by Annelise S

After a nutty accident involving a bottle of Advil is misconstrued as a suicide attempt, Jenna ends up in a pretty brutal arm cast (see above picture) and an entire high school full of confused rumors. In MTV’s “AWKWARD.”, the typical cast of any high school TV show is present (the two sidekicks, doofy teachers, cheerleaders, confused parents, lame jocks), all dealing with the typical issues (virginity, popularity, personal identity, relationships) but with a refreshingly intelligent twist that distinguishes this show from the rest. The dialogue in “AWKWARD.” is witty and on-point. I caught myself chuckling aloud at Jenna’s deadpan delivery more than once while watching the pilot. When Jenna (played by Ashley Richards) laments, “everyone is treating me like I’m in a bad Lifetime movie.” her friend consoles, “but you can be the one with Kristen Stewart!” Appalled, Jenna’s other friend responds “Kristen was date raped..!” 
Jenna navigates her sophomore year of high school in a full-limb cast, just as awkwardly and clumsily as it sounds. Her character, however, is relentlessly likable and charming despite how misunderstood she is. Immediately evident are echoes of shows like “My So-Called Life “ and movies like “Juno”, “Saved!”, and “Rocket Science”. For a clever comedy that acknowledges the humor in high school without condescension, check out “AWKWARD.” MTV is debuting the pilot episode on Tuesday, July 19th at 11 PMEST/PST. If you want to watch the episode NOW, however, MTV has it streaming for free on their website:

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