MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW…
You’ve got my attention.
When I saw the first few trailers for “Faking It” I thought to myself “God this looks awful, I’ll probably end up watching it.”. The trailer and the premise that Mtv had released made the show sound like it was going to be very, very stupid. This was what I expected, but having heard a lot of really good things about it and seeing some funny quotes I decided to give the show a try last night and binge watched it. Then I found myself at episode six, my mouth agape and as the credits rolled I realized “God this good, I’m addicted!”.
Now for starters, I wouldn’t go into “Faking It” expecting a laugh riot, it’s a lot like “Freaks and Geeks” in that aspect, there are plenty of funny parts but a lot of the addictiveness comes from the show’s storylines. A lot of the funniest parts come from the many awkward situations the characters find themselves in, and the numerous exaggerated escapades of the student body of Hester High. The show has a lot of exaggeration with certain things like hippie parents, or super cool super liberal high school students always trying to fight the man and embrace the different, but the amazing thing about the show is that it doesn’t really do stereotypes.
The characters are actually very fleshed out and realistic, and they’re not always in the right(actually about 80% of the time, they’re very, very wrong). This show is like the anti-“Glee”, shit at Hester High is very fucking complicated. Karma’s got her heart in the right place but she’s incredibly self-involved, Amy is mostly very sweet and sensitive but the show hasn’t been afraid to show her doing some questionable things, Liam’s a cool dude but he’s also a bit of an asshole, Lauren is the show’s alpha-bitch but she’s much more complicated than that, and while Shane is funny and awesome he also “outed” Karma and Amy without any proof and as the last episode pointed out is much more like Lauren than either would like to admit. These are teenagers, they’re not all fluffy adorable love struck puppy dogs who always make the right choice at the end of the day, teenagers, even the super cool liberal kind at a very open minded school, can do some fucked up shit to each other and the show isn’t afraid to show it.
The real heart of the show is of course, Karmy(Karma/Amy, duh!), Rita Volk and Katie Stevens have excellent chemistry. The Karma-Amy friendship/will-they-won’t-they dynamic is like watching a really sweet adorable car-crash about to happen. Karma is incredibly destructive, but Amy is too smitten and loyal that she can’t help but keep the ruse up, even if it isn’t really so much a ruse for Amy. One of the moments I really liked was when Amy finally confides in Shane about what’s been going on, she very quickly jumps to the conclusion that she has to be a lesbian because of her feelings for Amy, but Shane is rather hesitant to just throw a label on Amy’s feelings right away. Had this been written by Ryan Murphy, Shane would have just told her she’s a lesbian and called it a day, but the show recognizes that sometimes things are more complicated than that, and even though if I had to bet Amy is probably a lesbian, I really enjoyed that the show recognizes that sometimes things aren’t so black and white(also props about the whole Pablo storyline in the last episode, with him being a very gay Christian and calling Shane out a bit on making assumptions. Also that Goop reference killed me).
I’ve read a lot of complaints about Liam’s character, and trust me I felt full on rage when he interrupted Karmy’s make-out session during the threesome(Liam McCockBlock Booker you son of a bitch!). However I can’t really bring myself to hate Liam, mostly because I can identify with his character a bit. He is very self involved, and I feel like he’s very self-congratulating about how open minded he is, and his desire to turn a “lesbian” is aggravating, however he’s also very relatable in ways. I can totally relate to his overwhelming desire to make clear how liberal and open minded he is as sometimes I find myself doing the same(Liz Lemon style), and also who wouldn’t fall for Karma? Also I found it quite fascinating how worried he ended up being during the three-way, I feel like he’s much more complex than anyone really gives him credit for.
The acting is great, you really feel for Rita Volk, and Katie Stevens has very expressive facial emotions. Having previously seen Michael Willett before on “United States of Tara” playing a very over the top stereotypical love interest of Marshall, Lionel, I’ve been very impressed with how great he’s been here(not that he was bad on “USoT”, but Lionel wasn’t exactly my favorite character, then again I kind of stopped enjoying “United States of Tara” after the first season, when the show just became a lot of screaming, crying, and yelling at Toni Collete for no reason). Gregg Sulkin does a good job, though his ambiguous accent(British in real life) can be a bit grating and one has to wonder why they didn’t just tell him to go full on British. Bailey Buntain has done a great job of making Lauren the show’s lovable alpha-bitch, love to hate character.
As to whether or not Karmy will go anywhere, I don’t know exactly but I sure do hope so, I wasn’t really invested in it till I got to that final scene of “Three to Tango” when Karma ran out of the room, before they could start their threesome, that look on her face when Amy kissed her with all of that passion, I’m an addict. KARMY, KARMY, KARMY, KARMY FOR THE WIN MOTHERFUCKERS!!!! I mean when Rita Volk pulled off the trench coat, revealing that very super sexy lingerie, well god damn Karma never had a chance did she? How could anyone not be in love with Amy(poor Oliver, any chance he could recur in season two as Amy’s friend or something)?
Overall, give “Faking It” a chance. I did and now I’m hooked, the show is filled with some funny pop culture references, a super compelling storylines, and an excellent cast.
GRADE: A 94%