earnest teen comedies TV has produced".[16] Writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, David Wiegand described the show as "a very smart mix of realism and satirical exaggeration" and praised the writing for being sharp.[17] Curt Wagner of RedEye stated Awkward is "whip-smart and hilarious" while lauding the sharpness of the writing.[18]

"With the right amount of exaggerated realism, creator Lauren Iungerich turns all the yearning, pain and, well, awkwardness of high school into a frothy, funny satire that should make anyone feel better about their own fumbling ways."

Curt Wagner of RedEye[18]

The New York Post writer Linda Stasi gave the show a three stars rating out of four commenting "aside from the gratuitous sexual stuff, Awkward is a really good, funny, fun show". However, Stasi mentioned "this just isn't the kind of thing you'd want to watch with your kids—nor want your kids to watch."[19] According to The Philadelphia Daily News, "Awkward like Glee deals gently and semicomically with issues of sexuality and bullying but never really draws blood".[20] HitFix's Daniel Fienberg gave the show a B rating commenting "Not only are high school horrors pretty universal, even if the specifics change, but I can find a way to fit Awkward into a tradition of hyper-literal high school comedies like Pretty in Pink or Heathers or Mean Girls or Juno. It's not as good as any of those, but it's not as bad as Jawbreaker, which is in the same tradition."[21] Variety '​s Brian Lowry was less enthusiastic about the show: "While the premise is refreshingly gimmick-free compared with RJ Berger or Teen Wolf, the situations aren't compelling enough to make this much more than a latter-day Doogie Howser, M.D. with a gender switch."[22]

The character of Jenna Hamilton has received positive feedback. Entertainment Weekly wrote Jenna "navigates the sharky waters of high school, friends, mean cheerleaders, and cute boys with a snarky voice-over that makes her—and Awkward.—easy to fall in love with."[22] The Huffington Post deemed Jenna's voice-overs "witty" as "[they] make this high-school dark comedy stand out from a crowd of stereotypical high school prime-time soaps."[23] David Hinckley of the Daily News gave the show a four stars rating out of five and wrote "Awkward is very good". He explained "For all the times we've seen the high school outcast who feels alternately ignored and humiliated by her peer group, she has rarely been played better than Ashley Rickards plays Jenna Hamilton." and went on "If the dramas are exaggerated, Jenna makes the trauma feel legitimate, and her narration gives everything a knowing undertone of humor and self-awareness that keeps the most uncomfortable moments from being painful."[24] Stasi compared Ashley Rickards to Juno actress Ellen Page: "Rickards is a great teen actress of the Ellen Page variety—the kind of kid whose pretty face and adorable bearing is swamped by her ability to look awkward and offbeat."[19] The Washington Post wrote of Rickards: "Following the well-trod path of Molly Ringwald’s Sixteen Candles and Claire Danes’s My So-Called Life, she effortlessly manages to elevate the unfresh premise of MTV’s new Tuesday night comedy series, Awkward, to something that is tawdry yet honest.[14]

Other characters' performances were also well received by critics. Kubicek appreciated that the show's villain, Sadie Saxton, is not "the typical perfect skinny girl" but "an overweight cheerleader who is popular only thanks to her parents."[16]

Critics' top ten lists[edit]

Following its first season, Awkward was included in various critics' top ten lists.

Accolades[edit]

YearAwardCategoryRecipients and nomineesOutcome
2012Young Artist Award[30]Best Performance in a TV Series – Leading Young ActressJillian Rose ReedNominated
Best Performance in a TV Series – Recurring Young Actor 17–21Matthew FaheyNominated
Critics' Choice Television AwardsBest Comedy ActressAshley RickardsNominated
Teen Choice Awards[31]Summer TV Star: FemaleNominated
TV Breakout Star: MaleBeau MirchoffWon
2013People's Choice AwardsFavorite Cable TV ComedyAwkwardWon
Young Artist Award[32]Best Performance in a TV Series – Guest Starring Young Actor 11–13Robbie TuckerNominated
2014Young Hollywood Awards[33]Bingeworthy TV ShowAwkwardPending

DVD release[edit]

DVD release dates for Awkward
NameRelease datesEp #Additional information
Region 1Region 2Region 4
Season OneNovember 15, 2011[34]October 4, 2012[35]October 17, 2012[36]12The two disc set contains all 12 episodes of season one as well as special features including Webisodes, Behind-the-scenes tours of the set, Wardrobe trailer and Cast interviews. WARNING: There are no subtitles, and "bad words" are bleeped out (on the region 1 set).
Season TwoOctober 16, 2012TBATBA12
Season Three, Part OneAugust 3, 2013TBATBA10
Seasons One and TwoOctober 1, 2013TBATBA24
Season Three, Part TwoJune 3, 2014TBATBA10
Season ThreeAugust 5, 2014TBATBA20

