If “change” appears atop your personal list of fears, Tuesday’s Awkward premiere (MTV, 10/9c) is going to feel like an actual nightmare.
When the comedy returns for the second half of what could be its final season, the Palos Hills gang has experienced a full year of post-high school life — and all the bizarre, unpredictable transitions that come along with it. The stars recently spoke with TVLine and other outlets about their characters’ new directions:
JENNA | This should come as a shock to literally no one: “Jenna has really found herself in college and met people who love her for who she is,” Ashley Rickards says. “They don’t think it’s a bad thing to read all the time, they don’t judge her copious amounts of hoodies.” Also not surprising: “She comes back, and she finds out she’s not the only one who’s changed — and that’s where things get a little sticky.”
MATTY | Unfortunately, Matty’s freshman year wasn’t quite as empowering as Jenna’s. “He finds that he’s no longer the big man on campus, he doesn’t fit in, all these insecurities arise,” Beau Mirchoff reveals. “He goes on a crazy path of drinking and debauchery.” As for whether or not there’s still hope for him and Jenna, Mirchoff says, “They both care for each other … but they’re both in different places in their lives. … At the moment, they’re in a contentious relationship, but who knows?”
JAKE | And it doesn’t sound like things are going much better for Jake. “Early on in the series, Jake is the class president, he’s got all these extracurriculars; to find out that he takes a gap year and doesn’t immediately go to college, it seemed really against the arc he was on,” Brett Davern notes. “But it gave us this country club, which became the new high school, sort of, where all the characters could convene. It was fun to explore Career Jake instead of just School Jake.” (And what’s this about a new relationship with someone we already know?)
TAMARA & SADIE | The most unsettling change comes in the form of Tamara and Sadie’s newfound friendship, which formed while the two were at college in New York City. “That wasn’t shocking to us,” Jillian Rose Reed admits. “It’s been something we’ve been fighting for for a while, because we really enjoy doing scenes together.” Adds Molly Tarlov, “Something happened with Jenna and Matty, so [Jenna] might need a friend more than ever, but her friend has a new friend: It’s Jenna’s enemy, who made her life miserable.”
LACEY | Of course, changes aren’t limited to the show’s younger generation; there’s still plenty of new-ness for Jenna’s parents. “I actually really love where they go with Lacey,” Nikki DeLoach says. “When she had Jenna, she was so young. She didn’t get the opportunity to pursue what her life would look like outside of just being a mother. She starts to travel down that road a little bit and see, ‘What’s for me?” She also has her [new] baby, and this time around, she’s going to do both, which is an interesting road. … They wrote some really fun things for her.”
But fear not, Awkward fans, because we can confirm that at least one aspect of the long-running series will remain unchanged in Season 5B: “Ally’s still drunk,” Barrett Swatek confirms. “The one surprise is that most of this season, I’m in a bikini, and I had two weeks to prepare for that.”
Your hopes for Awkward‘s next batch of episodes? Are you hoping to see the show continue, or is it time to call it quits? Drop a comment with your thoughts below.
Reporting by Rebecca Iannucci