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'Faking It' recap: Forgiven but not forgotten

Season 2 | Episode 11 | “Stripped” | Aired Aug 31, 2015

Change is in the air at Hester High, and on Faking It. Hester has always been a place for the unexpected. At most schools, kids who come out have to worry about being bullied. At Hester, identifying as LGBTQ is so accepted it borders on trendy — after all, that’s why Karma and Amy faked a relationship to begin with. At most schools, students rally for pep. At Hester, they rally for causes, staging protests at the drop of a hat. Faking It established quickly that Hester is not a traditional high school; it’s a place where anything can happen.

In fact, so much has happened at Hester that the only shocking thing left for it to do is becoming traditional. Last season, Lauren was elected class president, primarily because she came out as intersex. Lauren might be unique in a way that intrigues the Hester student body, but she’s still Lauren. Lauren is the anti-Hester, all rolled into one tiny, ferocious girl. So when Hester gets a new, conservative principal after the drug bust on Karma’s parents, President Lauren is in heaven. Hester gets metal detectors, cuts student parking and institutes a rule requiring clear backpacks. To avoid another classic Hester protest, she works with the new principal to develop a verified student program — students who sign a strict code of conduct are given back their privileges.

It’s a brilliant plan and, for the first time, has Hester students thinking twice before protesting and rallying. Shane tries to rally the troops for a nude protest (SO HESTER), but he fails in the face of Lauren’s logic (her argument is that it’s easier to comply than to fight and that the rules are there for the students’ safety anyway).

Hester’s halls aren’t the only thing turned upside down this season though. The series picks up two weeks after the events of the 2A finale. Karma knows about Liam and Amy. Duke is out and he doesn’t know that Shane outed him. Liam is working at Skwerkel. Karma’s family is dealing with the aftermath of the drug bust. Everything is a mess.

The big question of 2B is: Has Karma really forgiven Amy and Liam?

My best guess: Kind of, but not really.

Karma didn’t have much choice in forgiving at least Amy or Liam. She doesn’t have a huge support system of friends; it’s really just her and Amy. She didn’t have to forgive Liam, but Amy kind of forced her hand there. Karma didn’t want to cut two of the people she loved out of her life, especially as her family was struggling so much. I understand why Karma made the decision to forgive Amy and Liam.

But let’s not forget that it was a deliberate choice. There are two stages of forgiveness. In stage one, you decide to forgive. You step back, look at the wrong that was committed against you, and make a conscious choice to be an adult and move on. You turn emotion into math, taking how much you wish things were like they used to, subtracting how badly you were hurt, dividing it by time, adding a bonus for how sincerely sorry the person seems and then seeing if the result equals forgiveness. Karma did the equation and decided the result equaled forgiveness. Stage one is important, but stage two is what really counts. In stage two, you stop thinking about the math and how you should be “over it” and things actually settle back into normalcy. The crime isn’t on your mind every second of every day or every time you see that person’s face. Stage one is when you decide to move on and stage two is when you really do.

Karma has not reached stage two yet.

She’s playing it too cool, with both Amy and Liam. She’s making I’m-so-over-it-I-can-laugh-about-it jokes that are wildly uncomfortable for everyone involved because she’s so clearly not over it. She’s pushing Amy away, refusing to confide in her about personal stuff (like the fact that her family has been forced to rent out their home and live in the juice truck themselves). She’s using Liam for sex, but he wants more and, I suspect she either wants more as well (“more” being code for “an emotional relationship”) or much less (“less” being code for “the ability to cut Liam out of her life completely, which is nay impossible in high school).

And then there are Shane and Lauren. They’re butting heads as usual in school, but their romantic lives are just as messy as the Karmy (Karmian?) triangle. It looks like Lauren and Theo might try again, even though he’s older and an undercover cop. And Duke is happy to be out and Shane is finally settling into monogamy — but their relationship has the black cloud of Shane’s Big Lie (that he was actually the one who outed Duke) looming over them, threatening to rain down acid any moment.

So, in other words, it’s business as usual in the world of Faking It, where nothing ever calm and everything is always, always changing. Ah, it’s good to be back.

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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