TV Review: Faking It 2×03 – “Lust In Translation”

This week’s Faking It slightly strays from the first two episodes: instead of focusing on the Amy-Liam drama, the episode is resigned to Amy’s struggle in grasping her own sexuality – of course, not without confusing and upsetting people (fans included) in the process. The show is clearly beginning to deviate from its LGBT roots for something else entirely – this “something,” that is, riding on the borderline of teen-show cliches that left me disappointed in the process. Don’t get me wrong, it was an okay episode, however, its goodness was deterred by Amy’s hormonal rampage on what she wants, Liam’s overbearing obligation to be loyal, and Lauren’s bitchfest resurfacing on new character (and possible new love interest), Theo.

I tried to watch this bearing an open mind, since given that it’s Faking It, trivialities are bound to happen in the white space between the season premiere and the season finale. The first of which is the addition of Brazilian students who were transferred to their sister school, Hester High, following a tragic (and slightly needless to explain) series of events in their community that left them no choice but to find refuge at this Texas high school. As one can imagine, the school is now filled with gorgeous, tan Brazilian students who, while far from looking like high school students, are all passable for being models. Hormones rage everywhere at Hester High, students somehow proving themselves to be emotionally and sexually repressed children who, until this convenient arrival of Brazilians, had no way of expressing their sexualities. Staff and students alike try to make sure the student “refugees” are comfortable, going so far as throwing a carnival celebrating their arrival and to make them feel at home (despite the carnival’s evident Americanization). Whether or not the Brazilians care or not, viewers aren’t sure – none of the Brazilian refugees speak English.

Perhaps what threw me off most about Amy was, when spotting a sexy Brazilian in the crowd, she gasped and whistled at the sight of his shirtlessness. Karma responds with bewilderment, and perhaps a slight frustration (as if she could sense the viewer’s reactions) to her sudden attraction to males. Karma admits that ever since Amy told her how she felt, she was readily convinced that Amy was gay. To which Amy replies, as she had been preaching for the past three episodes, she was “confused.” I couldn’t help but feel unsettled by that comment, because it was so obviously pushed by the writers that Amy had been a lesbian – yet now when her best friend can’t return her feelings, she suddenly feels compelled to oogle at shirtless, oily, sexy men’s chests? (Then again, I can’t blame her.)

In addition to Amy’s perplexities, her hormones are also not only cranked up for Karma, but for another Brazilian student as well – a beautiful transfer girl with whom she shared flan during lunch. She doesn’t talk much, because she cannot speak English fluently, however she does know enough English to throw an insult or two. Karma’s convinced that in her and Amy’s faking “conscious uncoupling,” Amy should go out and get a Brazilian girlfriend. Once again, Karma is being hopelessly naive and, when Amy actually does score a hookup with the gorgeous Brazilian girl, Karma resigns to sadness and, at most, jealousy at the sight. But could you blame Amy’s hormones raging mad because of her unrequited love for her best friend, the saucy secret she has with Liam, and her clear confusion at what the hell she wants in a relationship?

Yes. Yes, given that at this point all the struggles have been shoehorned in by Amy’s doing, and the blame is now beginning to point to her, right?


Here’s the problem: what made Faking It so uniquely Faking It was its tackling of LGBT issues in an effectively quirky, satirical way that worked. Without the LGBT element – something that’s only beginning to flourish on TV – Faking It sinks easily into that “typical teen show” territory. Watching this episode instilled a slight disappointment within me, because maybe I was expecting more – new revelations, secrets, something to hold the season afloat – that didn’t feel like the characters were desperately trying to avoid their problems.

In light of the mid-season “white space,” Liam has finally come to terms with sleeping with Amy – or, at the very least, talking to Shane about it. Shane’s response was perfectly fitting given the horridness of the situation, and finally a step forward for Liam reaching that “honesty” he spends so many episodes desperately trying to believe he has. Following Liam’s admission, Shane had been shocked, and yes, also bewildered, especially given that he and Liam had both finally come to terms with being friends again. What’s worse, Liam is still caught up on Karma – which, considering that viewers have hardly seen them communicate this season (with exception to Karma’s evident jealousy toward him nearing the episode’s end), never struck me as significant yet. I’m keeping fingers crossed that Faking It‘s creators are saving development of Karma and Liam’s relationship for the latter half of the season because, so far, I hardly see much reason for Liam to be caught up on Karma – was it that he truly loves her, or is he blinded by guilt again?

Well, on the bright side, the Shiam friendship is back on following Shane and Pablo’s breakup… albeit quickly, but it’s assuring all the same. Nonetheless, that Liam-Theo friendship that was so prominent in last week’s episode is neglected entirely here – almost as if the two of them being friends had never happened – for Theo’s new infatuation with Lauren.

It’s not the main focus of this episode, but the new fondness Theo has for Lauren is obvious as soon as Lauren manages to pause her bitchfest to break into a sincere smile for him. There’s not enough meat to their relationship to have me truly rooting for them, but the connection they shared at the carnival was almost too adorable to ignore – and in the fashion of Faking It, one that will probably become canon.


As I mentioned, it was a disappointing episode. While it wasn’t horrible, I knew it could’ve been better. I’m well aware this is a 10-episode season, but one could only hope – pray – that the writers would at least begin to devote some time in characterization and their relationships, rather than two teens too cheeky to face their own problems to their friends. I give props to Liam for finally making that step, but Amy, a character I once found endearing, is now “unsure” of her own feelings and is filling this confusion with a deep-rooted sexual tension for Karma, an avoidance of Liam, and a sexually confused Amy on birth control pills. Could it be that Karma will find out what happened between Liam and Amy? How will Karma react?

Overall rating: 7/10



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