So you saw MTV’s Awkward. pop up on your Netflix queue or the ads for Season 3 and now you’re wondering if you should take the plunge? WELL DO IT! Awkward. is for every girl who was ever, well, awkward and in high school and chasing after boys who never seemed to love her back. I’m courageous enough to say that pretty much sums up my life. But if you are on the fence or just hoping to dive into Season 3 head first, no look backs, there are a few things you will need to know. Let me start at the beginning…
Jenna Hamilton: The embodiment of all things Awkward. She is normal, approachable. She isn’t popular. She isn’t a loser. She is just there. And only her friends know how awesome she is.
Matty McKibben: The he-is-too-hot-for-high-school hottie who swipes Jenna’s v-card in a storage closet at summer camp. He’s the unattainable “bad boy” even thought he never does anything bad.
Tamara “T” Kaplan: Jenna’s bestie and right-hand lady. T is creator of Tamaraisms.
Jake Rosati: Matty’s best bud. The nice-guy who every girl should be attracted to.
Sadie Saxton: The head cheerleader and Jenna’s enemy. She says really awful things to people and always follows it with a “You’re Welcome.”
Lacey Hamilton: Jenna’s young, hot mom, who had her in high-school. Lacey was clearly not awkward.
Val: the guidance counselor who knows no boundaries
Ming Huang: Jenna and T’s other good friend when she is allowed to leave her house.
Jenna receives a letter on her first day of high-school (later to be called the Care-frontation). The famous line: “You could disappear and no one would notice.” It is signed “A friend,” as the author must think they are helping her by being so blunt and awful. Jenna spends a great deal of the first season trying to figure out who sent the letter. For the longest time she thinks it must be Sadie because it would be a total Sadie move.
Then after a long, blowout fight, Tamara admits to writing the letter and everyone is like “WHAT? T? I call shenanigans!!!” Don’t worry, she later admits she made it all up and isn’t the actual author. She just wanted to hurt Jenna in the moment. Whew!
The Faux-Suicide Attempt
Let me be clear. There was no suicide. Jenna just happened to be reading the letter when she went to take some aspirin for a sore shoulder. She tripped over a plugged-in cord, spilling the pills, dropping the juiced up appliance into a full tub of water and bashing her head. Needless to say, it looked like she tried one too many suicide methods at once. She ended up in a side body, full arm cast contraption and neckbrace. It was not cute. Everyone spread a rumor she tried to kill herself, and by everyone I mean Sadie Saxton.
Jenna is forced to go to counseling with Val, who misreads their student/teacher relationship as friends. Val always thinks she is helping Jenna, but usually ends up messing everything up.
Matty and Jenna
After their brief and awkward tryst at summer camp, their relationship continues, but in secret. Tamara is constantly telling Jenna to “DTR” (define the relationship), but she won’t for fear of freaking out Matty and losing him.
Matty and Jenna continue on their on-again, off-again secret relationship for most of the season. Matty seems to be warming up to the idea of going public with Jenna. He takes her on a date to his favorite family restaurant. He’s never taken a girl there so it is special to him. Things look like they are on the up and up, but…
Jake and Jenna
Jenna briefly shares her concerns about her publicly-unrequited-love for Matty with Jake, leaving out names, obvi. Jake misunderstands and thinks Jenna is coyly admitting to having a thing for him. Jake develops feelings for Jenna, even going to Matty for advice. Matty, not realizing his friend is crushing on Jenna, sort of encourages Jake to go for it (this is where it gets messy).
Jenna sadly watches as every girl in school gets asked to the dance with some grand gesture. She grows increasingly angry with Matty for not asking. Matty plans on asking Jenna but he can never find the right time. Just when he sees his window of opportunity, Jenna goes on the defensive, breaking things off with him and accepting an invitation to the dance from Jake!! (Cue: “OMG!!”)
Matty shows up at the dance to win Jenna back, but finds her with Jake! He puts it all together and realizes Jake was asking for advice about Jenna. Jenna tells Matty it was too late and he should move on. (Sad times for Matty.)
The show is narrated by Jenna’s blog, which she maintains also in private (Jenna is a very private person). In a very Carrie Bradshaw way, Jenna opens up about her feelings for Matty, her relationship with her parents, everything. The blog is kept ultra private…until Season 2.
The Season ends with the reveal we have all been waiting for. Who actually wrote the letter? JENNA’S HOT MOM! Jenna doesn’t confront her just yet! But she is totally devastated.
Jenna and her Mom
Jenna confronts her mom. Her mom has to admit what she did to Jenna’s dad. They split up, temporarily, as he gets over his anger at his wife for writing the letter to Jenna. Jenna doesn’t want to talk to her mom for a long time, but then she realizes the letter might have done some good and learns to forgive her mom again.
Jenna and Jake
After all that drama last season with Matty never loving her back, Jenna is surrounded by Jake love all season. He is cute and adorable and like a golden retriever in a boy, which might sounds lovely to some of you. (Warning: This is where my Team Matty bias will begin.)
Tamara and Ricky and Sadie
Love triangle alert. Tamara has been seriously pining over Ricky since season one. They are on-again, off-again and then some. After Sadie is rejected by Matty, one more time, she ends up hooking up with Ricky. They start secretly and then not so secretly hooking up, to Tamara’s dismay. However, at the end of the season Sadie finds Ricky hooking up with a guy…so yeah, karma is a biotch.
Jenna and Matty
Matty tells Jenna he is in love with her in the first episode, asking for a second chance. Jenna denies him this chance, again (BUT HE’S SO HOT). But Matty doesn’t give up. He is determined to win back Jenna. He dates some other people but it never really goes anywhere.
Sadie Ruins Everything
Sadie tells Jake about Matty and Jenna, sort of leading him to believe that Jenna was cheating. Jake breaks it off with Jenna, absolutely crushing her heart. Jenna turns to Matty for comfort. They end up making out instead of talking. Jake shows up at Jenna’s glass bedroom door to apologize and ask for Jenna back onto find the two making out.
Despite the steamy make-out session, Jenna wants Jake back. Jenna thinks the solution to her problems is releasing her blog. That way Jake will see that she ended things with Matty before dating Jake and they only hooked up again once things were over. Releasing the blog does more harm than good. It also reveals to the whole world that Jenna’s mom wrote the Care-frontation.
Jenna and Matty and Jake
Because one love triangle is not enough!! Jake eventually gets over his anger, because let’s be real he is like a puppy in a human. Matty is still over in his corner being Matty, AKA sexy. They both want Jenna back and they decide she has to choose. We spend a few episodes pretending we don’t already know the answer in our hearts and the winner is???
MATTTTAYYYYYY!!!! Of course? Jenna would be crazy not to pick that hunk of man meat. (Did I really just say that out loud?)
Towards the end of the season, Tamara and Jake end up hooking up. They keep is secret from Jenna for all of five minutes. Once Jenna and Matty are all happy and in love, Jenna can’t really be mad can she? So Tamara gets Jake. They head off to spend the summer in Europe on a class trip, leaving Jenna and Matty behind.
So there you have it. A Field Guide to Awkward. Seasons One and Two. Of course, I didn’t have time to tell you everything, so you might just need to head on over to MTV.com to see this insane story play out in real time. But for now, in the words of Sadie Saxton, “You’re Welcome.”