Can I just say … I’m writing this the night the episode aired, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to wait up long enough for new gifs, but in searching for them, I have been enjoying the FUCK out of the Matty “Holy shit!” gifs all over again. I found one that has it all in one gif and it is perfect. Like, it makes me sing songs and bluebirds fly around me and shit. It’s glorious.
Anyway. I had the weirdest reaction to this episode. Like … within the first five minutes, I knew I was going to have to watch it again immediately which, as we’ve discussed, I usually don’t do. And then at the end of it, I was like … seriously, what the FUCK. I kind of felt this weird combination of nothing and a pit in my stomach. In hindsight, it may not have been unlike going into shock. Which is a weird reaction to have to TV, if I do say, and even now, my thoughts are pretty disjointed.
“You’re like a small cable show, you may not have a budget or marketing, but you’re interesting and you’re catching on with the right peeps, peeps that get you and care what you think!” Well, Awkward, it’s not Supernatural, but it is pretty fucking meta! And all the Team Matty and Team Jake stuff just really added to the effect. I loved Matty’s annoyed thumbs up to the girl telling him that she got why Jenna dumped him, because I would HAVE to think that the sarcastic thumbs up is totally the writers’ internal reactions sometimes, and I’m always into those little glimpses.
There were a couple little side plots this week that, not gonna lie, I did not care about AT ALL. These included Val and her weird book, Sadie and her Not Herpes, Ming getting back into the Asian Mafia, and Tamara gaining sidekick street cred and her little catchphrases catching on. It’s not that these stories were bad or wholly uninteresting (well … some of them), but I was just way more into the other stuff. So let’s talk about that.
I think DILF is the Matty. I don’t know exactly what this means for the story, because it seems like he kind of fucked Lacey up. But she loves him, and he’s there. And everyone goes through hard times in relationships. And you know, it’s kind of easy to forget because they’re pretty happy and well-adjusted in general, but they had a baby together when they were sixteen, and of COURSE he was an asshole teenage/early 20′s guy who said and did shitty things (WHAT DID HE DO?), but … overall, it could probably be worse, right? And everyone has issues, often complicated issues, and even moreso when you have a long history with someone. And I think that it was interesting (and great) that the show addressed this in a subtle way. I’m kind of okay if we don’t ever know the whole story there because this IS Jenna’s story, after all. I do feel like we WILL get more information, but for now, it’s kind of enough just to feel like things are going to be okay with them.
Also? My unspoiled (and I would like to keep it that way) theory is that the blog commenter might be her mom. I think this is her way of making it right, and she seems very willing to accept this as karmic punishment for being a bad mother. I wonder if maybe she didn’t know the extent to which the beast would be unleashed, but I felt like Lacey reacted really maturely to all of this, especially for what we know of her. I just … she was really hard for me to watch tonight, you know? I think it’s because EVERYTHING is going to shit for her–her husband left her, her daughter hates her, her mother is on her ass, and now she’s getting phone calls from everyone in town telling her she’s awful. And that’s all bad or whatever, but the really heartbreaking part for me was just how she TOOK it … like … she deserved it. Like this was just … her life. God. So depressing. That’s how you know you’re in a bad place. Follow that up with going to bed at six, and that just looks like the perfect portrait of depression, you know?
Anyway, as for the big love triangle … I know the movie in French class was a ridiculous shortcut to getting Jake and Matty to talk, but I also didn’t care, because I felt like the show went about it in a really self-aware, “fuck it” way, which I respect, and because man … high school is so LIKE THAT sometimes, you know? Like, literally, a movie can change your entire world view in an hour.
Which brings me to something I didn’t respond to in last week’s post’s comments because I knew I’d want to talk about it here. Patty made a REALLY excellent point about how we watch this show from an adult perspective and we know that Jake is probably the better boyfriend and maybe even the better choice, and we know that Matty acted like an asshole to Jenna, and we know that Jenna has been kind of dumb, and/or lying to herself. But in the context of the show, they’re still going through this as teenagers with teenage perspective. They don’t know what they’re doing, and it’s all new. So yeah. No one has been acting great lately. Jake has been acting like a bratty, petulant child; Matty has been in love with and also kind of trying to steal his best friend’s girl; Jenna has been indecisive and unfair to both of them. But TELL me you didn’t act like at LEAST one of those people in high school. And them acting young and dumb (like they are) is what makes this a great show. They’re fucking it up. They’re learning stuff. They’re growing as people. It’s a good thing. And the decisions that you make in your teens are very different from the decisions you would make in your 30′s, so it’s important to kind of try to remember that when watching, I think.
To that end, I did like that Matty and Jake are learning how to be better people and better friends–more honest, more forgiving, more willing to consider each other’s perspective. They’re willing to put real work into their friendship while also dealing with a pretty serious conflict. I don’t know a lot of ADULTS who could do that, so good for them. And to Jenna’s credit, I think she did a really good job of knowing when to put some of this bullshit aside to take care of more important stuff, like her family and the tragedy that is her relationship with her mom, and also to know herself and know that she can’t think straight with everyone bearing down on her. I think this is probably going to set us up on the path we’ll go down for season 3.
So overall, was this a very funny episode? No. Was it very conclusive? No. But I feel like it WAS satisfying in a character development and plot trajectory way, and I’m impressed I guess just with the quality the show has managed to maintain. And man, I am EXCITED for next week.
I did have a few random thoughts with nowhere to put them, so I’m going to do that now and wrap this up. To the bullets!
- “I’m not gonna give her credit for anything except inducing my stress.” Um, you and me both, Sadie. This was a VERY close second for title of the post, but in the end, Hoe and Tell was just too perfect. Lissa is very quotable, which leads me to …
- It finally hit me tonight that if (god forbid) Clueless was remade, Lissa would make the PERFECT Cher. I would have zero desire to see anyone else in that role. Also, how crazy is it now that the weird computer outfit/paperdoll thing pretty much totally exists now? Living in the future is CRAZY.
- How fucking HOT was DILF growling? Good god, show. You really know what you’re doing. ILF him more than ever.
- Is there a shout out to an eighties movie every week on this show? I don’t know this, but I’m starting to get the feeling they sneak one in every week. The wedding episode definitely had the Sixteen Candles shout out with the muscle relaxers, and the Julies were VERY reminiscent of Heathers. I now feel the need to rewatch the series to look for this. When all the main characters wind up in Saturday morning detention, my suspicions will be confirmed. And I will LOVE it. (I would also accept someone using their tits to put on lipstick.)
Alright. Now that I’ve talked it over with you, I feel more able to deal with my feelings on this episode. What did you guys think? Favorite moments? Lines? Theories? There’s really a lot to talk about. Two more episodes, you guys! Comments are
welcome encouraged begged for! :)