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Awkward

Awkward Review: Back to Basics

by at .  Updated at . Comments

Jenna’s 2013 apology tour continued on Awkward Season 3 Episode 18 and things began to get back to normal in the process.

Except in one area: Valerie.

Not According to Plan

I’ve never really given Valerie much credit as a completely developed character. She’s mostly been wildly inappropriate for Jenna in the advice she gives; an off and on gal pal for Lacey; and always ready to throw her wild inappropriateness into something crazy for comic relief.

Yet Jenna’s arc of redemption is also a chance to really begin giving Val some depth, and has done so in a way that does not change the core of Valerie (or so we hope). Valerie, the unique person she is, gives nutty advice, that’s her thing, but that advice gives Jenna an opportunity to examine her state and know for sure what not to do. Valerie is very much a sounding board for Jenna, and she’s an incredibly safe space.

Valerie’s craziness is how she relates to the students, not just Jenna, and it’s a good reason why most of the students respond to her. They all think she’s crazy, but none of them can say she does not take an active interest in their lives. Valerie is even willing to don a fake mustache and coast her Chevy in the parking lot if it means she can even help one student.

Valerie’s call to Jenna at the end sets a somber tone and ending to Jenna’s apology tour. As much as Jenna is working to make amends: one of her actions is proving difficult to apologize for. Valerie’s firing is the vestigial remnant of bad Jenna, and it’s a stain that might never completely clean up like Matty’s house.

It’s one of the few moments that Valerie is fully developed as a character. Not only does she make it perfectly clear who the adult and minor are, but the phone call also pulls Valerie out of the element she is best in: the school.  She’s very much required to respond factually, but it’s clear from the brief and cold message that Jenna’s actions are not all going to be one quick apology back to normalcy.

When Hunter mentions “Unraveled” again, it’s probably best to take notice. Mr. Heart, much like Jenna, responds to writing, and he knows that what’s in the book will help set Jenna on a path for the better. He recognizes something in Jenna much like he did with Jenna, so, while the book may not help bring Valerie back, it’s probably a good starting point for Jenna.

For the most part, this installment is just about Jenna integrating herself back into the mix of things. She wants to get back what she had before Collin, and, as much as I like Jenna and Matty together, I really want Matty and Jenna to have a talk. There’s a lot they need to hash out.

Speaking of couples hashing things out, Jake and Tamara’s fight, or breakup, did not last very long, but it still looks like they’ll continue to doing the same things that got them into the mess.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
  • 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (20 Votes)

Nick McHatton is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Does anyone know the name of the author that wrote Unraveled? The book mentioned in the tv show...
I have a soon to be teenage step-daughter and I think she should read it.

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@ dee

Yes the book is real, it's called unravelled but it's not by the author that is put in the tv show. This book is written by by Sara Fawkes, Julia Kent, Opal Carew, Vivi Anna, Sarah Castille, Cathryn Fox, Lauren Hawkeye, Daire St. Denis. It's a series of books.

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Ahhh. This show drives me nuts. Yes I enjoyed watching Jenna try an repair all the damage.I also think Matty an her need to talk over a lot of issues that relationship with Colin caused. She slept with him and I don't know Matty will ever be able to get past that. Thought Matty's make-out session and Jenna''s reaction was great. However the idea of Matty quickly hooking up with Bailey and taking her to prom to DTR is a little too much. Unless the dark side of Matty is doing this out of spite an revenge . Guess that would make great setup for new season. Still big fan of team Matty-Jenna. Hope for Val's return next week.

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Does anyone have a link to the new promo for next week? I don't seem to find it anywhere! And I live in europe so I couldn't see it after the episode, sometimes it shows online sometimes it doesn't :(

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Does anyone have a link to the new promo for next week? I don't seem to find it anywhere! And I live in europe so I couldn't see it after the episode, sometimes it shows online sometimes it doesn't :(

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Does anyone have a link to the new promo for next week? I don't seem to find it anywhere! And I live in europe so I couldn't see it after the episode, sometimes it shows online sometimes it doesn't :(

Spindae-2o
@ mell

look at spoilersguide. :)

Spindae-2o

What the Hell did they do to my sweet sweet Rose from Hod? She seemed plastic, to much make up but she acted really sweet she needs a show for herself .
Tamara and Jake were cute as hell and I believe she will start to change.
Austin and Sadie had some sweet scenes. BUt I missed sadie messing with Jenna.
I loved the last scene with the core group being together. I'm interested with were the show will go in the final 2 eps. I assume Bailey will hoopk up with Matty.

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@ Spindae 2.0

It took me almost the whole episode to even realize it was Rose! I knew I recognized her but she was definitely not cute sweet looking Rose from HOD. Kind of annoyed that it is already set up for Matty and Bailey to hook up, especially as Jenna went out of her way to be nice to Bailey (not that Jenna should talk after what happened with Jake in this episode). This show does a great job at making the audience feel what it wants them to feel. I HATED Jenna with a fiery passion two weeks ago now I, like her friends, am forgiving her and getting back to my love I had for her before.

Drea-xoxo
@ Spindae 2.0

i see that happening as well. they made it too obvious and also i don't want them back together. they were never on the same page! happy gang on speaking terms again but it's gonna take more than bach muffins and cleaning the house to cover the wounds. sad about val, really thought jenna would do a campaign of some sort. overall happy colin has finally left, never liked his character anyway