“Awkward” continues to press forward, but it is not seemingly pressing forward to a very happy place. This continues to be one of the darkest and at times saddest shows on TV, as it represents what exactly happens when someone young goes into full-on meltdown mode as the rest of her life falls apart.
Take a look at where Jenna Hamilton was by the end of this episode: Not only had she lost the trust of her friends, but she also lost the trust of her parents after they tried to be extremely kind to them, and she still found a way to smash their hearts into pieces. She basically put herself into a position where after she slept with Collin (something that she really didn’t want to do, but did out of fear of losing him) where she had no one willing to talk with her. Sad.
We’re assuming that eventually, the show will find a way to turn Jenna around so that there are some somewhat-happier times ahead. Can she change? Sure, but it’s going to be a hard road for her friends to take her back. They’ve seen what she’s capable of, and while she may never do it again, they could need to see some pretty hard personal change before they believe it.
The biggest problem with this whole story is that in order to bring Jenna down, Collin suddenly needs to be brought down, as well. Where did all the drug use come from? While he’s not a completely different person than he was with the spring, it’s like they flipped his personality enough that all the things that were once appealing about him are gone. Sooner or later, we’d need to se why Collin has changed to completely buy him as a character.
But the best part of “Awkward” season 3 right now, ironically, comes with its most unabashedly-awful person in Sadie. This is someone who actually isn’t as horrible as Jenna right now, but only because what you see is generally what you get. Plus, we don’t think that there is a bad person somewhere deep in here (and we saw shreds of it when her mother decided to more or less abandon her this week). Sadie gets to say the funniest lines on the show, and there’s been something fun that has come out of getting to know her more this season. It’s also nice to have a little bit of a break from Tamara and Jake; they are still around, but too much of them can get grating much in the way that a pizza suddenly does not taste so great about five slices in.
In the end, “Awkward” continues to make itself a difficult show for the MTV audience to watch; it’s too gloomy. But, that is what probably makes it a better show, and one that at least has ambition to try some new things. We appreciate the risk, but the show needs to improve on some of its character issues right now if it really wants to reclaim the “funniest cable comedy” title. Grade: B-.
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