Tuesday, September 30, 2014

REVIEW: 'Faking It' - Karma, Amy & Lauren Have a Girls' Weekend as Liam & Shane Go to a Bar in 'You Can't Handle the Truth or Dare'

MTV's Faking It - Episode 2.02 "You Can't Handle the Truth or Dare"

Karma and Amy have been denying things are weird after Amy's romantic confession but are forced to confront it during a girls' weekend. Liam meets a new friend named Theo, who takes them to a dive bar, and Shane gets jealous.

What makes Faking It a great comedy is its understanding that everyone has secrets but also that in revealing said secrets and talking about them is the best way to deal with them. There are no harmless secrets. They all cause pain to someone - whether it's to the same person or the people closest to them. And yet, discussion is what strengthens bonds. Amy and Lauren have never gotten along as sisters. The reveal that Lauren was born intersex has changed that dynamic. Now they are capable of having heart-to-heart conversations. They still may not get along but they recognize that they are sisters now and on some level they have to protect each other and the secrets they each hold. Lauren is not gonna tell Karma that Amy slept with Liam. Similarly, Amy won't out Lauren as intersex - but she will push her to accept it and tell her closest friends. That is rewarding - even though the stories are different and require different ways of handling them. So the feeling in that final scene between the two doesn't quite read as reciprocal. And yet, it is a major progression for the relationship between those two characters.

Additionally, Karma and Amy are in unchartered waters for their friendship following Amy's confession that she has feelings for Karma. Everything they try to do seems like it's only making the situation more awkward. They are avoiding talking about it and diverting their attentions elsewhere - their plans for a girls' weekend, Lauren's issues, etc. They ultimately do talk and basically agree that neither one of them knows exactly what to do next. And yet, by opening a dialogue, they are ensuring that their friendship can continue to be something real - which will only make the later reveal more painful. But we're not to that point yet. Right now, the two of them are reestablishing being comfortable around each other. That will be much more difficult than either one expects but at least now they can talk about it.

Elsewhere, Liam is upset with Shane because he kept Amy's secret from him which he believes to be a betrayal. He is his best friend in the world and he talked about his relationship with Karma and Shane didn't say anything about them faking it. To him, it feels like he values Amy's friendship over his own. Liam will always be there for Shane to protect him. He just won't throw a punch. Their subplot did feel a little rushed. I definitely could have spent a few more minutes with them at an actual Texas bar. They basically just go in and in the next scene Shane gets into an argument and they leave. It never undercuts the emotional beats of the changing Liam-Shane dynamic. But I wish there was more.

Some more thoughts:
  • "You Can't Handle the Truth or Dare" was written by Megan Hearne and directed by Claire Scanlon.
  • I don't like the two sidekicks to Lauren because they seem awfully dim. Wouldn't they think it's weird that Karma doesn't want to kiss Amy? Sigh. I guess everyone can't be multi-dimensional characters.
  • Theo seems like he could be a fine addition to the show. I did enjoy how he lessened the blow of what his father did as well as his comment about what Shane must be like on Halloween.
  • Seriously, the show has to be doing a Halloween episode, right? The time frame works for it to be in a few weeks and they promised Shane going all out.
  • But could they cool it on all the Frozen references? We get it. It was a huge hit and these characters would definitely love it. But it doesn't need a joke in every episode.
  • Shane: "Oh, that's right we live in Texas."