Awkward.: Secret Societies

Akward. S02E02: "Sex, Lies, and Videotape"

The only thing worse than hiding a secret from those closest to you is the threat of that secret jumping out of the box on its own. And it was the choice—of whether to beat the secret to coming out eventually by revealing it to those it was being kept from, or to keep quiet and just hope the box would hold it in—that formed the deeply emotional backbone of "Sex, Lies, and Videotape," the second episode of Awkward.'s already incredible second season.

There were two secrets clawing at their shackles in "Sex, Lies, and Videotape," and the dynamics of both were three-pointed. At the base of each triangle were two people who held the secret (Lacey and Jenna; Jenna and Matty), with one of them bearing the majority of the weight of responsibility. And at the top of each triangle was one oblivious person (Jake; Kevin) that didn't know the secret was so close to them. It was a perilous situation times two, and all through the episode we could feel the triangle-shaped secret-structure teetering on the verge of collapse, potentially flattening Jenna like a pancake beneath the rubble.

Of most importance to Jenna was keeping her past with Matty hidden from her new open relationship (like, holding-hands-in-public relationship) with Jake, and it wasn't a matter of if the secret will get out, it was a matter of when. And Awkward. could have played this as some sort of internal struggle with Jenna batting angels and devils on her shoulders, trying to do the right thing, but instead the show tightened the screws with an external force: the Sanctuary security cam.

It was a way for Awkward. to have its delivery sushi and eat it too. The camera was just a threat, a possibility, a pinhole that all the school's secrets could squeeze through. And it also happened to be a perfect way for show creator Lauren Iungerich to put her characters in motion without blowing her load in the second episode and yeah sorry that sounded gross but I swear it's a figure of speech.

Jake, meanwhile, continued to exhibit ridiculously authentic high-school (and beyond) guy behavior by trying to pretend Jenna not being a virgin and loving someone before him didn't bother him. Dudes will be dudes, and we're overly protective of our egos. But our brains are also a bit slow and stubborn when our hubris takes a gut-punch, and it took Jake a little while—and some advice from bestie and rival Matty—to realize that Jenna is his now and the past shouldn't affect the present. At least not until he finds out that it was his best friend who was all up in that. For now, Jenna, you got lucky and you're off the hook.

Poor Matty is playing catch up with his feelings, and he's serving as the supportive ear for Jake to unknowingly bitch to about him. After Jake said Jenna loved the guy she boned, Matty wasted no time in returning the L-word to Jenna, but it was too little and a lot late. But come on, Matty, there's playing it cool and there's playing it the way you did. It was a sweet gesture but it was poorly timed. And it's more likely to push Jenna away than make her do a 180. (Also, shhhh! I'm rooting for you!)

In the end, Jenna was able to siphon the secret out of Jake's mind by telling him she didn't love the other guy anymore, and it was a nice piece of duct tape to put over a fissure in a dam. The question now is how the tide will shift from Jake to Matty, because we all know it will. And what about Jenna's choice of words? "I am totally invested in you." That's not love, that sounds more like a contract that's subtly indicative of her indecision if you ask me.

I don't know about you guys, but the way the other secret played out—Lacey's admission of writing the letter—ripped my heart out and shamed it to tears. Jenna vs. Matty vs. Jake is great and all, but Jenna vs. Lacey is SERIOUS BIZNESS. Kids, hunky boys come and go, but moms are FOREVER. And what made the spilling of this secret so much harder to watch was the lifelong bond between mom and daughter that it shattered; we're at step one in Jenna ending up in heels and little else on stage at the local Scores in two years. Doubly painful: Lacey's inability to own up to her mistake, obliviously choosing instead to hide her guilt under casserole dishes full of crumpled potato chips, chicken, cheese, and Jenna's other favorite munchies. But the real killer was watching Jenna react to the situation. There will be no passing of salt and pepper at this feast fit for Jenna, just the passing of eye daggers as an unbelievably bright daughter cannot for the life of her understand how the person who pushed her into the world could destroy hers so easily. I love Ashley Rickards, but until this episode I wasn't really on board with this Emmy push others have been making for her. Then she teared up and confronted her mom. ACTING!

