Awkward is an American teen comedy series created by Lauren Iungerich for MTV. The show's central character is Jenna Hamilton (Ashley Rickards), a Palos Verdes, California, teenager who struggles with her identity, especially after an accident is misconstrued as a suicide attempt.
The series premiered on July 19, 2011. MTV renewed the series for a second season on August 24, 2011. The second season premiered on June 28, 2012 at 10:30pm. Awkward was officially renewed for a third season with an order of 20 episodes on July 25, 2012, which began airing on April 16, 2013 at 10:00pm. On June 26, 2013 it was announced that the show's creator Lauren Iungerich would be exiting the show after production of Season 3 concludes on June 27, 2013. The rest of the show's third season began airing on October 22, 2013.
MTV renewed the series for a fourth season on August 5, 2013, that premiered on April 15, 2014 with new showrunners, Chris Alberghini and Mike Chessler, to replace creator and former showrunner, Lauren Iungerich.
Awkward's first season was generally well-received with television critics praising the show's realism and writing as well as its central character, and was included in various critics' top ten lists. The show also earned several award nominations, winning one Teen Choice Award and one People's Choice Award.
After losing her virginity to the popular Matty McKibben during summer camp, Jenna Hamilton continues a secret relationship with him that only her two best friends Tamara and Ming know about. Upon returning home from camp, Jenna receives a "carefrontation" letter from an anonymous source, brutally criticizing her for being a "loser". When Jenna attempts to get rid of the letter, she falls and breaks her arm, accidentally making it look like a suicide attempt. Gossip spreads fast, which makes Jenna receive unwanted attention at school, especially from nosy guidance counselor, Ms. Marks, and mean girl Sadie Saxton. Jenna decides to take the advice in the carefrontation letter to become bolder and more outgoing, and her popularity increases as a result. Jenna's growing popularity initially creates tension between her and her friends but the three eventually make up. Jenna begins to resent being in a secret relationship and becomes drawn to Matty's best friend, Jake Rosati. Jake breaks up with his beautiful but ditzy girlfriend Lissa to ask Jenna to the Winter Dance. Jenna ends her relationship with Matty to be with Jake, and both eventually agree to not tell Jake about it. After several false leads, Jenna finds out who wrote her the confrontation letter--her mother, Lacey.
Jake falls in love with Jenna and they begin a relationship, but this leads to awkward tension between her and Matty. The two try to keep any evidence that they were together a secret. Meanwhile, Jenna makes her mother tell her father that she herself wrote the "carefrontation" letter. After that, Kevin moves out and breaks up with Lacey because he can't understand how she could have done something so cruel to her own daughter. Meanwhile, Sadie begins dating Ricky Schwartz, much to Tamara's dismay. Jenna's Aunt Ally returns to get married and Jenna worries that Lacey's high school boyfriend, who is invited to the wedding, will ruin her parents' chances of getting back together. Jenna intervenes and eventually Kevin and Lacey make up. Jenna struggles with her feelings for Jake and realizes she is still in love with Matty. Sadie tells Jake about Jenna's previous relationship with Matty and he breaks up with her. On his way to apologize to Jenna, he witness her kissing Matty. The two boys get in a public fistfight but eventually make up and ask Jenna to choose between them. After much deliberation, Jenna chooses Matty over Jake and the two begin their relationship anew although Jenna wonders if she made the right decision by choosing to stay with Matty instead of going to the summer trip to Europe. At the end of the year party, Jake and Tamara kiss and become a couple while Sadie is devastated to find Ricky cheating on her with another guy, Clark.
When school starts again, Jenna is jealous to find out that Tamara has a new look and has become closer with Jake and Valerie. However, Tamara's increased popularity creates tension between her and Jake, especially when they run against each other for student body president. Ming finally finds a boyfriend and becomes head of the "Asian Mafia" although the power quickly goes to her head. Jenna starts taking a creative writing class where she meets Collin, an attractive intellectual. As Jenna gets bored with her relationship with Matty, she starts a fling with Collin.
This affair is then revealed on Jenna's 17th birthday party. Matty is willing to forgive Jenna, but she breaks up with him for Collin. Jenna becomes increasingly isolated from her friends as she spends more of her time with Collin, who encourages her to smoke pot. Eventually Jenna and Collin split after she gets suspended and realizes her mistakes. Her friends forgive her, but her actions aren't forgotten.
Ming's reign of power in the Asian Mafia eventually ends when she negotiates with Becca to keep her position as the leader as long as she leaves her and her boyfriend, Fred Wu, alone.
