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Awkward. – Premiere Recap: Jenna 4 Eva

Awkward. returned to MTV tonight with a double whammy of awesome absurdities. The Season 3 premiere was actually comprised of two episodes masquerading as one whopping hour of the brilliantly uncomfortable scenarios we’ve come to eagerly anticipate. Episode 1, “Cha-cha-cha-changes,” saw the summer fly by in the blink of an eye, and the continuation of Jenna’s (Ashley Rickards) on-again/ off-again but currently on-again (but soon to be off-again) relationship with Matty McKibbin (Beau Mirchoff). Episode 2, “Responsibly Irresponsible,” featured the show’s first death! Which character would bite the dust peanut? You guys, I’m blogging about a show about a girl who blogs. I’m also sure when I read this back to edit, I’ll have no choice but to read this in Jenna’s narrative voice.

The premiere opened with Jenna prepping for the start of her junior year. Things with Matty had been going swimmingly, but things with Tamara (Jillian Rose Reed) and Ming (Jessica Lu) had gone from swell to seemingly non-existent. Had Jenna Hamilton become that girl? You know, the kind of girl who trades in her girlfriends for a guy? As it turned out, Jenna’s complete lack of attention paid to her friends over the course of an entire summer went nearly unnoticed, as Ming had taken up Mandarin lessons in hopes of getting back into the Asian Mafia’s good graces. Tamara, meanwhile, had enjoyed her weeks spent abroad with Jake (Brett Davern). Jenna, having been left in the dark surrounding just how far the bff and the ex had taken things since their Season 2 finale kissing session, was shocked to see a whole new side of Tamara. Europe had apparently treated her well. The over-analyzing and obsessive, well, obsessing seemed to have been replaced with a new sense of spontaneity and originality. Well, at least for half the episode. Breaking: Tamara… had cut her hair.

Tamara "Awkward" hair style

MTV “Awkward”

In fact, it seemed like everyone had updated their do this season. Matty cropped it a little shorter, Jenna went a little edgier, Jake went with the sophisticated comb over…

…and Sadie (Molly Tarlov) decided to go with the messy high ponytail normally set aside for the likes of lady jocks. In truth, something was up with Sadie. From the baggy clothes, to the constant puking, to the pickle cravings… the writing seemed to be on the wall. Was Sadie Saxton pregnant with Ricky Schwartz’s love child? Lissa (Greer Grammer) sure seemed to think so. Lissa and her particular brand of blissful ignorance attempted to shed some positivity on the possibility of a Saxton spawn, even prompting her mother to offer some prenatal advice. Sadie, needless to say, was fuming.

MTV "Awkward"

MTV “Awkward”

Jenna had hoped for an independent study period, but Val (Desi Lydic) had taken it upon herself to register Jenna for a stellar creative writing course. Normally, the class was nearly impossible to get enrolled in, but Val had, of course, printed out copies of Jenna’s blog before it had been taken private. Congratulations, Jenna Hamilton, you get to be a part of the class from Hell. At least, that’s how Jake made it sound while he and Tamara displayed some p.d.a. at lunch. Jacque Jake and Tamara had yet to d.t.r. but the writing was on the wall. Jenna was a thing of the past… for both of them. Still, something else was fueling Jenna’s funk, and it had something to do with Matty, who seemed to be behaving like the perfect sex-crazed boyfriend.

MTV "Awkward"

MTV “Awkward”

Creative Writing was certainly a trip. Mr. Hart (Anthony Michael Hall) was exactly the scary stickler that Jenna had heard about, terrorizing prospective students to leap from their chairs and exit before the class was even five minutes in. Still, that’s not to say this won’t turn out to be the kind of mentor relationship Jenna needs right now. Let’s face it, her current selection of adults doesn’t seem to be doing her many favors. The course would be about defining who these kids want to be, rather than who they are. Jenna, who’s constantly in the midst of some sort of identity crisis on any given day, could benefit from honing her writing craft and getting some tough love that doesn’t come in the form of a scathing anonymous letter. Nope, this time, her writing would be anonymous, as would everyone else’s. Their first assignment: Write down their deepest personal fear. For the most part, the shared answers were generic, but a line about life, death, and the power to “choose” prompted some clarification from Collin (Nolan Funk), who’s shaping up to be another potential love interest for our high school heroine, especially now that Jake seems to be benched. Hart had assumed a student had expressed a fear of boring old suicide, when in reality, it seemed like a scribbled down fear of pregnancy. Suddenly, all eyes were on Sadie. After class, Jenna attempted, yet again, to offer Sadie a shoulder to cry on or, at least, an ear to listen without judgment. Sadie wasn’t having any of it, and as we would come to learn later when she exploded in a fit of rage following Lissa’s continued prodding and probing, she wasn’t pregnant at all. She was broke, and stressed the hell out.

