TV Review: Awkward. (5×15-5×16)

tumblr_o4z75caCAs1s9w508o1_500Awkward. (5×15) “The Friend Connection”

Last week on Awkward., Luke and Jenna got a lot closer on the Idea Bin couch, which I find revolting because other people need to sit there. At their editorial meeting, boss lady Lizzie attempts to drag raw vulnerability and authenticity out of Jenna by asking her to describe her last sexual encounter. In an attempt to not let relations with Luke derail her internship, Jenna says, “It was no big deal…no one should try to read so much into it.” Jenna then tells Luke she can’t date him because of the possibility of drama, so he shrugs it off. Jenna doesn’t take this well.

Tamara, bored by Jenna’s constant inability to pass the Bechdel Test (oh wait, that’s me), says that she doesn’t understand why they’re even having the conversation–they both know Matty is going to win in the end. Tamara can’t join Jenna at her house for a sleepover, as she’s planning Sadie’s birthday party at fancy club Rondelez.  Jenna proceeds to invite herself, regardless of the fact that she hates Sadie, Matty, and Matty’s girlfriend Sully, who will all be there. Sadie has more important things to think about, i.e. inviting Sergio to her birthday so they can hook up. Sergio doesn’t show up, leaving Sadie to hook up with some rando to make herself feel better.

Luke cancels his plans to hang out with Jenna and the coworkers she invited out, only none of them show up. Jenna confesses to Luke that she wants everyone’s approval. When Tamara doesn’t have time to hang out with Jenna, she laments that her best friend has changed. It’s a very sad evening for Miss J.

While Jenna deals with Tamara and Luke, Jake and Lissa feel uncomfortable with Matty and his obnoxious girlfriend, Sully. Jake is stressed because he got Sully a job as a lifeguard and she’s drinking on the job, which is most dangerous. Sully continues to prove what a heinous human being she is when she lies to some big dude at the bar bothering her and nearly causes a fight. In the kerfuffle, Matty is kicked out of the club. Luke asks Jenna if she wants to go after him, but she decides against it.

The waitress brings Tamara’s card back–apparently it’s been declined. She had been banking on the guys she had been hanging out with paying for the expensive evening. The waitress threatens to get a manager, so things aren’t looking so good for our girl T. Meanwhile, Jenna finally realizes that she was the one who caused all of the drama with her and Luke. Without Matty as an option, there shouldn’t be any drama. Sure, Jenna. That’s a real thing.

I found this episode rather lacking–we’re just going around the Jenna/Matty merry-go-round again as Jenna whines. I find Sully annoying, but barely worth commenting on. I’m hoping we get more of Tamara and Sadie next week, because even with the birthday party, it wasn’t enough.

Episode Rating: 5/10.

tumblr_o5fuunWYtU1s9w508o4_500Awkward. (5×16) “Best Friends for Never”

Jenna observes that everything feels exciting and new with Luke, explaining, “Maybe because for the first time, I wasn’t thinking about Matty!” Jenna Hamilton is one of the most depressing television characters ever. No one should aspire to be Jenna. After they’re a little late making out in front of Idea Bin (discrete, good choice), Luke lies to Aaron Samuels and tells him they were brainstorming. Luke decides that no one can know about their relationship, giving Jenna flashbacks to her sophomore year relationship with Matty. However, it’s not because Luke is embarrassed; he wants people to take her seriously. While I admire his intentions, I have a few tips: don’t make out in the work parking lot, and don’t talk about your relationship out loud in the office.

At their work meeting, Lizzie delivers the criticism I’ve wanted someone to give to Jenna for seasons: “I felt like you were trying too hard to sound like a sophisticated know-it-all.” She then puts a call out for sales rep interns, inspiring Jenna to suggest Tamara. Jenna’s coworkers are immediately enamoured with Tamara, sparking Jenna’s jealousy, which only gets worse when Tamara gets the front page spot for an essay over Jenna. “Everybody hates me, and the one person who is supposed to make me feel better about it is too busy palling around with the popular kids,” she says. It must be nice to live in a world that revolves around you.

Jenna freaks out on Tamara for thinking that she’s better than her, which causes Tamara to call her a hypocrite. Later that night, Tamara shows up to apologize and ask for her help. I’m annoyed that they don’t address how wretched Jenna was in this apology. In the end, Tamara has them both listed on the byline for their article about best friends, causing Aaron Samuels to compliment Jenna and ask her to hang out.

In order to make Sergio jealous, Sadie brings her flinger date to his food truck. Her plan backfires when he kisses his girlfriend in front of her. She rolls her eyes, dumps her date and sets to scheming. Since Jake says that Sergio will only be jealous if she’s in a real relationship, she asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend. Jake agrees in exchange for $50 and unlimited tamales. Same, Jake. They do a terrible job pretending to be in love, but pull off a decent kiss at the end. Sergio admits to his mother that he misses fighting with Sadie.

Lacey and Matty are taking German in summer school and end up as partners. They discuss the Matty/Jenna break up, revealing that Jenna protected Matty and told her mom that they broke up so that she wouldn’t hold Matty back. Matty tells her the truth, explaining that he felt like a nobody at Berkeley. He admits that Jenna was right and he acted like a jerk. Lacey advises him to talk to Jenna, but he doesn’t think they’re there yet. Even so, he calls Jenna at the end of the episode but doesn’t leave a voicemail.

I have to give them credit for focusing on Jenna and Tamara’s friendship for this episode, despite how unreasonable Jenna is for most of the episode. The Matty/Lacey scenes were also enjoyable, though I feel like they didn’t quite fit in with Matty’s storyline with Sully up until this point. We’re still pretty early in the season, but they need to develop the storylines and relationships with a purpose–the Sully stuff seemingly disappeared this episode without a resolution.

Episode Rating: 6/10.

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 Twitter: @bri_lockhart