'Faking It' Season 2 Gets More Episodes & Here's Why the Show is Such A Success
In news that will bring joy to the lives of many, MTV has ordered ten more episodes for Faking It Season 2. That's twice the Faking It we were expecting for their sophomore run! It's clear MTV knows they've got a gem on their hands with this one — and they have every reason to feel secure in the decisions that have led to its success.
Faking It's second season is airing on MTV right now — a new episode airs this Tuesday at 10:30 ET — and it's served to cement the network's savvy when it comes to scripted teen programming. Happyland hasn't quite won me over yet, but Awkward and Faking It make for a miniature block that nails the youth-oriented comedy thing in a way that The CW's only ever attempted. So what is it that's made Faking It such a quiet smash hit? From what I've seen, there are two main reasons.
An emphasis on friendship over romance, & on identity
Teenage love triangles are nothing new. In fact they're old — ancient in the pop cultural sense, in fact, and overwhelmingly played out. What Faking It is doing with its love triangle, though, is something the promises to hold lasting tension. This isn't a show that privileges romantic love over everything: Karma has "chosen" Amy multiple times, because in the show's eyes it's these girls' lifelong, soulmate level friendship that trumps everything, including a promised romance with the hottest guy at school who happens to be madly in love with her.
Add to that that Amy's in love with Karma but Karma isn't of the sexual orientation to give Amy back what she wants? That's a genuinely heartbreaking, not-often-seen dynamic, and one that adds a freshness to this show that lacks in most other love triangle variations. It's a conversation about what love means on levels both platonic and romantic, and that's something that often gets drowned out on shows where romance trumps all. How do you stay friends with someone who can't love you back romantically, when that platonic bond is still very much there? And how the hell do you navigate uncovering your own sexuality when there are so many eyes watching to see who you choose?
It's utterly contemporary
Faking It is a show that oozes 2014 from every pore. Some of this is, of course, MTV's active attempts to speak to their audience in their own language — that try-hard thing adults do to try to get kids to respond to their products. But where that can often come off as out of place, with Faking It the commitment to the now is crucial. Identity issues are nothing new to teen fare — they're what built the genre. But not everyone's been allowed the equal space to explore those issues.
Now doesn't just mean references to Snapchat — it means an understanding of the contemporary mindset of America's youth, and that includes eyes towards the intersection of the political and the personal, and the understanding that certain things shouldn't even seem progressive anymore. For Faking It that means largely LGBTQ issues, and thankfully in a way that promises to span not only all the letters in the acronym but also a variety of the intersections that relate to it but are often ignored by other media. Faking It knows its history — this show very much has groundbreaking shows like South Of Nowhere to thank for its existence — but it also knows it should be working to break ground all its own.
It also doesn't hurt that it's damn hilarious.
Images: MTV; MTVFakingIt/Tumblr