The episode's dueling secrets also allowed the writers to play both possible results. Jenna never had to tell Jake about Matty, but Lacey did end up telling Kevin about her part in the letter. Round of applause to Nikki DeLoach, who made Lacey's admission both gut-wrenching and believable after spending most of the series playing a buffoonish caricature full of silicone and bad intentions. It was a very humanizing moment for Lacey, who can get overlooked in this series. When Awkward. needs to get serious, it does and does it very well.

I was also a big fan of Ming's Asian invasion. The Chinese students as some sort of Stonemasons society and Ming's fascination with "her people" opened up the school a ton, and there was clever play with stereotypes as many were both reinforced and toppled at the same time. This show does a good job at playing with high-school cliches and transforming them into something fun while gently poking the envelope. And really, it was just nice seeing Ming be something other than the tag-along third musketeer. Jessica Lu was fantastic and owned her scenes in ways we hadn't seen before.

This was another fantastic episode of Awkward. that laid the groundwork for Season 2's dueling storylines of Jenna at home and Jenna at school. I love that one of those secrets came out early, and we'll see the staggered effects as the fallout from one secret spreads while the other continues to build tension. This is great stuff and television writing at way higher than a high-school level.



POP QUIZ

1. What was the biggest moment for you in "Sex, Lies, and Videotape"?
... a) Matty saying, "I love you" to Jenna
... b) Lacey telling Kevin about the letter
... c) Valerie's blackmail earning her the place of Vice Principal
... d) Jenna and Jake super-DTRing at the end

2. Asian clique: funny, racist, or other?
... a) Funny! Am-ASIAN!
... b) Kinda racist! Chinese bookworms? Been there, seen that.
... c) I feel like I should be offended but I was too busy laughing.
... d) It's 2012, people, there's nothing racist about this and it's a non-issue.

3. Matty telling Jenna he loved her after hearing she was in love with him was...
... a) Too soon. Play it cool, keep that in your back pocket, and play that card when the time is right (i.e. when Jake and Jenna are having issues).
... b) Romantic! He couldn't fight that that feeling anymooooore...
... c) A sign that he has no game.
... d) Rude! Matty needs to take a step back and not ruin his BFF's life.

4. Has your preference for who Jenna should choose changed since the Season 1 finale?
... a) No, I'm still Team Jake/Team Matty (please specify which in the comments), same as I was before.
... b) Yup, I can see Matty's a changed person and he deserves another chance!
... c) Yes, Jake has proven that he's a great guy for Jenna!
... d) Hey, I'm just here to watch the fireworks as Jenna goes back and forth. Pass the popcorn.



THE JAKE VS. MATTY-o-METER

Matty's needle moved a lot more than Jenna's this week, but this isn't his meter. Jenna is all about Jake right now, but for how long?



Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Aug 01, 2012
1] A, it was uber adorable

2] A, you gotta take things like that with a grain of salt

3] B, again, adorable

4] A, still Team Matty. High school boys take patience, Jenna didn't give him enough time to ask her to the dance with that super awesome fortune cookie.
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Jul 25, 2012
1. A... I watched those 5 seconds over and over again.

2. A.. Totally A-mASIAN!

3. B.. and A.. it was sweet that he just had to say it right away.. but he totally should have kept it in until a moment that it would have been more advantageous.

4. A.. I am still totally team Matty!!!
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Jul 09, 2012
For me it is like Easy A TV sequel with same kinda witty smart super cute chic character who good on reflections (all in all the girl I wish I had)) and bad on guyz and social life but getting better with each episode. But there is something missing through out the middle of 1 st season. I have a feeling that I /m waiting something to happen. something smart I dunno. Nerdy but cute and smart chick physically and emotionally manipulated by slightly douchy Jock plot is a bit seen before. And Matt character kinda weird scripted. Not that consistent. What happened to his hot with tattoo on leg girlfriend? It was just dropped by writers. Weird.

