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'Awkward.' fan react: When will Jenna actually find her voice?

Season 5 | Episode 13 | “I’m the Kind of Girl Who Found Her Voice in College” | Aired Mar 15, 2016

For five seasons of Awkward., Jenna was the kind of girl who cultivated her voice in self-indulgent blog entries. Now, with one year of college under her belt, she claims she’s the kind of girl who found her voice in college. But what does she have to show for it? A whole lot of silence. Say it with me: Awkward.

When we left Jenna in the first half of season 5, she was headed down a California highway kissing Matty on their way to spend their summer together in Berkeley. But in voiceover, she dropped the bomb that their long-awaited happiness wouldn’t last through spring semester. That’s exactly what happened: Jenna and Matty suffered a messy breakup, the details of which are being kept hush-hush.

Jenna’s change in relationship status isn’t the only change to take Palos Hills by storm. Morgan, Jenna’s baby sister, has taken over her room—and her parents. Lissa works as the Hamilton’s live-in nanny and has gotten back together with Jake. Tamara returns from NYU having traded in her former vibrant style for something more sleek and chic. And she’s also traded in her best friend for a new model: Sadie.

Just when Jenna thinks it can’t get worse, she learns she scored her cushy fellowship position at an up-and-coming Internet media company with the help of her ex-boyfriend, Luke. Oh, and Matty has a new girlfriend. No wonder her head is spinning.

But therein lies the problem with Jenna’s methods of coping with change. There’s a difference between finding your voice and actually using it.

Sure, Jenna is a talented writer when push comes to shove, and she expresses herself on paper with relative ease. However, for the entirety of the series, we have seen Jenna skate around problems without knocking them over headfirst. That, or she handles them terribly, like her confrontation with Matty at the reunion party. She used her voice, but it didn’t result in a decrease in her frustration.

Jenna has entered a whole new sector of growing up. If college is supposed to be the time of our lives, then high school is a cakewalk. Because now, Jenna is facing issues larger than avoiding her clingy boyfriend between third and fourth period. She’s realizing that growth happens when you turn your tassel, and no one comes back from college the same person they left.

Tamara understands this deal. You leave, you grow, you come back with crossed fingers hoping that everyone else grew at the same rate. Jenna, to her credit, did some changing (see: nose piercing), but she expected her friends to remain their old selves. Tamara’s friendship with Sadie is jarring, to say the least, and her heightened taste for the fast life is so on-brand that she’s practically plagiarizing herself. Jenna can’t see past these things. When she should have put some work in to foster television’s punniest best-friendship, what does she do? She surrenders and drives a wedge between them.

To be fired-up over Jenna’s decisions is to love her. She’s a complex character full of contradictions, not unlike your everyday adolescent. She has made and will continue to make mistakes that drastically alter the course of what could be lifelong bonds and endgame romances. But when will she really and truly find her voice?

What I hope to see from Jenna as she evolves into adulthood is the ability to put her voice, in whatever state of development it may be, to actual use. Instead of cowering in the corner and avoiding the tough conversations, have them. She’s always getting herself caught in a whirlwind of chao—hence the title of the show—but she’s arrived at a moment that doesn’t have to be so awkward.

Awkward. airs Tuesdays at 10/9c 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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