Monday, October 12, 2015

REVIEW: 'Faking It' - Amy, Karma, Shane and Lauren Frantically Search for Prom Dates in 'Prom Scare'

MTV's Faking It - Episode 2.17 "Prom Scare"

When attendance at the prom is made mandatory, everyone scrambles to find a date. Shane's sister stirs up trouble.

"Prom Scare" is the first part of Faking It's big two-part prom event. It's definitely weird to have so much time spent on talking about prom in this episode without a big dance in the end. And yet, this episode is just dealing with the emotional issues that can come from what is typically a big landmark for teenagers. Hester High is forcing its students to go to prom and bring dates after a relatively low turnout for tickets. It's something that is expected of the students even though no one is really interested in attending. That is a fresh perspective on the subject and it rightfully deserves two episodes to explore it. This one is just a lot of anticipated action that is setting up what is bound to be one exciting prom in next week's episode.

The show fully addresses how Principal Turner is able to make the dance mandatory for the students. It seems like an outrageous prospect. And yet, he is able to because of the terms and conditions everyone signed at the start of this half season. It's great that that moment is still creating story for the show after several episodes of it not being mentioned. In fact, the show enjoys the ridiculousness of its premise in this episode. Turner is able to wield his power to make going to prom and bringing dates mandatory by the entire student body. He has the power to do so. It only makes all the students more angry at him - including Lauren who can't bring Theo as her date because of the need to keep their relationship a secret.

Everyone is panicking as they have to find dates to an event that no one planned on attending. It's just a few days before prom and everyone is doing their best to meet the requirements that Turner has set forth for them. Of course, that also means the students can get to have some fun as well by finding some ways to work around the rules. Some people do go the traditional route. They desperately search for a date in the hopes of making an emotional connection or looking good in the pictures. Lauren doesn't consider this to be an actual date. But she still has the high standard of needing to make a good impression for this crucial event in her life. Amy is pushing for Karma to find another date because she doesn't want to go with her and risk bringing her old feelings for her back again. This episode is able to bring back a lot of familiar faces from the show's past - including Lauren's two minions, that one date Amy went on awhile back, Amy's friend Oliver and his new muse Jamie, Lauren's ex-boyfriend, etc. It's great seeing all of those faces again. The show remembers it's past even though it is firmly forging ahead into a new future.

Lauren and Felix decide to go to the prom together. For so much of this season, Karma has been pushing the two of them together. She claims that they have a romantic tension that really hasn't been on display this year. And yet, a hint of something does pop up when she comes clean to him about not wanting to go with Karma. She loves their friendship and doesn't want to ruin it again with her feelings like last time. So, she is just using Felix in order to avoid these hard feelings. She shares that with him. But just because she's using him like that doesn't mean she doesn't like him too. As far as dates go, she's fine spending the evening with a guy who will hate the prom as much as she will. That sounds like a lot of fun to her - even though Felix may want this date to be something more.

Similarly, both Liam and Lauren aren't able to be with their crushes for this event due to outside reasons. Lauren loves Theo more than anyone else at the school. But they need to keep their relationship a secret in order to maintain her popularity and his job. He is jealous that she wants to go with her ex-boyfriend who freaked out when he learned she was intersex. And yet, that was the only offer she got for the dance. She was so confident several guys would want to ask her. But no one else did. That's why she accepts this. Meanwhile, Liam is doing his best to avoid the advances of Sasha, Shane's sister. He does have a crush on her and she has her eyes on him. But he also wants to respect his friendship with Shane and the family that he now feels a part of. He fortunately finds the loophole that the dates don't have to be people. Otherwise, he could have compromised his friendship with Shane.

Speaking of Shane, he and Karma are pitted against each other as they both have their eyes on the same guy for the prom, Wade. He is interested in both of them - which leads to a intriguing discussion about bisexuality in guys. Shane is more than happy to accept Amy as bisexual. And yet, he has convinced himself that there is no such thing as a bi guy. It's just one step to becoming a fully out gay man. That's why he believes he has the upper hand in this battle for affection. But Karma proves that she is quite the contender as well. She sexes up her look in order to get his attention. Then, she proposes a deal where the three of them go to the prom together - as a thruple. That can only lead to hilarity in the next episode. It was the highlight of this one and should make things very funny and uncomfortable during the big dance next week.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Prom Scare" was written by George Northy and directed by Brian Dannelly.
  • Amy seriously considered Oliver as a viable prom option. But then when she visited the drama club, she saw just how obsessed he really was about their relationship. She ran out of there as quickly as she could.
  • Shane calling Liam a pretty little liar followed by Sasha (played by PLL vet Lindsey Shaw) arriving in the scene was a nice touch.
  • The subplot about someone vandalizing the school was amusing even though it wasn't all that surprising who the culprit was. Shane fully believed it was Liam. But it always felt like it was Vice Principal Bevier from the start - especially when Turner made such a big point in the beginning about her last name while looking at the latest work of art.
  • Karma: "Not everyone is gay." Shane: "Well, not everyone in this school is in love with you."
  • Lauren: "Forgiveness is a virtue, Anthony."
  • Felix: "Is this prom thing really a date or is just some sorta scheme thing?"