MTV's 'Faking It': Old game, new rules

Posted: April 23, 2014

TO SAY that high school has changed since my day is like saying dinosaurs no longer roam the earth, but high-school TV shows?

They're still nearly always about the beautiful but inexplicably not-popular girl who catches the eye of the popular cute guy.

Yes, even "Faking It," MTV's rom-com about two 15-year-old girls (Katie Stevens and Rita Volk) pretending to be lesbians.

Like its lead-in, "Awkward," in which Jenna (Ashley Rickards) was plucked from adolescent obscurity after she was mistakenly thought to have tried to kill herself, "Faking It" suggests that high-school students are so cool with things that once would (and still do) get some kids marginalized or bullied that pretending to be gay is a social-success strategy.

For Stevens' character, Karma, kissing her best friend, Amy (Volk), is a way - admittedly not the most direct way - of getting closer to Liam, a cute guy (Gregg Sulkin) with commitment issues.

For Amy, though, it's more complicated, and that's where "Faking It" begins to seem less like a joke, as the shift in a relationship stirs up feelings that move her into the "questioning" column of LGBTQ.

Last week's "Parenthood" finale, in which Haddie (Sarah Ramos) brought her girlfriend home from college, was remarkable as it hinted that Haddie had fallen for a person, not necessarily an entire gender. (If the show doesn't get to Season 6, we'll never know if Haddie's "super awesome best friend" turns out to be the first, The One or her one and only.)

It's too soon to say how "Faking It" will handle Amy's questions, but focusing on them - and maybe even playing with the notion that sexuality can be fluid - would be a better way to stand out from the crowd than Karma's idiotic pursuit of Liam ever will.


 

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