Jenna is in her senior year and hoping to make amends for the prior year's mishaps. She attempts being more involved in school, improving her academics, preparing for college and rekindling her relationship with Matty. A new girl, Eva, enrolls in school. Ming has broken up with Fred Wu and moved away to Vermont while Tamara and Jake partake in a sexually active relationship. Jake changes his image during the summer, starts making music and eventually decides to break up with Tamara. Sadie lives with her adoptive parent, Ally, while working nights at a food truck. Matty gets a job and continues to be friends with Jenna. They end up having sex and his evasion afterwards leads Jenna to think he is embarrassed to be with her. He is actually grieving over the fact that he's adopted and quits his job in rebellion. In sympathy, Matty and Jenna become friends with benefits.
Jenna eventually ends it and becomes romantically involved with Luke, a college freshman. This causes more friction between Matty and Jenna and to compensate, Jenna tries to get him and Eva together. Jenna realizes that she hasn't truly let Matty go, which puts strain on her relationship with Luke as Matty and Jenna argue whenever they see each other due to Eva causing trouble. Eva black-mails Sadie so Austin breaks up with her and tries to make Jenna jealous, including by leaving her underwear in Jenna's bed, so that it looks like she and Matty slept together. The mid-season ends with Luke and Jenna breaking up, Eva being caught in her lies, Tamara and Jake becoming friends again, and Mr. Hamilton being injured.
On New Years, Matty, Jenna, Jake and Tamara get together and decide to crash Sadie's aunt's party. While there, Matty reconciles with his mother and Jenna finds a new guy to kiss at midnight, a guy she later finds out is a sophomore. Meanwhile, college acceptances are rolling in and it seems as though everyone's been accepted except Jenna. Jenna attempts to get into Lockard University, but while she doesn't get accepted, her mother does. Eventually Jenna gets into Wyckoff College.
On Matty's 18th birthday, Jenna competes with his new girlfriend Gabby, only to realize Gabby is genuinely nice and means no harm. Jenna confesses to Matty that she feels like Gabby's virginity is worth waiting for, and that her own wasn't. Matty argues and tells her that he didn't want to be alone when he opened a letter which would tell him who his birth parents are, which showed how much Jenna means to him. After Matty's disappointment of discovering that his birth mother does not want to be found, Jenna comforts him and the two end up kissing. Jenna tells him she can't because he needs to be loyal to Gabby but Matty says, "It's us. It's kinda different, goes a bit beyond the rules of high school." During spring break, Jenna locates Matty's father and they plan to meet him in Mexico. Gabby shows up and goes with Matty instead.
While in Mexico, Tamara gets engaged to a 19 year old guy named Adam, whom she meets in a bar. Adam is in basic military training and she accepts his proposal, thinking that he is going to serve somewhere far away but in reality, he will be in California. Meanwhile, Mrs. Hamilton discovers she is pregnant and considers not going to college. Later, it is revealed that Gabby slept with Jake and Jenna finally lets go of Matty as she begins dating a friend of Adam. Matty goes to the beach to get away from things but instead sees Jenna and her new date, Brian, in the distance. Jake then shows up on the beach, initially wanting to confess about him and Gabby but decides to keep quiet instead. The season ends with Matty staring at Jenna in the distance on the beach, wondering whether he has lost his chance of true love.
The first part of the season focusses on the last couple of months before High School graduation. Matty is still dating Gabby and is unaware of the fact that Gabby had sex with Jake. Jenna is still kind of seeing Brian, the marine she met in Mexico. Tamara is still engaged to Adam, but she plans to break off the engagement with him. When Adam and Brian come to visit Jenna and Tamara, Jenna realizes the spark she had with Brian in Mexico is gone. The two of them politely break up. Tamara, however, doesn't break up with Adam, like she planned. Jenna finds out Jake and Gabby had sex, but doesn't tell Matty.
When it is eventually revealed that Gabby slept with Jake, Matty breaks up with Gabby and ends his friendship with Jake. Gabby and Jake decide to start dating, since they genuinly like each other. At a beach party, organised by Jenna, Matty gets really drunk and publicly says some mean-spirited things about Jake and their friendship. This causes the whole school to turn their backs on Matty, and he becomes unpopular. Matty starts hanging out with Kyle, who is also an outcast. Jenna, however, becomes very populair thanks to the fact that she caused the whole school to get a day off by accidentally causing a blackout. Jenna starts hanging out with the Julies, but discovers that everything about the 'in-crowd' is fake, so she goes back to her true friend, Tamara.
