Awkward.'s Season 2 Premiere: Choose Wisely, Jenna Hamilton!

Awkward. S0201: "Resolutions"

Someone tell MTV that teen comedies aren't supposed to be this good! Awkward. (don't forget the period) returned for Season 2 tonight just like its central character, Jenna Hamilton: with the nervous cobwebs shaken off, its head held high, and its boobs pushed out a bit. Confidence is at an all-time high. We spent Season 1 watching the non-popular, non-geeky, just sorta there Jenna Hamilton go from mutual Facebook friend to belle of the ball, and in the process she listened to her head and chose Jake instead of following her broken heart and choosing a repentant Matty.

But there's a reason the show isn't called Comfortably Content, and "Resolutions" initiated stage two of Jenna's conundrums. Last we saw, she chose Jake over Matty, pretty much because Jake hadn't made a mistake and Matty had. But the tug-of-war between Jenna's head and Jenna's heart is far from over, and the Season 2 premiere took a closer look at this battle that looks like it's going to last all season. BUT THAT'S NOT ALL! Jenna's relationship with her mom is fractured after the heartbreaking reveal in the Season 1 finale that Lacey (Mrs. Hamilton) wrote the note that skewered her daughter for not being popular. This show, I tell ya. So good.

Things picked up, by my guess, a few weeks after the Season 1 finale, with Jenna and Jake together but not internet-public together due to Jenna's apprehension in the wake of the Matty disaster. Things are far from peachy; the stink from the awkwardness of the dance is still lingering, Jake still doesn't know about Matty and Jake, and let's be honest here, the dude Jenna really wants to be with (at the moment) is not the vanilla wafer known as Jake.

This all unfolded during New Year's Eve, of course, at a party at (surprise!) Casa de Matty. I don't know if the people who make Awkward. majored in Teen Party Moments in college, but it sure seems like they did because this scene was pure cinematic perfection. There was chaos, jealousy, the drunk girl, couch macking, lies, confusion, escape routes, and cursing. But most of all, and this is where Awkward. exceeds expectations, there was a ridiculous amount of tension normally reserved for Hitchcock films. Jenna arrived with Jake (still oblivious), was welcomed by Matty (still uncomfortable), and was filled with confusion. The screws turned even harder when Matty begged her for another chance, admitting his wrongs and asking for a secret midnight rendezvous in the garage for that first kiss of 2012 or 2013 or whatever year the show is in.

What's a girl to do? That was the question on our minds, and it was teased literally right until the last second as the countdown counted down, all in slow motion because slow motion makes things like this better. "10-9-8!" There's Matty waiting in the garage. "7-6-5!" There's Jake standing in the middle of the party checking his watch. "4-3!" A door behind Matty cracks open! "2-1!" Jake, still alone. A tap on Jake's shoulder, it's Jenna, cue fireworks and confetti shower. "Happy New Year!" There's no denying that Jenna made the right decision given the situation. You don't come to a party with one person and make out with his friend later unless you have an Unpopular Wish. The easy way out would've been for Jenna to waver between the two with nothing happening and then leave things completely up in the air, that's why I thank the show for pushing her in one direction. The in-between moments need to be used sparingly, and ending the episode pro-Jake just means that Matty will have to work harder to win her (and us) over.

But Jenna, who last year couldn't so much as get a second glance unless people thought she killed herself, has now seen the power of popularity shift her way so far that her actions at the party caused a chain reaction of events. By her kissing Jake, she didn't kiss Matty, which led Matty to kiss Sadie, which led to Sadie being disappointed, which led to Sadie kissing Ricky, which will come back to start some sh*t between Tamara and Sadie, mark my words. This would never have happened with the old Jenna, and this new social influence that she can't really control means she'll likely catch a lot of grief from others on the edge of her sphere of influence. Jenna's going to need that speech from Spider-Man's uncle: "With great power comes great responsibility." Watch yourself, girl.

Some might complain that Awkward. doesn't give its other characters enough story, but I'm all aboard the series being The Jenna Hamilton Show, and I love seeing how the other characters float in and out of her world. Everyone will get their time in time, but for now, I'm more into seeing high school life through the eyes of Jenna Hamilton than high school life from a top-down perspective. We only have 30 minutes an episode, so keeping things focused on Jenna is a good thing.