I like Jake Jenna pairing they awkward and funny together. And girl that had no attention previously at all in high school will be pleased with guy who wants to hold her hand in public and not embarrassed by her. And can quickly fall in love. She is teenager F God Sake ! And from this point it is plausible and original. She can quickly forget first douchy guy with treatment like that. But if she is kinda in great love with first guy (Matt) whole season 1 and 2 is not that original. banal plot. And I just see a girl that felt for guy who made her a woman. It is a boring story guys(

And need more serious reactions from Jenna mom coz I just tired of her cartoonish antics (i get that is a comedy but in TV world it can be tiresome). And I cant stand school adviser blond chick. It is an awful character creation, annoying as hell. Crazy all over the top. She can't be that crazy all the time. It is unplausible! And I hate her dialogues. That kinda witty replics are expired already in Juno and whole generation of such Indies.
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Jul 09, 2012
I liked last season better because there was a mystery on who wrote the letter. This season is becoming a standard chick drama. Nerd girl picking between Jock 1 and Jock 2. The mystery blog comment stalker is like a shadow of the mystery letter.
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Jul 08, 2012
1. C - I like Valerie and can't wait to see what she ends up doing as VP.

2. D - Stop trying to make everything so PC and just enjoy the show.

3. D - The only reason he said it was because he hates the idea of getting dumped by someone.

4. A - Jake is a jerk trying to screw over his best friend. See 3 above.
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Jul 08, 2012
Does Ashley Rickards look totally different, like pregnant different? I hate to be a shit and speculate weight gain, but it doesn't look like just a weight gain, something is different and I can't pinpoint it.... any ideas?
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Jul 28, 2012
she is... she doesn't look "fat", she looks pregnant, besides, IT SHOWS in some takes.
1
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Jul 09, 2012
I have to admit, the thought passed through my mind too. Ya think Matty is read to be a Daddy?
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Jul 08, 2012
Totally its just her face especially in the first pic above, I thought I was going crazy
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Jul 08, 2012
Ugh you're one of those? I didn't even notice until IMDB users said the same thing. I watched a past episode and saw a slight difference in her face but nothing major.
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Jul 09, 2012
yeah, i know what you mean, but look at @ 13 minutes, when she's walking in the hall with Ming.... they need to look into really unflattering clothes that are giving her a maternity feel. you really don't see any difference, maybe watch some of first season before next episode.
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Jul 09, 2012
I did watch. Sadie lost weight. Now there is a balance XD
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Jul 08, 2012
I noticed her face looked rounder. I thought it was just me.
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Jul 08, 2012
"I am totally invested in you." I like that. I didn't think she was going to say "I <3 u" to Jake because it's not "love." At least, not yet.

1) B - The letter

2) A - Funny. Not Asian but still funny.

3) D - Rude. Yeah like that 4-letter word is going to change anything. He had his chance and blew it.

4) D - Fireworks!
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Jul 07, 2012
For all the HS shows, Glee , etc., this is the coolest!
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Jul 08, 2012
I still enjoy watching PLL.
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Jul 08, 2012
The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, Awkward., and Switched at Birth are great High School shows.
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Jul 08, 2012
The Vampire Diaries is a great teen / young adult centered show, but I wouldn't call it a great "high school show" given how little time we actually see them in high school much less actually learning anything.



Teen Wolf would be another great high school show though.
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Jul 08, 2012
I forgot about Switched at Birth. Yeah, that's pretty good too.
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Jul 07, 2012
1) A (B was inevitable so not really surprising)

2) C (it was hilarious though racist but seriously funny)

3) B (For once he's fighting for her -- it's like a damned if you do damned if you don't for him people blame him when he didn't say screw you Jake and tried to fight for and now people are blaming him for saying screw you Jake and fighting for her)

4) D ( I honestly doubt she'll end up with either)
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Jul 07, 2012
b) lacey telling kevin

a) it funny

d) rude and not because jake is his bff but because it's super selfish

a) team jake
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Jul 07, 2012
1b - Lacey and the letter. Heartbreaking!

