TV Review: <i>Awkward.</i> “Second Chances” and “Happy Campers, Happier Trails”


“Second Chances”

Despite an awkward start, Jenna and the Dean of SCU get along famously, bonding over how James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake is pretentious. The Dean explains that all she has to do to change schools in the fall is turn in an application–he’ll take care of the rest. Yeah, that sounds real. Luke is walking on sunshine with the news, but Jenna becomes homesick for her life in Maine. Luke, of course, is annoyed at the thought that Jenna won’t be fulfilled by what he wants for her. I’m annoyed that Luke seems to think that his opinion means more than Jenna’s. When Jenna gives the news to her parents, Lacey points out that Jenna following Luke to college is the same thing as Matty following her. Jenna doesn’t take this well.

“I don’t come from a rich family, I’m only upper middle class,” Tamara admits, finally coming clean to Patrick. Being a decent human being, he doesn’t care. In fact, he wants to take her to Catalina this weekend for a romantic getaway. Womp, she has to work. He asks her to go away for winter break, which elicits the same response. Patrick then wants to pay her debt so she can start fresh.

Thrilled with their Atonercize video efforts, Lissa and Jake decide to create many more videos. They’re caught by Jake’s boss, who proceeds to promote Jake and give him a raise. Jake reminds him of himself at that age–twenty years ago, when he started at the club right out of high school. This is not comforting to Jake.

Lacey is furious with Matty for getting her an F on their presentation by sleeping through it. He explains that he heeded her advice and broke up with Sully, but it’s too little, too late. Matty goes to Sadie to ask her for a favor, and is greeted by a hung over Ally. “It’s morning. She likes to watch people buy crappy jewelry while she fights the shakes,” Sadie says in a matter-of-fact tone.

When Matty chastises Sadie for leaving mean comments on Lissa’s videos, Sadie explains that she’s still seeking vengeance on Sergio and Tamara as well. Matty doesn’t approve of her tearing her friends down, but she’s inspired. “Oh my god, that’s genius! I’m going to invent Yelp but for actual people, you’re welcome!” she says. Somehow, they manage to focus enough to pull off Matty’s plan. He arrives at their German class with Sadie and a German food truck in tow, which at least inspires the professor to give him and Lacey a make-up presentation. Lacey forgives Matty and suggests that he go tell Jenna about his feelings for her, before she transfers schools. He texts her, but she submits her SCU application. At the end of the episode, Matty bitches on Sadie for her bad behavior toward her friends. She then gets into a horrific truck accident while trying to compose a message that tears apart all of her friends at once.

Episode Rating: 6/10.

“Happy Campers, Happier Trails”


Sadie’s horrific car accident just results in a broken leg–no worries, she’s well enough to bitch about her friends. Her friends aren’t worried about her attitude; they’re more concerned because they think this was a suicide attempt. As a result, Sadie ends up with a grief counselor…who happens to be Val, surprise! Sadie delivers the best line of the night: “You can’t leave me alone with this idiot, she causes more suicides than prevents them.” Val is undeterred and declares that she’s sticking with Sadie until she decides she’s in the clear.

A quick check-in on Lissa, Jake and Tamara: TV Reverend Garrett (and the coach from Fired Up!) wants to buy the rights to the Atonercize program, something that isn’t quite jiving with newly-minted feminist Lissa. She refuses, insisting that she built it and she’s not just going to give it away. Jake decides to quit the country club and considers moving to New York. Tamara’s storyline from the previous episode is wrapped up when she tells Patrick he can’t pay her debt, she has to learn to stand on her own two feet. Patrick understands.

Several people attempt to talk to Jenna about her transfer to SCU. Tamara points out that it’s for Luke more than her, while Matty compares it to when he attempted to transfer to Wycott for her. Jenna is too busy burying her head in the sand to listen, for now. The bad news for Jenna is that Professor Heedy, the head of the SCU writing department, is having an open house at the same time as the Camp Pookah event. Luke, once again, proves to be condescending and sexist when Jenna attempts to say no. “Jenna, this is kind of a big deal. It’s not, you know…camp.” Bye Luke. I can’t stand the sight of you telling your girlfriend what to do anymore. He already told everyone he was bringing her, so she has to come. Luke, that sounds like more of a you problem than a her problem.

Jenna goes to the event, but her preoccupation with her iPhone causes Luke to chastise her for making him look bad. She ends up going to the Camp Pookah event to spend her time with people who don’t act like they own her. She, along with Val, Lissa, and Sergio, go eavesdrop on Sadie as she’s saying goodbye to the horses. In her speech, she discusses how much friendship means to her, and how her bitchy behavior doesn’t mean she doesn’t love people. Her friends all forgive her.


Luke crashes the camp event to apologize for being a dick to Jenna. He reiterates that she’s doing the right thing. Of course she’s doing the right thing, if it’s exactly what he wants, right? Luke, you’ve made me miss Douchebag Colin, and that I can never forgive. He then leaves her to enjoy the rest of the event. Matty takes his opportunity to assert that Jenna shouldn’t give up the life she’s built for herself for someone else. Thank you, Matty. He says that he loves her and wants her to choose herself (clearly Matty has seen that episode of Beverly Hills, 90210). Jenna recognizes that Matty’s grown, he’s taught her more about herself, and that she loves him too. The two of them hook up in the closet they originally consummated their relationship in, during the pilot. They decide that they don’t know what will happen, but they think they’ll end up together in the end. The episode closes with everyone important having a rollicking good time at the bonfire, sans Luke. Au revior, Awkward.!

Well Awkward., it’s been real. We didn’t always get along, considering your skewed portrayal of friendship and feminism, but in the end you got it together a bit. The end of Awkward. once again proves that the show was at its strongest when the entire gang was together. They addressed several important issues, most importantly that Jenna shouldn’t throw away her current life to do whatever a guy wants. Unfortunately, this has been a lesson that she’s learned several times over, but the important thing is that it was portrayed well at this point. I will say that for a show with so much filler, the ending felt very rushed–for Lissa, Jake, and Tamara, the writers seemed to have thrown their season-long issues out there and then wrapped them up within less than two minutes for each.

Episode Rating: 7/10.

Season Rating: 6/10.



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