Ming gets a storyline this year, integrating her more into the fabric of the show. We’re also introduced to the Asian mafia, the funniest gag to have come out of season 2 so far (MP: I thought that was hilarious. The no-yes-no-but really yes-nod was fantastic. Whoever plays the mafia’s ringleader should win an award, most likely the Teen’s Choice but whatever). And although I love the Tamara and Ricky Schwartz running gag, I do wish we’d move on from it (Update: Prayers have been answered Jenna’s stalker is now stalking Tamara), more character development please. In a 20 minute show it is hard to fit everyone in and do justice to their characters, I’d be ok if we didn’t see everybody featured in every episode. The church retreat removed Jake and Matty from the happenings and the episode gave us a rare glance as to why Sadie wants Lissa to be her best friend again and Jake dated her in the first place. Lissa may be simplistic, but she’s got the best heart out of all the people in the show and she too, like Jenna wants to learn from her past and become better; away from Sadie’s toxicity. But at the end of the fourth episode, she may have fallen back into old patterns again. People don’t change overnight, but a glimpse of change — that’s the evolution the show needs.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about Valerie being promoted to vice-principal. She had a more organic role supporting Jenna as her counselor, but her evolution into a character with more authority means slapstick humour involving students misbehaving and her inability to effectively control them. For now though, the change in office has been much ado about nothing quite frankly. (MP: She hasn’t really done anything as VP, has she? If anything, the fourth episode still had her sitting in her old office still being the guidance counsellor. Blah, blah, blah)
Lastly, but most importantly: Jenna’s parents and their relationship. Probably due to constraints of time, their relationship has never been a focus; while Lacey comes off as slightly childish and someone who is always trying to recapture her youth through Jenna, her father seems more grounded and sensible. And this probably is a show thing, rather than an actual defining point of their relationship, but he does interact more with Jenna than he does with his wife. It’s easier to show Lacey’s feelings for her husband, because she’s made the grander gestures of sacrifice in their relationship, but going forward if the show decides to bring them back together, it would be nice to get a grand gesture of love from him too. When he finds out about the truth behind the letter, those differences between him and Lacey that had seemed minor suddenly begin to look like things he may never be able to get over and thus the decision to move out. (MP: Jenna should apply for emancipation. Seriously, with parents like these who needs S&L?) This is a pretty selfish decision on his part, he reacted more to his own percieved betrayal rather than to the betrayal of his daughter. With her dad gone, Jenna must now be her mother’s support and although everything is still not right between them, they are rebuilding their relationship slowly, while her father has just removed himself as opposed to fixing things.
- Loved the slap. Can somebody find me a gif?
- Sadie reclaiming her confidence and simultaneously getting over Matty. Tamara shouldn’t discount all her advice. She’s got a few good ideas.
- Placing a bet this season ends with Jenna choosing neither one of the boys and picking self-discovery with her newly acquired and old girl friends via a road trip instead.
Shazia is part bionic, part crazy (parts not mutually exclusive), and would be happy conversing solely in TV quotes, forever hopeful she’ll be one-upped in her obscure TV references. She blogs here and microblogs here.
TMS’s Editor-in-Chief who, as the Robin to Shazia’s Batman, makes an occasional appearance in her column, always in parenthesized italics. Some days MP may lack her usual snark but if you wait for it, it’ll rear its head eventually.