Tuesday, October 28, 2014

REVIEW: 'Faking It' - Amy & Lauren Have Fun at Party While Karma & Liam Define Their Relationship in 'The Ecstasy and the Agony'

MTV's Faking It - Episode 2.06 "The Ecstasy and the Agony"

Shane, Amy and Lauren attend an underground dance party where an all-girl band takes center stage.

Faking It is at the point in its second season where all of the characters are trying to move on and be okay in their lives. However, they all have their own personal struggles and whether or not those issues get in their way is the main source of tension. The Amy and Karma friendship is the backbone of the series. And yet, it has been awkward between them ever since Amy confessed to her true feelings towards Karma. It's okay for them not to be together all the time. The frequency to which Amy has fun does not have to be proportional to the time she spends with Karma. They deserve to find their own happiness as individuals - and then be able to still come together wonderfully as friends. They both have things to deal with. Amy has to move on from her feelings for Karma and Karma needs to determine what exactly being with Liam means.

"The Ecstasy and the Agony" largely keeps Amy and Karma separated. They go their separate ways to different events - Karma goes on a date with Liam to his art exhibit while Amy goes to an underground dance party with Shane and Lauren. Each one needs to be their own person. Amy can't just be stuck wallowing and pining after Karma. But she also doesn't have to answer every time that Karma calls her with the latest thing that happened on her date. She deserves to be out having fun as well. While at this party, she bumps into the girl from Liam's party again. Her name is Reagan and she seems like a decent potential love interest - although I think her line delivery is pretty flat. Meanwhile, Karma is trying to figure out why Liam is struggling with his commitment towards her. We know that the guilt over sleeping with Amy is still weighing hard on him. And yet, Karma doesn't know that. So we get just another episode of him alluding to bad things that he has done and Karma just accepting that the future is better than the past. That's good but the dynamic between the two of them is already seeming a bit redundant.

But the funniest part of the episode had to come from Lauren accidentally taking ecstasy. It's rare for her to be fun and happy. This allowed her to open up in the most awkward way possible. Sure, I'm still not quite how to react to the Lauren and Theo relationship. It's largely just him being awkward around her - but not in interesting or meaningful ways. And yet, it's great seeing her lying on the floor of the coat closet confident that she is dying. He then comes to her rescue and it's a small yet very triumphant moment. It's great that she has someone out there willing to come rescue her after she becomes incapable of acting on her own.

Some more thoughts:
  • "The Ecstasy and the Agony" was written by Dan Steele and directed by Lee Rose.
  • Count me as one of the people who just doesn't get the appeal of Fifth Harmony. To me, they just seem like five okay singers just doing okay covers of decent songs. Their New Kids on the Block cover here wasn't really that special. I'm glad the show didn't try to shoehorn them overly into the episode just because they are a cool guest appearance.
  • Shane sexting with Duke is nice but feels like a plot percolating in between the big moments of this story. Still he left Lauren and Amy knowing that they are fine and happy to go get his own happiness. At least he showed some concern for his friends.
  • It's also great that the show is embracing Liam doing his best artwork when he's happy because that goes against common perception. But people interpreting his art differently than he imagined is still very apparent.