But the episode wasn't done slapping us in the face with big moments. Another big part of the season will be Jenna's relationship with her mom, and J handing her mom the stationery with the words "THIS IS WHO YOU ARE" is about as big of a "F*CK YOU" as one can deliver under such circumstances. Sure, Lacey deserved it. No mother should tell her daughter how to live her life through bullet points of criticism, even if the advice was taken and it did help her out. Watching how their relationship moves from here is going to provide the dramatic backbone that will keep Season 2 afloat. That is, when we're not screaming "OMG MATTY OMG JAKE!" Now who's ready for some wine coolers and Gatorade?



POP QUIZ

1. What was the biggest moment for you in "Resolutions"?
... a) The tension built up during the New Year's Eve countdown
... b) The Matty-Sadie lip lock
... c) Jenna giving her mom the letter
... d) Mr. Hamilton giving Jenna a Costco-sized pack of rubbers

2. What did you think of Valerie crashing the party?
... a) Ugh! You're a school counselor, Val! Get a grip!
... b) Totally annoying. She's annoying.
... c) Awesome. Valerie is hilarious. More more more!
... d) If thirtysomethings hanging out with teens is wrong, I don't want to be right (or go to jail).

3. Jake's upset reaction to Jenna telling him she had sex before was...
... a) Ridiculous. Double standards!
... b) Perfectly normal, that's how guys act, dude! In fact it was so real, it was perfect.
... c) A sign of the poop-storm to come when Jake finds out it was Matty who planted his flag in J's v-jay.
... d) Cute. Everything Jake does is soooooo cute. [not for members of Team Matty]

4. Who do you want Jenna to choose?
... a) Matty, duh!
... b) Jake, duh!
... c) Both of them, move to Utah!
... d) Neither, she'll go to college and meet someone much hotter when she's 27. Some liberal arts major, probably.



THE JAKE VS. MATTY-o-METER

The needle bounced around a bit tonight, but it ended up...



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

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1

Choosing c...

2

Choosing c...

3

Choosing d...

4

Choosing Jake ofcourse!!

TEAM JAKE!!
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i think she would be better off with jake because matty allready had a chance and he blew it.. he even had more chances than one and wasn't a good boyfriend.. i really think jake is much better for her and much more understanding.. Team Jake!
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I want her to end up with Matty! They would be perfect together now that he finally realizes how he made her feel and what he can change to make things right. Jake is so sweet he should end up with T. But I'm definitely Team Matty!
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honestly since so many people r leaning towards jake i think she make a breath taking decision to end up with matty just to make it more intense
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Am I the only one who didn't like this episode? The writing seemed way off, and Jenna looked completely different 0.o
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JUST started watching the show last week, can't wait to catch up. Ashley Rickards is great!
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I haven't watched this episode yet, but I feel like saying something anyway. JUST BECAUSE.

Am I the only one torn when it comes to Valerie? Sometiems I think the character's the weirdest, most bizzarly random addition to the show, and others all I can do is marvel at her amazingness and awfulness at her job. I just don't know with that woman. But the actress is great, so I can't complain too much.
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1)d

2)c

3)c

4)d

This show makes me laugh. Even though I'm a teen i had no idea what DTR meant until I google'd it
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A,A,D,B

Don't know why, but I don't really like Matty; as for Valerie, I think she seriously needs to grow up, she really annoys me.
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I'm still team Matty to be honest. Jake is all "zomg I'm jealous you dated someone before me!" - guy, get over it. Seriously - she made a choice to be *with you*, you should be pretty stoked about that. She LIKES YOU BACK.



Oh, and that she felt she kind of had to justify her sexual history? Pff. I was pretty disappointed in that moment. Yes, be upfront about it, but she never needed to justify it. The fact that he kinda wanted some sort of "YOU'RE NOT A VIRGINWUTTTT???" explanation just decided the whole thing. Matty, let's go!
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dude jake wasnt ZOMG that she dated someone before him he was ZOMG that there was this other guy she was in love with they had sex and went even further than there are now if you had a boyfriend and he said he had this other girl he had sex with and you didnt know anything about i wouldnt be angry he had sex with her i would be curious if he loved her more than me since it was first love first love always counts but later when jenna said she was 100% in love with him he was so happy that proves hes not ZOMG about her not being a virgin he was just nervous and anxious about whether he loves him more than whoever that guy was
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Awkward is AWESOME!!! So glad it is back on...Anyway - answer time:



1. a) The tension built up during the New Year's Eve countdown



2. c) Awesome. Valerie is hilarious. More more more!



