Tuesday, October 21, 2014

REVIEW: 'Faking It' - Amy Has Big Plans for Karma's Birthday as Everyone Deals with New Relationships in 'Present Tense'

MTV's Faking It - Episode 2.05 "Present Tense"

Amy plans an epic scavenger hunt for Karma's sixteenth birthday. Liam, Shane, Theo and Lauren attend an MMA class.

I've been saying it all season long. It has been irksome how star-struck Karma gets whenever she spots Liam. It makes it seem like she can't do anything else because her love for him makes her physically stop from doing anything else. The resolution of "Present Tense" gives us the hope of the show evolving past that as the Liam-Karma relationship mends itself thanks to Amy. But it is distracting how disinterested Karma is in this grand scavenger hunt Amy has planned for her birthday because there's a card from Liam in her backpack. It's not exactly a flattering characteristic for her.

And yet, the show recognizes the core love triangle needs to evolve. Amy just can't keep pining after Karma if she wants that friendship to remain as strong years from now as it is right now. Karma can feel bad and like a pariah for telling the truth about faking being a lesbian. But that doesn't also mean she can't have a little bit of happiness. Liam makes her happy right now. She is so infatuated by him and never wanted to hurt him. He never wanted to either - but he did when he slept with Amy. And now, both are recognizing that they want to move on. Amy pushes for this development. The awkward balance between the trio simply couldn't keep going on in the same way that it has in the past few weeks. That dynamic worked for the first half of the season but it needed to evolve as well. This new standing means Karma and Liam are dating and talking to each other again. That can only mean that the secret Liam and Amy are keeping from Karma is much more likely and brutally to come out eventually.

Relationships are the primary focus of "Present Tense." Amy wants to strengthen her bond with Karma while still dealing with her feelings towards her. Karma and Liam get back together in the end - but he spends the rest of the hour trying to hit people in the face. Theo takes Liam to an MMA class to let out that anger which Shane and Lauren then tag along to out of the hope of exploring a potential relationship. Lauren likes Theo - and they have the potential to be an interesting couple. The show is already willing to address the height disparity between the two. Sure, it's more complicated that he walks away shortly after Lauren kisses him. I'm not quite sure what to make of that. But it's a relationship that has meaning for her which is greatly appreciated. Likewise, Shane makes a bet with Theo that their MMA teacher is gay as well. He turns out to be - after throwing Shane around a bit. However, he is also still in the closet. That's not something that Shane wants. He is proud of who he is. But that doesn't stop the two from having just a sexual fling. That too could be a potentially interesting relationship for the show as Shane addresses what he really wants out of life as well.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Present Tense" was written by George Northy and directed by Lee Rose.
  • The joke about the gay undertones of MMA fighting was just too easy and lazy. The line about Batman saved it - but just barely.
  • I really enjoyed Karma's aunt. But it was a little on-the-nose when she read Karma's tea leaves. Are we just suppose to accept that Liam is her true love? Or could we possibly read that scene as Amy being her true love?
  • Everyone at school knows but I love that Karma's mother still doesn't know that she faked being a lesbian.
  • "Present Tense" was the first time that Amy's mother actually gave her some good advice. See, she's growing as well.