More than a few of us did a collective eye-roll when MTV announced its latest comedy, Faking It revolves around two female best friends who are falsely outed as lesbians and then keep up the ruse for the sake of high school popularity. But before you completely write the show off, we’ve dug a little deeper to find out what the series is actually about. There may still be a few redeeming factors — if you can get past the use of one’s sexuality to promote, well, anything. And really, no one would blame you for that.
But there are few other reasons Faking It might not be all bad.
It’s About Friendship
We all have that one person we’d do anything for, and on Faking It, Karma (Katie Stevens), is definitely Amy’s weak spot. When they are falsely outed, Amy (Rita Volk) isn’t nearly as happy about it as her best friend, but she goes along with it because she values their friendship and she knows it means a lot to her bestie. Karma is caught up in the hype of finally being recognized for something, well, she doesn’t really take her friend’s feelings on the matter into consideration. And that’s what makes this special.
At some point, with best friends, we are offered the opportunity to be selfish and completely unreasonable, without having to fear what consequences will come of it. We often think of times when we are "at our worst" as being restricted to mushy, cry-fests. But the times when we are selfish and nearly transform into the people we think ourselves better than belong in that category too. How far can you really push a friendship? At one point does the other person’s long-suffering give way and they call you on your BS? You’ll see early on one-side of that coin, but pop culture’s history tells us you’ll have to stick around for a while before the tide breaks, and you’ll want to.
It’s Also a Coming-Of-Age Story
The series takes place in Austin, Texas — a city that serves in some ways as a contradiction to everything Texas has a reputation for, and much like its locale, the high school is different too. Everyone is generally accepted and respected for doing their own things. That doesn’t mean that they’ve got it all figured out though. Popular guy, Shane (Michael Willett) is openly gay, hilarious and at his best, meddlesome. He experiences some changes with the introduction of Lauren (Bailey Buntain), Karma’s stepsister, who fits the traditional definition of a mean girl. Karma soon falls for Shane’s best friend Liam (Gregg Sulkin), and Amy, well, we don’t want to spoil it, but the lie may affect her life the most.
Plus, we’ve explored the girl/gay best friend relationship ad nauseam. This time, we get to see the relationship between a straight male and his male gay best friend. There is plenty of opportunity for growth there, and executive producer Clark Covington (Greek, 10 Things I Hate About You) rarely disappoints.
Plus, It Tackles Bullying
Bullying takes on different shapes and forms. But at present, it’s mostly viewed as something popular kids do to misfits. Faking It examines it from a different angle. Shane is so troubled by Lauren’s presence and her potential to change the status quo that he resorts to bullying. We get to see it as not just something people do because they don’t understand other people, but also something that occurs when people feel threatened or inadequate within themselves.
There is a chance Faking It can redeem itself from its questionable premise, but we'll find out Tuesday night at 10:30 PM on MTV.
Images: MTV (2)