2a - Funny!

3c - He has ABSOLUTELY no game!

4a Team Matty 4ever!

I really like this show! It's funny and clever and real! I'm not a teenager anymore (thank God) but I can relate (and remember) to those stories!
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Jul 07, 2012
Jenna...looks like Jennifer Lawrence in the Jake vs. Matty-o-meter? Is it just me? I looked it and wondered 'What does Katniss have to do with this?' And then I was all 'Oh, it's Ashley Rickards.' I know this has nothing to do with anything...I just though I'd put it out there...come what may...shutting up now...
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Jul 07, 2012
You know, I see it, too. But that doesn't mean anything. I am convinced that someone who works in the building across from me looks almost exactly like Emma Stone, but none of my coworkers see it. Oh well. I'm with you!
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Jul 07, 2012
Loved the accidental blackmail that set up Val as Vice Principal. Really excited by the possibilities for the Asian mafia and hope they force Ming into a compromising position as a major storyline... her character definitely deserves more time.



1. b) Lacey telling Kevin about the letter

2. a) Funny! Am-ASIAN!

3. a) Too soon. Play it cool, keep that in your back pocket, and play that card when the time is right (i.e. when Jake and Jenna are having issues).

4. c) Yes, Jake has proven that he's a great guy for Jenna!
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Jul 07, 2012
I'm so in love with this show! I thought it was impossible to like this season more than last, but seriously, it's great!

1. B!

2. D!

3. B! (i should go with D, but i think he was just very happy to find out that she loved him, selfish yet romantic)

4.A! (still Team Matty, can't help it!)



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Jul 07, 2012
LOVE AWKWARD. SO MUCH! I want the full season right now! This episode was really good (every episode kinda is actually but whatever) Jenna is my ultimate favorite high school tv character, so real, so awkward, so perfect! Rickards couldn't do a better job. Loved the Ming storyline, a very good change to all the Matty-Jake-drama. Can't say how much I love Valerie, she's fantastic! Muder, She Wrote... Hilarious! The sanctuary storyline was also very clever, just everything was perfect, but now the questions...

1. B! I was gonna go with A but we have been there a couple of times. Lacey telling Kevin is REALLY BIG!

2. D! Haha so funny, not racist at all! Hello, COMEDY!

3. A! All the way Team Matty, but really he needs to be more subtile, J & J will not last. Just wait, Matty!

4. D! Since the beginning Team Matty, she obviously still loves him and she's just playing it safe with Jake. Jenna will get bored and jump on the Matty-train, but for now: Give me the popcorn!

Ooh Awkward. is awesome!
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Jul 06, 2012
I don't know why but for once I've got no preference for a side of this love triangle. It's not that I don't care, it's just that the characters are all good in their own way, it's tough to pick between them. As for the quiz...

1. B without a shadow of a doubt. That was some serious s**t that went down there. Genuine marital problems ahead, and Jenna's shunning of her mother was pretty serious too.

2. D. It was funny, and I doubt that anyone watching Awkward. is a hardcore racist, so we should all be able to see the humour without fear of anyone taking it seriously.

3. I don't know. Seemed like a reactionary response which he should've thought through before he decided to go ahead. I'm not sure which answer that aligns with...

4. D, I'm just here to see it unfold.
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Jul 06, 2012
1.b

2.a

3.a

4.c (kind of? prefer matty less than i did in season 1, but still rooting for him a little)



Yeah this was a great ep. The storyline with Lacey and Jenna killed me, I teared up when she finally told Kevin about the letter.

