TV Review: Awkward. (5×14) “WTF Happened Last Year?”

Awkward5BLuke asked, and we received: after leaving us in the dark for the mid-season premiere, Awkward. has decided to grace us with the knowledge of what happened between Jenna and Matty last year. Oh, and what happened to the rest of the gang that landed them in their current positions. Let’s dive in!

Jenna/Matty: Matty’s first visit to Wycott isn’t all it’s cracked up to be–Jenna is surrounded by hippie hipsters that spend all of their time discussing their favorite postmodern writers. Needless to say, athlete Matty is slightly out of his element. The hippie hipsters continue to be annoying, claiming that Matty seems so California but Jenna doesn’t and that Kim Kardashian is only attractive if you’re looking through the male gaze, which I think was the writers’ way of trying to make that girl a feminist. I’d like to pause and say if that was the intent, they better look up the true meaning of feminism again because pitting women against one another is a product of the patriarchy if I ever saw it. ANYWAY, Jenna and Matty fight over leaving the party and the fact that Matty thinks her friends are pretentious and boring.

Matty reveals that he quit the soccer team because he was riding the bench. He didn’t tell Jenna because he thought she would make it a big deal. The next morning Matty is calmer and apologizes for his comments the night before. He also drops the bomb that he’s going to transfer to Wycott to be with Jenna. At first she tries to reason with him so he stops running away from his problems, but ends up blurting out that she doesn’t want him there because she doesn’t want to lose the person she’s becoming. End scene, end relationship.

Tamara/Sadie: Our girl T is having a tough time post-high school–she doesn’t fit in at NYU, Adam has just broken up with her and her BFF Jenna is too busy frolicking in the woods to pay attention to her. She quickly learns how ridiculously expensive New York is when a shopgirl says she owes over five hundred dollars for “organic cotton ebony tops” (AKA black t-shirts). Sadie saves her with a credit card and a casual, “Ring ‘em up, shop bitch.” The girls bond over talking shit about Jenna, as Tamara has truly realized how self absorbed she is. Sadie reveals that she and Sergio are technically free from their relationship while on opposite sides of the country, but have every intention of getting back together when she’s home for the summer. Truth be told, Sadie is having trouble fitting in at Columbia as well. She commits to getting T her first real credit card and fake ID, sealing their new BFF-ship. This development makes me happy, because as mean as Sadie can be, she’s a more loyal friend than Jenna ever was.

Lissa/Jake: When Lissa returns to Palos Hills for fall break, she informs her mother that she dropped out of Vanderbilt. She figured that since all she wants to do is become a Palos Hills mom, there was no reason to go to college–she can just learn from her mother! She runs into Jake a their local Mexican restaurant and gets him fired for smoking up on his break, but then gets him a cushy job as a pool boy at the country club.

This episode was simultaneously melodramatic and anticlimactic. The reasoning behind Jenna and Matty’s break up seemed far worse before we knew why they were breaking up. The worst part is, I’m on Jenna’s side–I absolutely didn’t think that Matty should transfer to what sounds like the most pretentious, annoying college ever. This is coming from a former Literature major who can sometimes be found arguing about how important the Oxford comma still is. The upside to the episode was seeing how Tamara and Sadie became friends, especially in the context of a new city where neither of them quite fit in. The entire episode felt very true to life.

Episode Rating: 7/10

Bri is a 25-year-old born and raised in the swamps of Jersey. Just kidding, she lives at least twenty minutes from those swamps. She’s a publishing professional that moonlights as a writer. She enjoys going to concerts (anything from Rooney to Springsteen to NKOTBSB), roadtripping, and complaining that she truly belongs in the 1950’s, the 1920′s, or the 1980′s depending on her mood. She definitely owns more books than she should and reads every chance she gets. If you stop hearing from her, it’s because the book piles have fallen over and smothered her to death in the night. You can contact her at bri@theyoungfolks.com. Twitter: @bri_lockhart