'Awkward' creator discusses season finale and what lies ahead
Bella Swan had it so easy, choosing between a werewolf and a vampire. Jenna Hamilton has to choose between a nice guy (Matty) and a nice guy (Jake). And in Tuesday's season finale, she finally DTR'd (defined the relationship) with both.
But it was the unexpected revelation at the end of the episode — when viewers finally learn who wrote the curious letter to Jenna — that was even more gasp-worthy. (Caution: spoiler alert ahead)
Matty, Sadie and Tamara have all been thought to be the one behind it. But Jenna (Ashley Rickards) discovers it was her own mother, Lacey (Nikki DeLoach), who penned the mean-spirited letter. The moment of discovery came after a heartfelt interaction between the two earlier in the finale in which Lacey's own mothering issues are revealed when she offers Jenna the chance to wear the very ruby red dress her Nana wore.
"She gives her daughter the dress that throughout her whole life she thought her mother coveted more than her," said creator Lauren Iungerich. "She realizes, here she is doing the same thing to her daugther in a weird way. Trying to make her daughter something that she isnt. Trying to make her daughter into what she thinks Jenna should be."
Iungerich added, "She doesn't really hate her daughter. She just hates that she's lost a bit of her own life by virtue of being such a young mom. I thought it was an interesting thing to explore, and we will explore it a lot in Season 2."
And it seems DeLoach knew since she auditioned for the role that her character was behind the letter.
"Lauren had written this genius monologue that Lacey [says in the finale]," DeLoach recalled. "She's really trying her best to do something great for her daughter. After the first take, Lauren said, here's the deal, you can't say anything, whether you get the job or not, and she tell's me about the letter — my heart just dropped, and she was like, 'OK, now do the scene again.' I fell apart in the middle of the scene. ... it was kind of this cathartic experience of trying to make sense of why moms sometimes do things with the best of intentions and it gets lost along the way and it lands in the lap of daugther or son in a very painful way."
So what might we expect next season?
— "I do really want to see the moment Lacey decided to write the letter and where that came from," Iungerich said. "I have really strong ideas about that. And also how Jenna is going to react. And I'm still working it out, the best way to unfold the reveal that Lacey knows that Jenna knows." And we'll be seeing more of Lacey in Jenna's shoes looking for validation and not getting it.
— And viewers might be introduced to Lacey's own version of Matty. "We're going to pull the rug out from under her next season," Iungerich said. "It's going to be really hard for her and difficult."
— Dejected Matty (Beau Mirchoff) will start thinking for himself next season rather than the "team," Iungerich said. "The more he thinks for himself and becomes the guy Jenna was always hoping he would be," the more things will get complicated, Ingerich teased.
— Jenna will grapple with telling Jake (Brett Davern) about her past, mostly secret, relationship with Matty.
— Iungerich is also interested in exploring a friendship between Tamara (Jillian Rose Reed) and Sadie (Molly Tarlov).
— And could Sadie be getting a boyfriend? Perhaps.
— Another bumpy road in the friendship between Tamara and Jenna might be ahead: "It’s not always easy when you have a friend who is constantly desired and you are always struggling with the boys," Iungerich said.
Photo: Ashley Rickards as Jenna Hamilton in "Awkward." Credit: MTV.
-- Yvonne Villarreal