Loved the Asian storyline too. xD it was funny how they poked fun at Asian stereotypes. They kinda scared me too.-. When the girl said at the end that Ming forever had tehir =trust that did not sound like a good thing .-.
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Jul 06, 2012
1-B 2-C 3-C 4-D
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Jul 06, 2012
Man, this show. So good. And so realistic. Jake, Matty, Jenna, all of them. I don't know what to say that I haven't said before, though, so I'll just answer the questions and let you know that I still just love this show. Also, loved the Ming Asian invasion stuff.



1) B) was the biggest moment for me. C) was super awesome, and hilarious, and very Valerie. A) would have been big last season, but here it's as you said, too little a lot too late. D) was huge, and I love it here for all the shows that tend to overlook this very pertinent conversation, but as much as it was great, just misses out on the absolute life-shattering moment that was B).

2) D) in my book. A) I am not Asian. B) I don't think it's really that racist because they didn't pound out all the other Asian stereotypes. They just went with "they're smarter than everyone/know everything" and left the rest of them alone. C) Close, but I really feel like it was a non-issue here and thus D).

3) D) here, I really think that. A) could have been this, and this might have worked better in his favour this season, but the timing for Matty this season has been off, mostly because he ruined his chances with his behaviour last season. B) Again, it would have been romantic, last season. C) Clearly he has game, so it can't be that. D) precisely correct. He had all last season where she would clearly do just about anything for him including date him in hiding for what I can only assume were months and put up with all kinds of social crap from Matty that I wouldn't have ever dreamed of trying to get a girl to accept. She finally got wise (in a very high school manner) and went for the guy who would love her out the open (PG rating people), and now Matty's just trying to hold onto her for his own selfish reasons. You had your turn, you messed up. Keep up the friendship with Jenna, you have that right, and maybe it'll work in your favour, but don't mess up what your best friend has, at least not without telling him why you're doing it.

4) A) Still team Jake!!! B) I wouldn't say he's a changed person, just a desperate one trying to play every card he's got. That's not good enough for me. C) That was my choice then, and shall currently remain so. Jake is a great guy, both with how he treated Lyssa, and how he's now treating Jenna. He's a funny guy, and seems like an intelligent man, too. He treats Jenna like a queen (this is how men should treat women) and is so obviously in love with her. Matty has nothing on that right now. Nothing. D) And of course I am going to just sit back and love the ride. This show is fantastic. I love it too much for an MTV show. MTV, stop being so good and get back to programming stupid crap like "Jersey Shore" so I can hate you properly like I have been for the past 15 years!!! (No, actually I don't want that to happen.)
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Jul 06, 2012
I disagree about all guys being bothered that someone has been there before. I have literally sent girls on their way and told them to call me after they find someone else to take their virginity. Who wants to deal with that mess? And yes, I felt this way as a teenager, too. Beyond not wanting to deal with virgins, I prefer a girl who is a bit of a freak in bed and that takes experience. So, don't project your hangups on me man, I've got my own.
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Jul 08, 2012
This is by far the best most honest comment I have ever heard, I laughed my ass off and fully appreciate it!! I wish the asshole I lost it to would've done the same thing :)
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Jul 07, 2012
Poor girls? Yeah right if anything it was a blessing in disguise because they got to know what kind of guy he really is (a guy who obviously isn't looking for a commitment since a virgin liking him enough to have sex with him freaks him out) before being used and have their heart broken.
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Jul 07, 2012
Freaks me out? You misunderstand. Virgins come with a unique set of problems. Primarily, they tend to be clingy and they don't know what they are doing. I don't like playing with beginning tennis players either. You have to teach them every stroke.
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Jul 07, 2012
Poor girls....forced to sleep with a random guy for the first time just to get in your bed after...you were surely a heart-robber in high school!
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Jul 06, 2012
This episode was great. I don't have any use for Matty, but I guess it's cool that he's really trying with Jenna. It still counts when it doesn't matter much. Ever notice how Jenna's supposed to be the unpopular one, yet there's no real competition at the school? Sadie's around, but she's horrible. Lissa's around, but she can't spell competition.