Tamara herself gets caught up in wedding planning and even plans an engagement party. At the party Jenna accidentally reveals that Tamara is planning to break off the wedding and as a result Adam dumps Tamara. Tamara realises that she actually loves Adam and tries to win him back. However, he rejects her. Meanwhile, Jenna realises that she's in love with Matty. She tries to tell him but after realising that they're going to schools at opposite sides of the country (Matty is going to Berkeley and Jenna to Wyckoff College) she decides not to tell him. Jenna is nominated for Prom Queen and decides to go to prom with Tamara, since they both have no boyfriends and don't want to go with other guys. Sadie gets dumped by Sergio so Matty asks her to go to Prom as friends. Jake goes solo, since he and Gabby broke up after he told her he wanted to take a gap year. Lissa gets asked by Theo, after Cole decides to go with his boyfriend, and they go together.
At prom Adam surprises Tamara which leaves Jenna alone (she's happy for Tamara, though). Jenna decides to go home. Meanwhile, Matty and Sadie get drunk in a limo. Sadie tells Matty that, if he does indeed love Jenna, he should just tell her. Lacey tells Jenna to go back to Prom, since it's senior Prom and Jenna would always regret not being there. So Jenna goes back to Prom and sees Matty there. They profess their love for each other and start dating again. Jake and Gabby also get back together.
After some drama the class of 2015 finally graduates. Sadie and Sergio also get back together, with the help of Lissa. Everyone is going to enjoy the summer, but Matty has to go to Berkeley the day after graduation. Jenna and Matty think about breaking up, but they decide to stay together. The mid-season ends with Jenna deciding to go help Matty move into his dorm at the University of Berkeley, with them planning to make their relationship work long distance.
Current Main Cast
- Ashley Rickards as Jenna Hamilton (season 1-present)
- Beau Mirchoff as Matty McKibben (season 1-present)
- Nikki DeLoach as Lacey Hamilton (season 1-present)
- Jillian Rose Reed as Tamara Kaplan (season 1-present)
- Brett Davern as Jake Rosati (season 1-present)
- Molly Tarlov as Sadie Saxton (season 1-present)
- Desi Lydic as Valerie Marks (season 1-present)
- Greer Grammer as Lissa Miller (recurring season 1-2; main character season 3-present)
Former Main Cast
MTV recently announced the addition of new scripted comedy “Awkward.” to its summer lineup, premiering Tuesday, July 19 at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT. This series takes an irreverent look at the conflict, chaos and humor that defines teenage life through the eyes of 15-year-old Jenna Hamilton, played by Ashley Rickards (“Fly Away,” “One Tree Hill”), whose life begins to change when a simple accident becomes an epic misunderstanding and is blown way out of proportion. The 12-episode half-hour series will air Tuesday nights at 11 p.m. ET/PT following MTV's hit series “Teen Mom.”“Awkward.” will also air internationally on MTV channels around the world starting in September 2011.
“We’re extremely proud to introduce this smart, funny, irreverent - and ultimately relatable - new series to our growing slate of scripted programming,” said David Janollari, Head of MTV Programming. “With a phenomenal cast of fresh faces, coupled with a strong female voice and message of empowerment, we’re confident this show will resonate with our audience, so much so that we've given it the prime timeslot behind “Teen Mom,” one of our highest rated series.”
Narrated in the first-person voice of Jenna's blog posts, “Awkward.” captures the humor within the struggles and experiences everyone can relate to from their formative years. The series picks up in the aftermath of the accident as she must deal with a new not-so-fun stigma, while at the same time managing the other daily drama that comes with being a teenager. From a secret relationship with a popular guy, to being undermined by a mean girl, and parents who just don't get it-Jenna's misfortune will eventually serve as the catalyst for amazing change, but it’s not without some missteps and mishaps along the way.
The show will also feature Beau Mirchoff (“Desperate Housewives”) as ‘Matty,’ Jenna’s love interest; Molly Tarlov (“Huge,” “iCarly”) as ‘Sadie,’ Jenna's nemesis; Jillian Rose Reed (“Weeds”) as 'Tamara’ and Jessica Lu (“CSI,” “Law & Order: Los Angeles”) as ‘Ming,’ Jenna's two best friends; Brett Davern (“Junk,” “Triple Dog,” ) as ‘Jake,’ the good natured popular kid; Greer Grammer (“iCarly”) as Lissa, a popular cheerleader; Nikki DeLoach (“North Shore,” “Love and Other Drugs”) as Jenna's mom ‘Lacey;’ Desi Lydic (“Traffic Light,” “Two and a Half Men”) as ‘Valerie,’ the school's guidance counselor; and Mike Faiola as Jenna’s dad, ‘Kevin;’ (“Seeing Other People”).
“Awkward.” was created by Lauren Iungerich who also serves as executive producer. David Janollari and Justin Levy are the MTV executives in charge of production.