Awkward‘s Jenna Hamilton has had a pretty rough go of it lately. After a spectacularly embarrassing incident injured her pride (as well as her left arm), she went from being uncomfortable in her social invisibility to the talk of her high school. You’d think that would be a real coup for a girl who had always wanted to fit in, but Hamilton didn’t exactly go from outsider to prom queen overnight; she went from outsider to notorious, making a name for herself in one of the least desirable ways possible.
However, despite Jenna’s dealings with childlike guidance counselors and nasty cheerleaders, she’s in a position most would envy, as she’s in between two guys that she likes and has seemingly caught people’s attention for the first time in her life. In one corner is Matty, her longtime crush and resident uber popular heartthrob that ended up being her first time. In the other is Jake, a nice guy that’s currently involved with a member of the cheerleading squad and someone she’s connected with in more than just a physical way.
What’s a girl to do, right?
This season on Awkward, we’ve seen Jenna seemingly make the shift from Matty to Jake, no thanks in part to the former’s hot tub hook-up with another girl and inability to publicly claim his affiliation to Jenna. The two had been hooking up for a couple of weeks, but our girl Jenna isn’t quite the sexually uninhibited free spirit; she wants intimacy and someone to talk to, someone unafraid to be ‘we’every now and then. She may have gotten a tiny bit of hope when the gorgeous Jenna-plus (aka Olivia) turned out to be Matty’s brother’s girlfriend, so there’s a chance his “not ready for a relationship” speech was legit, but the kiss from Jake at the end of last week’s episode threw everything she knew into a tail spin. Unfortunately for her, Jake is currently betrothed to Lissa, the slightly dim sidekick to Jenna’s enemy Sadie and someone who obviously recognizes the connection that Jenna and Jake have.
I’m all about the Team Jake bandwagon, but I understand why Jenna hasn’t exactly said ‘peace out’to Matty by now. Jenna may need someone who’s her emotional and intellectual equal, which Jake seems to be, but this is high school and Jenna is a teenage girl, so social status and ‘cuteness’plays a factor in things. As much as she may rail against it, a part of Jenna wants to be the girl with the ‘hot boyfriend’, the one on the arm of the most popular boy in school. Some of that may come from her desire to stick it to everybody that’s made fun of her in the past, but after going so long without really mattering in the grander scheme of high school, this is Jenna’s chance to be in the spotlight for a reason other than being ‘that girl’.
Additionally, Jenna hasn’t went after Jake because of the fact that he’s with someone and who that someone is; Sadie and her pack of yes-bots have already spread provocative pictures of Jenna throughout school and made her feel unwelcome at the kick-back, so one can only imagine what would happen if Jenna were to ‘steal’Jake away from Lissa. (No matter how unhappy Jake is.) I don’t think Lissa is necessarily as spiteful as Sadie, as she all but told Jenna she was sorry for the picture, but if she lets Jake go, Jenna has ‘beaten’Sadie and I have a feeling that wouldn’t fly well with our villain.
I hope we at least get to see the beginnings of a Jenna/Jake romance by the end of the season, because the two have some pretty solid chemistry and I’d like to see how their union would shake things up at school. Whatever the show chooses to do (and when they choose to do it), Awkward has been a very good show for its first five episodes and I eagerly await the misadventures of Tamara trying to amass more red cup pictures, Jenna’s mom slowly morphing into Regina George’s mom from Mean Girls, and the ultimate choice between the sweet, nice guy and the popular pretty boy.
Have you been watching Awkward this season? Who do you think Jenna should go after: Matty or Jake?