An Awkward Community
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The following post contains spoilers from the latest episode of Awkward, ‘Snow Job’, as well as the rest of the series’ fourth season, so if you haven’t watched it all, come back later once you have!

It’s a natural part of ongoing series, particularly teen-orientated dramas, to introduce new characters in order to provide a new dynamic, new storylines, new conflict, and most importantly, new relationships. Unfortunately Awkward hasn’t been all that successful in integrating new characters into its group of existing ones since the series has begun, but it’s become increasingly more obvious since the series inevitably broke up its two main couples in Jenna and Matty and Jake and Tamara, and subsequently had to introduce potential love interests for each of these characters.

This problem may not have been so noticeable if it wasn’t for the arrival of Eva this season, who slowly, but surely, transformed from one of those boring typical potential love interests for Matty into a compulsive liar and manipulator, and as of the end of this episode, all round crazy person. Whether she was blackmailing Sadie, hiding her underwear in Jenna’s bed, or pouring coffee on herself to gain everyone’s sympathy Eva has been a truly excruciating part of the later part of the fourth season. Usually I wouldn’t mind the presence of such a character in a primetime soap opera (at times throughout this episode one could think they were watching one), but here, on Awkward, her melodramatic personality just doesn’t suit the tone of the series (and that’s saying something).

I’ll admit, though, that Eva definitely served her purpose and then some when fulfilling the conflict quota, as majority (if not all) of the drama Jenna faced in this episode was directly a result of her. Being entertained aside though, new characters like Eva only truly serve their purpose if they have the ability to teach us something new or valuable about the pre-existing characters in the show through their interactions, and as of the end of this episode, I’m not entirely sure Eva has truly served her purpose (although she certainly has the potential too).

The revelation of Eva’s true identity allowed for a long awaited Jenna and Sadie team-up which was everything one could hope it to be, and even that pairing aside, Sadie riding solo and investigating Eva in the first part of the episode was just as brilliant. On the surface it would seem that Eva is responsible for both Jenna and Sadie’s respective break-ups, and technically, she is, but the self-evaluation and realisation experienced by both these character post their break-ups aren’t necessarily breaking any new ground. Austin broke up with Sadie in regards to trust, ironic, seeing as Sadie’s hard exterior could easily be ascribed to having difficulty letting anyone in. Lesson learned: Sadie has to be able to treat others well and with respect if she expects to be treated the same way. But haven’t we always known that? As for Jenna, Luke broke up with her because she needs to grow up (PREACH IT, DUDE!), but again, this is territory that’s already been covered on the series (never-endingly, apparently), but it also seems even more forced here since Luke was perfectly okay with Jenna’s teenage dramas a couple of episodes ago in ‘Crowning Moments’, yet wasn’t able to handle it in this episode, which makes it seem like the writers just wanted them to break up to add emphasis to everything.

So where does Eva’s potential lie as a character, then? With her baby of course! Not necessarily the actual baby (despite that positive pregnancy test at the end I’m still quite suspicious about whether she actually is), but rather, the potential it holds for Matty’s character. For me, he’s always been a problematic personality because since the beginning of the series he’s only important in regards to what he is to Jenna, whether it be, her crush, her boyfriend, her ex-boyfriend, her friend etc. instead of his own character. The writers attempted to develop him with the revelation that he’s adopted this season, but that seemed to lead nowhere, and by the time the potentially interesting develops could have happened Eva was starting her crazy and that stotyline fell by the wayside. Anyway, towards the end of the episode Jenna actually had an intriguing inner monologue thought (she’s allowed them occasionally, I guess) where she questioned how loyal Matty was to Eva. Did he genuinely care and was willing to forgive her despite all her lies? Or was he just doing what was right in not wanting to abandon his child? There’s great potential for character growth here, so despite all the bizarre antics of Eva we’ve had to endure thus far, here’s hoping we can say it will be all worth it once the series returns.
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