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Senior Year, and They're still Awkward

Keep your hands to herself
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Awkward. Season 4


Faking It could not arrive at a better time for MTV. It's premier comedy show about high school, the cheerfully piquant Awkward. has had its klutzy protagonist enter her senior year in traditionally embarrassing fashion--- her parents caught her masturbating, due to the consequences of her woeful behavior last semester, she's ranked 137th in the senior class GPA, and her reaction to that failure has been immortalized in the senior photo.
As Jenna (Ashley Rickards, back in adorkable mode) finds herself facing her future, everyone else seems to be reeling from their own problems. Tamara is typically overloaded not only with class president duties, but the fact that she just realized that boyfriend Jake is not satisfying her sexually--- a fact she broadcast to the entire student body over a loudspeaker. Sadie is still as vituperative as ever, now working out of a lunch truck, and regarding cheerleading captaincy as if it were as important as the papacy. And Matty still reeling from last year's breakup with Jenna, is now trying to recover from a real body blow when he learns he was adopted.

All of this may sound like the world is overblown, when (as is the case with Faking It) it's blissfully funny. Watching Jenna try to recover from her walk on her dark side, while being rejected from every extracurricular activity in the school is joyful. Watching Sadie try to rebuild her friendship with the one girl in the entire high school who doesn't hate her guts. And watching Tamara try to multitask everything including her sex life is funny. (I just wish Ming was here; has the Asian mafia dumped her body in a rice paddy?)

It's unclear how much time Awkward. has left on MTV's calendar. (I wasn't clear whether junior year made up one season or two.) Maybe they'll try to stretch senior year two years, but it would probably be best for the series if it ended with Jenna surviving high school. But it's still witty, charming, and able to mine laughs out of a field that you'd think would be out of energy by now. The fact that MTV knows how to mine entertainment out of series like this and TeenWolf demonstrates that they still have a grasp of the audience they're trying to entertain. And when this series, I will be looking forward to one big "You're welcome."
My score: 4 Stars.