TV Review: Awkward. 4×18 – “Girl Rules”

BlRYTc3CUAA0Bia1It’s Matty’s birthday and Jenna decides she’s going to be a friend to him even though he has a girlfriend. That’s mighty big of you, J! Her single cupcake gift is shown up by Gabby’s tower of cupcakes, organized classmate choir, and Laker tickets. She’s also throwing a surprise party for Matty. Jenna declines her invitation—after all, she doesn’t want to go and Gabby clearly doesn’t want her there. Gabby’s understanding of Jenna’s discomfort surprises J.

With Lissa suspended for drugs, Sadie takes cheer captaincy once more. Tamara disagrees with this hostile takeover and the two girls get into a slap fight. Val pulls them in for counseling, mandating that they work together as co-captains. “You know what’s worse than mean girls? Fake nice ones,” Jenna says, after Tamara complains about cheerleading. Our girl T tells Jenna that not going to Matty’s surprise party means Gabby wins. Gabby requests that Jenna asks her to set up, giving them the perfect opportunity to get to know one another, calling her “Jen” all the while.

Back at Casa Gabby, Jenna is trying not to step on any toes. Gabby picks Bruno Mars for the soundtrack, even though Jenna knows Matty’s favorite band is Bastille. She can’t let the hummus go, explaining that it reminds Matty of cat puke. One of the girls texts Jake to see if he and Matty will arrive on time and receives a text in response that says “WASTED (lightning emoji/lightning emoji/bathtub emoji).” The boys went to a strip club to celebrate Matty’s legal status and ended up trashed. Gabby starts freaking out, but Jenna comes to the rescue: she’ll send Tamara to get the boys, then she’ll go buy some guac and steal Matty’s favorite tequila from her parents.

Tamara and Sadie team up to get the boys from the strip club and are turned away for being too young. They use Amateur Night as a way to get in, doing a cheer routine on stage. “They said no touching!” Matty says, as Sadie grabs his hand to lead them out.

While stealing the tequila, Jenna finds a big envelope from a college—she got in! When she returns to the party, Gabby gives her a sincere thanks—she was nervous that Jenna would think the party was lame; Jenna is so alternative and creative. Jenna realizes that this was never a competition for Gabby; being cool is more about actually being cool, not just pretending to be. She tells Matty that the party was all Gabby. I am impressed! This could have gone so poorly.

Jenna’s pretty ecstatic when she gets home, news of college and her friendship with Gabby boosting her confidence. At least until she finds out that the envelope was intended for Ma Lacey and NOT her—she received a small envelope instead. She throws a crying fit in her room, refusing to see a tearful Ma Lacey. “I spent all day trying to be an adult, I’m all out,” Jenna says, dropping the truth of twenty-somethings everywhere. Drunk Matty knocks on her door, looking for a drinking partner. She spills about college as they drink Patron out of the bottle, and Jenna tells Matty that she knows he only hooked up with her sophomore year because she would have sex with him. She’s much more to him than that; he knows that she helped with the party and he to open the information about his birth parents with her. The envelope reveals that his mother doesn’t want to be found and his father, Daniel Durand, lives in Portland. Overcome with emotion, Matty kisses her. Jenna interrupts my yelling at the TV by telling him that they can’t do that—she’s not going to break a rule about making out with friend’s boyfriends. Once again: I’m impressed, J.

Episode Rating: 7/10



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