The first season of Awkward was a true under-the-radar critical and ratings success for MTV. They gave it very little promotion and buried it at an 11 pm time slot following reruns of Teen Mom, but it still found an audience, both among the female, teenage demographic it was aiming for and, surprisingly, among older viewers of both sexes and some prominent TV critics.
This season, which premieres tonight at 10:30, Awkward has been given a slightly better time slot (though another horribly incompatible lead-in in Snooki & Jwow) and a much better marketing and promotions push.
Awkward on paper sounds like any typical high school set comedy, with a central love triangle, a lot of made up teenage slang and neologisms etc. What sets it apart is that the dialogue really is witty and the made up slang really is funny. But the show is also uncommonly sensitive and deals in a pretty raw way with true to life high school humiliations in a way most high school shows don’t. In addition, the cast is fantastic, especially lead actress Ashley Rickards as Jenna and Molly Tarlov as mean girl antagonist Sadie.
The adult characters are also more interesting than they typically are in these shows, particularly an unhinged guidance counselor and Jenna’s thirtysomething parents, who had her when they were teenagers themselves.
MTV is airing a marathon of the 12 episode first season of Awkward this afternoon and evening in preparation for tonight’s season two premiere.