Awkward. review – 2×08: ‘Time After Time’

Courtesy of MTV

Last week was the wedding heard round the world: sl*tbag harpy Ally (Barret Swatek) tied the knot, but the real fireworks went down when high school shrew Sadie (Molly Tarlov) spilled the beans that Jake (Brett Davern) was Jenna’s (Ashley Rickards) sloppy second after – dum dum dum – Matty McKibben (Beau Mirchoff)! Sh*t’s about to go down.

Let’s bitch it out…Despite the suggestion in the slightly gangsta-rap introduction, sh*t both does and does not go down in ‘Time After Time.’ In fact, the episode plays out almost exactly as you would expect it to play out: Jake breaks up with Jenna, who cries to Matty, who then makes out with her, just as Jake listens to Jenna’s message and comes looking for them. This half hour of television couldn’t have had more “missed connections and misinterpretations” unless it was an episode of Modern Family (which specializes in these kinds of scenarios).

Is that a bad thing? Not entirely. It doesn’t, however, make for the most memorable of episodes. For anyone who truly believed that Jake and Jenna would last, this episode confirms that the writing has been on the wall for the couple for a while. Awkward. has been toying with Jake discovering the truth about Jenna and Matty since the second season premiere so it’s no surprise that the fall-out trades in the most stereotypical romantic-comedy conventions available. I’m sure we’re meant to groan and utter expletives at the ending – which has Jake observe Jenna and Matty making out on her bed – but in reality, this is the end result we’ve all been waiting for since Jake and Jenna made a go at it. It’s always been Matty and Awkward.‘s writers have done little to disguise the fact that they would eventually get back together. It’s unfortunate that Jake is the one who suffers most as a result since he’s never been anything but good to Jenna (well…until tonight), but hopefully Davern will relish playing the jilted lover in the remaining S2 episodes.

Courtesy of MTV

Other Observations:

  • The entire episode – including the title – revolves around timing. It’s so overused that someone playing a drinking game tied to the word would have a messy viewing experience after just a few minutes. In television there are “theme” episodes, and then there’s hitting-your-audience-repeatedly-in-the-head-with-a-giant-mallet “theme” episodes. ‘Time After Time’ is the latter.
  • Adding to the car-wreck relationship pile-ups are Ben (Kristoffer Polaha) putting the moves on Lacey (Nikki Deloach), who submits to the weakest of adulterous challenges (“You owe me a goodbye kiss”). After a few rounds of high school-style slow dancing, she then grows a pair and kicks her former beau to the curb with a dismissive “you’ll be fine.” Naturally both Jenna and husband Kevin (Mike Faiola) witness Lacey spreading her butterfly kisses. I would have been completely bored by all of this had we not learned – courtesy of Ally – that Kevin is actually Lacey’s Matty, the guy that constantly treated her like crap and broke her heart. That was an interesting little twist that I kind of hope the show readdresses if/when it tries to get Lacey and Kevin back together.
  • Not a whole heck of a lot of comedy in this episode aside from Ally’s fall-d0wn-drunk antics and Valerie’s (Desi Lydic) observations on the timing of comedic delivery (Side Note: Anyone else disappointed that when Valerie gives Ally the “final” drink it didn’t produce more of a physical comedy gag? I wanted some Stand By Me-esque explosive vomit or something, not just a drop to the floor)
  • Sadie outright mocking Jenna while she cries has got to be one of the meanest things we’ve ever seen on the show. It’s true that we’re not meant to really like Sadie, but we are still meant to empathize with her on occasion. Even if Sadie is unaware that Jake has broken up with Jenna, this still makes Sadie seem cruel and heartless, which is pretty hard to rescue a character from.
  • When Jenna was blogging her feelings was anyone else hoping it would lead to another supportive comment from the anonymous reader? That’s got to be the weakest storyline  the show has employed this season as we haven’t seen or heard from the mystery person in ages!
  • Finally, Tamara’s (Jillian Rose Reed) storyline…I just can’t. Why bother?

Best Lines:

  • Jenna (incorrectly thinking she and Jake are okay): “’Us’ was totally about to go back to my house and do it”
  • Tamara (to Jake): “Why are you talking like a fortune cookie?”
  • Val (discussing Gary’s awful toast with Sadie): “The problem is that he has no timing. With comedy, it’s all about timing” (Take a shot!)

Awkward. airs Thursdays at 10:30pm EST on MTV

About cinephilactic

cinephilactic is a university contract instructor in Film Studies. He is an avid TV watcher, particularly science-fiction, fantasy and drama series. His favourite shows currently airing on TV include The Good Wife, Breaking Bad, Justified, Hannibal, Game Of Thrones and a smattering of shows on The CW. He has a tendency to "hate-watch" particular shows and likes to think that his sarcastic voice comes through in his reviews, though sometimes he's just being bitchy

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