References[edit]

  1. ^ Abrams, Natalie (August 15, 2011). "MTV Renews Freshman Comedy Awkward for Season 2". TV Guide. Retrieved August 25, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Breaking News – MTV Announces Sizzling Summer Lineup at 2012 Upfront". TheFutonCritic.com. April 26, 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Awkward Season 3 Trailer". 
  4. ^ 10 MOS (June 26, 2013). "'Awkward' Creator Lauren Iungerich Exits". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Good News, 'Awkward.' Fans: The Palos Hills High School Gang Is Coming Back For Season 4!". MTV.com. August 5, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  6. ^ "MTV's Awkward to End After Season 5". TVLine. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  7. ^ 8/30/12. "I'm Team Jenna | Video". MTV. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  8. ^ Swift, Andy (October 31, 2013). "‘Awkward’ Season 4 Spoilers — Tamara & Jake’s Breakup And More". TVLine. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c Goldberg, Lesley (June 28, 2012). "'Awkward' Showrunner on Love Triangles and Lessons From 'Friday Night Lights'". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 
  10. ^ Radish, Christina (August 23, 2011). "Creator Lauren Iungerich Exclusive Interview AWKWARD". Collider. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  11. ^ Eggersten, Chris (August 9, 2011). "Interview with "Awkward" Star Ashley Rickards: "Michele Bachmann... I'm Terrified of Her"". AfterElton.com. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Awkward: Season 1Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  13. ^ Rabinowitz, Dorothy (July 22, 2011). "Therapy as Shock Treatment". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Stuever, Hank (July 19, 2011). "TV: On ‘Web Therapy’ and ‘Awkward,’ a lot of Skyping and sniping". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  15. ^ Bellafante, Ginia (July 18, 2011). "Teenager’s High-Five Is Plastered in Place". The New York Times. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  16. ^ a b Kubicek, John. "'Awkward' Review: New MTV Comedy is Painfully Funny". BuddyTV. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  17. ^ Wiegand, David (June 26, 2012). "'Awkward' review: A regular teen in high school". San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b Wagner, Curt (June 27, 2012). "TV review: Nothing 'Awkward' about this MTV gem". RedEye. Tribune Company. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  19. ^ a b Stasi, Linda (July 19, 2011). "'Awkward' suicide attempt makes for quirky series". New York Post. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  20. ^ Gray, Ellen (July 19, 2011). "Ellen Gray: Teen parents' daughter is focus of MTV's 'Awkward'". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  21. ^ Fienberg, Daniel (July 19, 2011). "TV Review: MTV's 'Awkward'". HitFix. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  22. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for Awkward Season 1 at Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  23. ^ Bell, Crystal (September 13, 2011). "'Awkward' Interview With Ashley Rickards: Actress Talks MTV Show, High School & Love Triangles". The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  24. ^ Hinckley, David (July 19, 2011). "'Awkward'". Daily News. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  25. ^ Fernandez, Maria Elena (December 23, 2011). "Homeland, Justified, Downton Abbey & More: The Best and Worst TV Shows of 2011". The Daily Beast. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  26. ^ Ryan, Maureen (December 15, 2011). "Best TV Shows of 2011: 'Community', 'Homeland' & More". The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  27. ^ McFarland, Melanie (December 14, 2011). "On Year End Lists, and Our Ten Reasons We Loved TV in 2011". IMDbTV. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  28. ^ Hinckley, David (December 25, 2011). "Best in TV for 2011 includes 'Downton Abbey,' '2 Broke Girls,' 'Homeland' and more". The New York Daily News. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  29. ^ Hale, Mike (December 16, 2011). "Drama, Fictional and Real, and Well-Earned Laughs". The New York Times. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  30. ^ "33rd Annual Young Artist Awards – Nominations / Special Awards". Young Artist Award. October 29, 2013. Retrieved October 29, 2013. 
  31. ^ Goodacre, Kate (June 19, 2012). "Critics Choice Television Awards 2012: The winners in full". Digital Spy. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  32. ^ "34th Annual Young Artist Awards – Nominations / Special Awards". Young Artist Award. October 29, 2013. Retrieved October 29, 2013. 
  33. ^ "YHA Nominees list". Young Hollywood Awards. June 28, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Awkward. DVD news: Press Release for Awkward – Season 1". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved July 17, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Awkward. – Season 1 [2 DVDs]: Amazon.de: Ashley Rickards, Beau Mirchoff, Nikki Deloach, David Katzenberg, Ryan Shiraki, Lauren Iungerich, Patrick Norris: Filme & TV". Amazon.de. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Awkward: Season 1". Ezydvd.com.au. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 

External links[edit]