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'Faking It' recap: The ladies doth protest too much

Season 1 | Episode 3 | “We Shall Overcompensate” | Aired May 6, 2014

As someone who has never actually  been to Austin, Texas, I’m fascinated by the ultra-progressive (and probably exaggerated) version of the city depicted in MTV’s Faking It. The premise of the series relies on this interpretation of Austin: Amy and Karma attend a high school where coming out as gay isn’t something to fear, but a valuable enough commodity to fake it, even if you’re really straight (or at least thought you were when you concocted the lie). Even though the world of Hester High is a little far-fetched at times, I have to give the show props for making a big choice and sticking to it. In Tuesday’s episode, “We Shall Overcompensate,” the whole school breaks out into a protest when a Google-like corporation tries to donate truckloads of money and high-tech (but data-tracked) gadgets to the school and students.

The protest might take center stage, but the episode is really about desperation. Karma is desperate to dig her claws into Liam when his recurring “promance” (protest romance — sticking it to the man makes Liam want to stick … well, you get the idea) shows up and shamelessly flirts with him. And Amy, well she’s desperate to fight her unreciprocated feelings for Karma. Enjoy the escalating desperation, ranked from low to high, spanning from generic teenage attention-whoring to truly heart-wrenching.

Karma ‘grams a kissing pic of her and Amy for attention. 

The sitch: Hester High, like most TV high schools, has more downtime than class time. Karma and Amy are hanging out and chatting about secret boyfriends and their fake romance when Karma steals a kiss, much to Amy’s delight. Cue deflation of said delight when Karma cuts the kiss short to “‘gram it’ (that’s Instagram, for those of you not fluent in Teen). She wasn’t interested in kissing Amy; she just wanted to snap a pic for her adoring public.

Desperation score: 2. We can pity Karma’s ploys to get attention, but only because we’ve all been there. Maybe we didn’t take it as far as she does when we were teens, but everyone goes through little phases of “Look at me, please!”

Amy considers maybe getting a secret BF to try to ease the pain she’s feeling about her one-sided, fake relationship.

The sitch: Well, pretty much the premise of the show: Karma and Amy are in a fake relationship, but Karma’s the only one faking the romantic feelings. Amy is obviously struggling with every aspect of this. She’s not comfortable being part of a “celebrity” couple. She’s lying to her best friend. She’s coping with realizations about her own sexuality. It’s impossible not to empathize with Amy or to understand her desire to be more like her carefree and less complicated BFF/fake GF.

Desperation score: 7. Even though we all understand where Amy is coming from, and it’s hard to judge her for wanting to feel “normal,” fighting your sexuality and who you are automatically bumps you up the scale.

Karma chains herself to the door and calls for a hunger strike.

The sitch: Here we have the height of Karma’s desperation and her least successful attempt to woo Liam away from his promance. Trying to up the stakes of the protest to impress him, she chains herself to the school doors. When he asks her to move so his gal pal can bring in the pastries that have been donated by the local vegan bakery, Karma calls for a hunger strike, rallying the student body in a move that’s spiteful and ultimately leads to the protest’s unraveling (apparently teens can only go about 90 minutes without eating before pizza will win out over their principles).

Desperation score: 8. Pettiness doesn’t look good on anyone, and it’s so transparent, it’s disappointing that Liam doesn’t see right through the real motive and call Karma out.

Faking It: s1, ep3, Amy, Karma (MTV)

Karma sings Liam her song at the protest open mic.

The sitch: Karma has been working on a song for Liam to express her feelings for him. We establish that she’s extremely shy about sharing her music and usually only lets Amy hear her songs. This time, though, the song is too personal to share with even her best friend. So it’s a big step when she takes the stage at the impromptu student-protest open mic (yes, it’s delightfully ridiculous) to sing her song. When the promance girl turns Liam on with some intense spoken-word poetry, Karma decides to fight fire with … song and take the plunge. There’s nothing like crippling fear that your crush is about to sleep with someone else to cure stage fright, right?

Desperation score: 5. It’s shocking that Karma is nervous to sing in public. She so desperately wants to be the center of attention, and she’s really good. She would have gotten here without the catfight-esque competition.

Amy kisses Oliver to test her sexuality.

The sitch: Amy meets a fun loner in spectacular hipster glasses named Oliver. They both hate protests (even though the rest of the school loves them). They both can’t wait for college and don’t feel like they fit in with kids their own age. Amy can talk to Oliver without wanting to punch him in the face, and she even starts to wonder if she might LIKE like him. A fight with Karma pushes her over the edge, and she grabs Oliver (who has already admitted to crushing on her, even though she’s a lesbian) for a passionate kiss by the lockers. The disappointment is palpable when she realizes the kiss makes her feel nothing, seemingly confirming her sexuality.

Desperation score: 6. Since Amy really did seem to genuinely like Oliver and think she might be romantically interested in him, it’s not so bad that she went for the kiss. Of course, the motivation (getting back at Karma) upped her score here.

Amy tells Shane her secret.

The sitch: After the emotional roller coaster that was protest day, Amy is pretty broken down. She’s in a fight with her best friend/fake GF/real-life secret crush. She kissed a boy she really likes as person, but whom she isn’t romantically interested in, which is sure to lead him on. So when Shane shows up at her house to deliver some bad news — he’s picked up on the sexy vibes between Karma and Liam and thinks Karma is bi and possibly cheating on Amy — she’s in no place to keep up her ruse. She confesses to Shane that she and Karma are faking their relationship … but that she’s not faking her feelings in it. “You have my attention,” he says as she spills her guts.

Desperation score: 10. Even though Amy is already “out,” this is the first time she’s admitted her true confusion about her sexuality to anyone. It also marks the first time she’s really done anything that goes against Karma’s interests and risks hurting her best friend’s reputation or their friendship. Putting that on the line is huge for Amy, but this has to be for the best. Shane has already expressed his desire to help Amy with the process of transitioning from closeted to openly gay, and now maybe he’ll get the chance to do that for real.

What did you think of this week’s Faking It? Do you think Amy will tell Karma the truth about her feelings soon? Sound off in the comments.

Faking It airs Tuesdays at 10:30/9:30 C on MTV.



TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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