Awkward Review: The Surprising Surprise Party

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One "Surprise" later and Awkward Season 3 is completely different.

Is it possible to simultaneously like and loathe Jenna? It’s a bit…awkward, but as the credits were rolling I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about this lead character.

Happy Birthday to Jenna

Jenna’s entire justification as the first half of this season counted down was her evolution as a person, and what that evolution meant with her relationship with Matty. As much as I want to loathe her for questioning her relationship with him, she’s also just trying to figure out what will make her happy.

I really like that Jenna wants to examine her options, but my loathing of her comes along with the lying. If she’s having doubts about her relationship, part of growing up is verbalizing those doubts and attempting to find some solution. Instead, Jenna strung Matty along. She was willing to lie to him - and that’s very selfish. The only time Jenna confronted her feelings was either being conflicted and trying to talk herself out of her actions (and then proceeding to talk herself into heading right back into Colin’s arms) or when she was putting those feelings off for another time.

As much as I want to pin all the blame on Colin, he’s not the biggest culprit here. Colin, much like Jenna, is exploring his own feelings, but he’s exploring those feelings without stringing someone along. Colin is even willing to cut off their make out sessions cold turkey. As much as Colin is coming between Matty and Jenna, I like that he’s forcing Jenna to examine all of her options, while also forcing her to think about what she really wants.

Additionally, I’m really interested in seeing how Matty reacts to the surprise. Jenna’s given Matty a lot of emotional drama since their summer camp romp in the janitor’s closet and he’s mostly tagged along as she followed her own feelings. I’ll be blunt: I don’t want Matty to forgive Jenna, not right now. He deserves someone better and it’s up to Jenna to rectify their relationship, not Matty.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Sadie might be the better choice for Matty. The girl does not make many friends, mostly just enemies, but Sadie is surprisingly protective of Matty. They may never amount to anything more than friends but they are good friends and she may be just the kind of person Matty needs to talk to.

Two More Thoughts:

  1. Ming is letting the power of the mafia go to her head, but Ming is holding the delicate balance of power. If she gives up her role as leader, then Becca will come crawling back to take back her throne. Ming can be so underused on the show that I'm just happy to see her get to do something.
  2. Really, Jenna? Your parents going to Sea World to celebrate your birthday should’ve been a giant clue that your surprise party is a go. At the very least you could’ve waited until after you got inside the house to make out with Collin.


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (35 Votes)

Everyone doesn't always have to do 'likeable' or 'honourable' things. Jenna is going through 'normal' stuff, not 'angelic virginal young heroine' stuff. She's real, and that's not always pretty. It's a pity everyone seems to want their hero or heroine to be either this way or that way, without shades of gray. I like Awkward more right now because this can - and DOES - happen to people, and it's not easy to just come out and tell your b/f that you've been cheating on him because there are serious consequences to that, which is terrifying not only when you're teen but also to people in their fifties, sixties, whatever. I'm not condoning Jenna's cheating. But shows need to show what happens in real life, not in perfect little stories.


You are forgetting that she is a 17 year old girl. A teenage girl. Teenage girls make dumb decisions. Keep that in mind, no one is that forseeing with 17 to realize whats right or wrong for themselves. I am almost 30 and can relate to her, even if now I would not make the same decisions.

Drea xoxo

just happy for ming and Tamera!! jenna annoyed me from s1!!! her n matty never suited, said from last season when she could even say a valid reason for loving him


I can't even count how many times I said I hate Jenna during this episode. I fell in love with this show because of her and making her so unlikable is a risky move on the writers part. Its one thing to not know if she wants to be with Matty but to cheat on him so many times, that's just cruel. He has grown so much and he doesn't deserve it. I hope the risk is worth it and she becomes a better person in the end and her and Matty can find their way back to each other and have a stronger relationship than ever. I loved Ming in this episode (especially her hair OMG how great does she looks as a blonde?!? quite jealous!). It is about time she gets a good enjoyable story line and more screen time!

Ronald simkins

Excellent review - you hit it on the head! Jenna is so unlikeable and Matty is so going to be crushed. Colin is really a victim here so I can't blame him. Thank God a guy reviewed this episode.


they have ruined a very great show. however, i will still watch it until the end of the season and see how it goes. i hope i change my mind. i still have hopes!


This has become a dumb show. They have destroyed Jenna. Ober it now.

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Awkward Season 3 Episode 11 Quotes

Jenna: We accidentally made out.
Tamara: Accidentally?!

Get your mind out of the gutter, we're going to Sea World!