MTV "Awkward"

MTV “Awkward”

In actuality, it was Jenna was suffering through her own pregnancy scare! With Tamara out of commission following her recent obsession (I know, I know… I said she was over the obsessing.) with Jake, Jenna had no one to turn to but her mother (Nikki Deloach). Was history repeating itself? If that was the case, Jenna had made the decision to keep the baby. Her mother had kept her, and she’d do the same. By the time the two had sorted out their priorities and vented their positive feelings to one another, it seemed like they were on board with Jenna being sixteen and pregnant. Actually, it seemed like they were excited! Needless to say, they were elated to discover that this was not the case.

MTV "Awkward"

MTV “Awkward”

Later, her mother would accompany her on her first trip to the gynecologist. Still, keeping Matty in the dark had continued to take its toll on Jenna, who’d discovered over the course of the two seasons prior that a secret is nothing more than a ticking time bomb when it comes to high school relationships. These boys seem to be especially sensitive to them, so hiding anything, especially a pregnancy scare, probably wasn’t a great idea. On the other hand, birth control sounded like a fantastic idea for a girl who likes a quick lay under the bleachers every now and then.

One day you’re hounding every girl in school for a little action, and the next, it’s R.I.P. Ricky Schwartz. A peanut allergy had done everybody’s favorite pervert in for good, and the second part of the Season 3 premiere would focus on the grieving period partying. I had a feeling Ricky was gone forever when the show used a body double during his Season 2 finale make-out with Clark (Joseph Haro). In any case, would anyone miss Ricky? It sure looked like Tamara did. The ambivalence of it all sure seemed to drive her crazy, even following locking things down with Jake. It seemed the entire school had taken the liberties offered following the death of a peer too far, skipping classes and making up fake excuses to visit Val. Even Jake had opted to ditch class in favor of the beach or taking in a movie. Tamara was livid, breaking things off with her new beau in a bout of anger. Matty, on the other hand, used Ricky’s death as a reminder to YOLO through the rest of his days.

MTV "Awkward"

MTV “Awkward”

See? YOLO, Jake!

Tamara, although fully over Ricky, had most likely killed him. Well, probably. After investing plenty of money in online spells and voodoo dolls, she admitted to Jenna that she dabbled in some witch craft that could have pressured Ricky to want to, well, kill himself. Jenna put her mind at ease. A few french fries helped. Sadie, meanwhile, was suffering through her own grief absolute apathy. As Ricky’s last known girlfriend, she found herself swimming in gifts, but a lame stuffed penguin was the last thing Sadie needed. With no money left, her nails had gone to sh*t.

MTV "Awkward"

MTV “Awkward”

Ricky’s shiva was surprisingly hilarious. From Ricky’s recently revealed love for painting boobs, to Jenna’s accidental spitting of gefilte fish in his urn, my funny bone was satisfied; however, nothing would top the kegger thrown in his honor that would close out the episode. Something had seemed off. The fawning over Ricky post-mortem seemed inauthentic to those who actually knew the sex monger. What would it take to silence the shenanigans? Not a “what” but a “who,” of course…

Sadie Ricky Schwartz Speech "Awkward"

Sadie, of course. Arriving just in time to deliver a speech in which she admitted to hating Ricky Schwartz, even going as far as to pay someone to cast a death spell on him, Sadie took it a step further. The only thing she felt guilty about was not feeling guilty that he died. Suddenly, the mood had switched, and things became clear. Tamara grabbed the mic and echoed Sadie’s sentiments, but thanked Ricky for teaching her that love was possible… with Jake. In my opinion, the best Ricky-hate speech came form Clark, who’d been hooking up with the dead dude since the sixth grade. I think we need more Clark heading into Season 3! The party ended up being more about closure than honoring Ricky, but it still looked like a damn good night. That is, until Jake spilled the beans to Matty surrounding Jenna’s pregnancy scare. To think Matty had just tattooed his thigh, “Jenna 4 Eva,” in an attempt to prove himself worthy. Matty McKibbin and Jenna Hamilton were off-again.

I think this show does a great job of showcasing the inner turmoils of life in high school. Jenna always gets what she asks for, but never gets what she wants.

By the way, here’s the best:

What did you think about the two-part Season 3 premiere of Awkward. “Cha-cha-cha-changes” and “Responsibly Irresponsible”? Will Jenna and Matty patch things up, or is Collin suddenly looking like a viable option? Do you like Jake and Tamara together? Will you miss Ricky?

Thanks for reading my Recap and Review of the Season 3 premiere of Awkward.!

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