There’s been a slightly shorter time jump for the characters in “Faking It”, MTV’s still delightful sister series, but it’s been no less disorienting for the characters at Hester High. Since the summer where Amy (Katie Stevens) left her friend/love interest? Karma (Rita Volk) weeping on the streets of Austin, a lot has changed. For one thing, her former arch nemesis Shane (Paul Iacono) and Amy’s confidant has, over a summer of lifeguard duty, ended up becoming one of Karma’s best friends. For another, Liam finally seems to have moved past Karma, but then again, you can never be sure. But the biggest problem is, the former BFF’s are at cross-purposes, unable to make up from the struggles that took up much of Season 2, and now seem unable to do anything but hurt each other.
This has led the series into some interesting directions. For one thing, in the last episode Karma and Amy engaged in a major war — Amy leaked a ridiculous video that Karma made she was a tween, Karma retaliated by leaking her journal all over Hester High. This led to one of the most heartbreaking scenes in a series that has had more then a few of them — when Karma and Amy admitted they still had feelings that were just causing them to hurt each other, and they walked away in separate directions. One knows that somehow that they’ll get back to being friends at least – the series would be lost without it- but seeing these two girls unable to be in the same room, wanting to reconcile, but just not there, is a risk that you wouldn’t expected a major network show to take, much less the network that brings us ‘The Real World’.
Now before you think this series has turned into another WB ripoff, let me assure it’s still very funny at times. Lauren Amy’s intersex stepsister is still trying to find her place in the world. Almost against her will, she seems to have bonded with Amy over the gap, and now seems determined to make up for being so horrible in the only way she knows how – directing her venom at Karma, who she never liked. Hester High has, thankfully, returned to over open school that it was before the Draconian takeover last year, and now seems determined to be delightfully silly again, making it one of the more pleasing high schools on TV.
Of course, the big question at the center of “Faking It” is still how will the Amy-Karma-Liam triangle resolve itself? Karma had a boyfriend when the season began, who was eventually revealed to have cheated on her, so fortunately that obstacle has been removed, but the biggest obstacles this trio has to deal with are usually the ones they put up themselves. We’re only in the junior year at Hester (and considering that the sophomore year took up two protracted seasons, who knows how long the series will go), but the series still has given no hints as to how it’ll turn out. And right now, I don’t care so much about the romance as the friendship. Let’s hope that Karma and Amy can work things out, and that this series can continue being the charmers it’s been for MTV.
My score: 3.75 stars.