3.C & D

c) A sign of the poop-storm to come when Jake finds out it was Matty who planted his flag in J's v-jay.

d) Cute. Everything Jake does is soooooo cute.



4. b) Jake, duh!...why would anyone want to be with someone who is embarrassed to be seen with them!!!
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B

B

C

A

I love matty! If matty and Jenna get together then I will feel bad for jake but be super happy!
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Aside from the voiceovers, this show's still badass. I wish it was an hour long. I was getting mad that Jenna didn't confront her mom, but then she handled it like a champ at the end. Good stuff.



I had to google DTR, but still. Is it strange that I knew VPL before DTR? Eh..
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They explained DTR. They make me crazy with all of the acronyms.
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They must've been talking too quickly for me. Sometimes, Teenage Girl is a language that needs to be slowed down.
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I Love this show so much. It's the only thing a watch on MTV. I love Valerie so funny.

1. c) Jenna giving her mom the letter

2. c) Awesome. Valerie is hilarious. More more more!

3. c) A sign of the poop-storm to come when Jake finds out it was Matty who planted his flag in J's v-jay.

4. a) Matty, duh!
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1. What was the biggest moment for you in "Resolutions"?

... c) Jenna giving her mom the letter



2. What did you think of Valerie crashing the party?

... c) Awesome. Valerie is hilarious. More more more!



3. Jake's upset reaction to Jenna telling him she had sex before was...

... c) A sign of the poop-storm to come when Jake finds out it was Matty who planted his flag in J's v-jay.



4. Who do you want Jenna to choose?

... b) Jake, duh!

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My biggest complaint is simply the name "Matty" either call him Matt or Mathew. Ugh!
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Love love love Awkward.! Wish the episodes were a bit longer though.

1) C. The letter

2) C. Awesome

3) B and C

4) That's a tough one. I want her to choose but D is the reality. At least in real life...
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good episode, this show is awesome. who'd have thought MTV came up with it?!



I'm still hoping Jenna goes with Matty.. Jenna and Jake just seems way too friendly and not relationshipy.



FINALLY! one of my biggest pet peeves about this show is she's writing an INTERNET BLOG yet nobody ever saw it? Tamara mentioned it in episode 1 so it was clearly public even though it seemed like even Tamara and Ming never read it, because Jenna said she hadn't told anybody that she 'found out' her mom wrote the letter but if any of her friends had been reading it, that'd have told them right there



also liked Lissa's subtle acknowledgement that Sadie had lost weight between the season 1 finale and season 2 premiere.. Lissa might end up being a good character this season.



are we all sure Jenna's mom wrote the letter? it could have been her dad. or it could be 100% possible that Jenna's mom buys the same stationary as the carefronation writer. just sayin..



1. c

2. b/c

3. a/b, c to come

4. a/d. Matty just needs to grow a pair and stop being a wuss and tell everybody. but apparently they already knew if Sadie is an indication.
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This always confused me. I wasn't sure if she was writing a blog online that others could read or if she just had an online journal.
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the promotion video for season 2 has the mom crying and the dad chewing her out for writing the letter, the video gives spoilers about her parents, so it was def the mom that wrote it...
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Holy cow. I've said it before but it bears repeating (mainly because "The Jersey Shore" et al are such crap), but this show (and now "Teen Wolf") is (are) the REDEMPTION of MTV as a brand/channel/network/idea. I'm with you Tim in that, as much as every single secondary character is well done, writing and acting, I don't need to see more of them. This show is about Jenna. And with a talent like Ashley Rickards? You don't shy away from that. Props to everyone. Following that statement, holy cow, did we get some character movement from Sadie? I mean, this show takes the "teen" aspect and nails it on the head. Like to the point where I want to say that it must have been a requirement in the hiring process for each of the writers on staff to have a teenage child to make sure that they get everything correct in order to be hired, and that each child is contractually obligated to look over their parents' homework. This is the single most impressive comedy that has come along in years (and I say this as a huge fan of "Arrested Development", "30 Rock", "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia", "Community", etc....). I will also say at this point that as much as I'm loving the Ashely Rickards of it all, the rest of the supporting cast SUPPORTS.