I never liked the mom. I guess she's one of those characters that's supposed to get points for good intentions, but I really want someone to take her to task. She's awful. The mom and dad are one of the biggest mismatches on television, but Jenna and Matty wouldn't be that different. Jake and Lissa, etc.



Becca (Wong Feng Wen....heh, so true) was awesome. It was damn funny, but still totally stereotypical and racist. Switch out Asians with Blacks (if we don't have to say Asian People, we don't have to say "Black People"...right?), switch out sushi with chicken, and switch out test scores with...I dunno, something stereotypical, and MTV would not air that. The upside is that Asians already know everyone's racist. *smiles and shakes head* *stops smiling and nods head*



But conversely, MTV completely mangled another stereotype. Ming (Mingfei Yang Huang...heh, so true) was also great in this episode, but c'mon...super-strict Asian parents raising a C-student? LOLno. Ah, MTV. I'll just be happy they're trying. Again, this show needs to be an hour long.



1: B (I'm not sure how much Jenna and Jake DTR'd at the end, so it kinda matters.)

2: A (more A than B)

3: C

4: D (Hoping for a long and steady relationship? Here? Newp.)
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Jul 06, 2012
What is "awkward" ? is it a CW show?
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Jul 07, 2012
MTV and it's a great show. You should watch season 1 before jumping in though. They're only 20 min episodes (not including commercials) and there was only 11 episode in season 1 so it won't take that long.
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Jul 07, 2012
You can either click on the Awkward. link in the article, search for the show on this or any other website, or just read this page...... where it says "Awkward. Thursday 10:30 PM on MTV - Music Television"



Just sayin'.
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Jul 06, 2012
A brilliant teen show that relates to you, me, your mama, papa on a channel full of yucky people.
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Jul 06, 2012
lol
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Jul 06, 2012
Never heard of this show. What network is it on and what day/time?
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Jul 06, 2012
MTV @ 10:30 PM Thursdays
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Jul 06, 2012
lol
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Jul 06, 2012
I don't get it. What's so funny about that? If anything, MTV should for once actually get an applaud for airing such a well written and well received show and not another reality show.
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Jul 07, 2012
lol
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Jul 07, 2012
@meee223 Awkward airs on MuchMusic in Canada. And I'm guessing it airs at the same time and day there.
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Jul 06, 2012
Checked. MTV in Canada doesn't air this show. Only in the U.S. And Canadians can't watch it online.
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Jul 06, 2012
Tonight's episode was one of the best episodes of Awkward to date. It had me laughing so hard! Also, I too love that Ming is getting a bigger role this season and the addition of Becca and the "Frasians" is genius!



This is a comedy, but the amount of tension, suspense, and drama that was going on in just a matter of less than 30 minutes was insane! Yet, I loved every moment of it.



Just one question, is it next Thursday yet!?



Quiz Answers:



1. B, but I loved that Val is now Vice Principle. I can't wait to see what she does with this new found role. Also, Matty confessing his love just tangles the web all the more! Jenna said she's only invested in Jake for now and I don't think she's really over Matty like she says.

2. A! A! A!!!

3. B. Better late than never right? He's finally stepping up, albeit with horrible timing.

4. D. Team Jatty, and I love Jenna, so I just want her happy.
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Jul 06, 2012
Never have I laughed so hard at an episode of Awkward! First, I must say that I love that Ming is getting a plot this season, and I love that it's with the "Frasians"! Matty tells Jenna that he loves her, but she still remains true to Jake. I also loved the plot of how Val has been made to vice principal as it was part of the Frasians plans all along (bitch had to go!)! Jenna's mom tries to get back in her daughter's life, but after it doesn't work, she does the most mature thing she's ever done in the series so far, and tells her husband anyway (even though Jenna said she wouldn't tell). Jenna says in the end that she is fully team Jake now and as long as Jenna's happy, I'm happy!!!! Can't wait for the next episode!



As for the quiz

C

A

D

C
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