Awkward., Season 3, Episode 6: “That Girl Strikes Again”
Written by Todd Waldman
Directed by Joe Nussbaum
Airs Tuesdays at 10 PM on MTV
One of the fundamental issues that has affected Jenna throughout her high school life has been social circles, and where she fits into them. With her cast and neck brace, and the associated situation, whispers, and other preconceptions surrounding it, defining her image in the early going, Jenna arguably never got an opportunity to climb the social strata, something that was bound to affect her newfound open relationship with Matty sooner or later. Such a situation arose this week, with Jenna being declared unworthy of her boyfriend, a situation the show handles in a deft manner that brings to light the trivial nature of high school cliques while not making light of the pain they can cause.
Exploring the concept of fluid social status through the perspective of Jenna and Matty was a great concept that was executed well this week. The uncertainty of social standings is an issue that often plagues high schoolers, particularly in how they form and develop relationships, and the writers manage this week to effectively pull back the curtain on the fickle nature of it without a heavy-handed message to drive the point home. How this affects the relationship between Matty and Jenna going forward, with the latter’s self-esteem now shored up as a result of this week’s actions, is worth looking out for, particularly if it leads to Jenna becoming closer friends with Collin, Angelique, and their group.
Overall, this was another solid episode. Jake was particularly entertaining as the marijuana gradually took a stronger hold of him, and Tamara’s unexpected bonding with the stranger literally attached to her hip did a good job of reinforcing her fundamentally giving nature. Sadie’s continuing search for something to hold on to while her life disintegrates was nicely touched on with her search for the award, without crowding out the rest of the episode’s events. The lingering uncertainty in Jenna and Matty’s relationship continues to be explored well, and whether or not Jenna’s unexpected popularity affects her self-esteem, and how it shapes her relationship with Matty, as well as her friendships with Collin and the rest of her own high school population, is worth tuning in for next week.
– Deepayan Sengupta