-Biggest moment? Gotta be (C). Obviously it's not (D), that's a throwaway gag (that was nevertheless awesome). (A) was great, but is more of a necessary plot device. (B) was HUGE don't get me wrong, but (C) is just where this show lives. Great stuff, though.

-Valerie is a major (C). (A) She is a high school counsellor, but let's be honest, she isn't that primarily. (Semantics aside) She's Jenna's "girl". The two of them have an ersatz mother-daughter relationship because Jenna's own mother significantly messed up her head. (B) Who said she's annoying? I will fight thee to the death!.... (D) ... I'm not sure I want to touch that one....

-(B). A TOTALLY honest moment. (Regardless of Religion) There is a reason that the V-card comes up in every teen story ever, man or woman. If this were a college show, I'd go with (A). (C) has a point, and if the show were any less fantastic, I'd go with this one. (D) is there just for the teenage girls to answer that one (I love Jake/am on Team Jake, too, but come on, that's not a serious answer). (B) is just one more reason why I love this show.

-(B). Come on. (C) I'm going to assume this one was to provoke a sarcastic comment reaction. Take the previous statement as mine. (D) Not going to happen. Even if the second half of that statement is true (it really probably is), she'd still make a choice in the meantime because that's how teenagers think. (A) Matty is NOT a bad dude. In fact, for the "popular" guy, he's pretty okay. But he spent the first half of that school year hiding the relationship. Does that mean anything about his feelings for Jenna? No. And I am certain that his feelings are just as strong as Jake's. But stack the guys up against each other. We have Matty, a popular kid who may or may not be super intelligent who is way over worried about his public image. We also then have Jake, a kid who has proven his intelligence, who's relationship savvy enough to break up with a girl the minute it's obvious she's not who he thought she was, who, while he cares about his public image, is absolutely steadfast in his refusal to let it dictate his actions. Given those? You go Jake. (Oh, and because this is TV, they are both good-looking enough that that really shouldn't be a factor.)



Last notes: Jenna's note to her mom: PRICELESS. Loving where they've gone with Sadie. I love Valerie... maybe a little bit too much. I just really love how very honest/very teen this show is. Any of us "adults" (I use the term losely because I'm still not sure I fit into that category) can find a number of instances in each episode of this show where we could say "no, of course that's not how you should react to that situation", but that's just it. That's not how WE would react. But that IS how a teenager would react. I am in awe. This show.
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Team Matty!
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I love this show and am so excited about season 2!!

1) b, I threw my hands over my eyes and couldn't watch!! what a f&%$ up!!

2) b, I love her in office, but that was just too much...

3) c, how gross was it when Matt said he was going to tell Jake about sloppy seconds!!

4) a, Matty when he stops being such an asshole!!!

so happy you're covering this show Tim!!
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1-a

2-c

3-c

4-a (Team Matty!)

I really like this kind of review...very Awkward.-appropriate :)
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1 - c

2 - a

3 - b AND c

4 - Tough call, she probably belongs with Matty, but don't want to penalize Jake for being the perfect, nice guy. So c?



A lot of great, little moments in this ep! Happy it's back!
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I am team JATTY!
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Its hard to pick between the two of them right now. I was all for Matty season 1. Now I'm leaning more towards Jake unloess Matty steps it up.

Question answers:

1.a

2.a

3.c

4. c for now?
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1. A - Loved the garage scenes. It actually felt like a high school party.

2. C - Val may be my favorite character on the show (apologies to Tamara)

3. B - Loved the realism, but it's definitely going to lead to C.

4. Torn on this one, but guessing Matty will eventually win out. The problem is right now he knows it.
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I loved the set up for a Sadie weight loss storyline - a short moment of her *licking* a single dorito during the NYE party that was never mentioned again.
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Another genius mystery for this season as well: Who's the anonymous commenter on Jenna's blog!?



Gosh I love this show, and you guys were right; the season 2 premiere was fantastic!
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Oh and TV.com says it still comes on at 11 but it comes on at 10:30 now is there any way to fix it?
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Staff
I will look into it! Thank you for noticing...
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Great episode! I wanted her with Matty season 1 but this season it's Jake (unless he gives me a reason not to). Jenna giving the mother her own little letter was GREAT. Matty and Sadie was a huge shocker and I laughed when he fell asleep before they hooked up! Can't wait for the rest of the season!
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