Rec Me Friday: Faking It
For many of us, it's summer. It's humid, hot, and bright. The sun's longer hours make the days seem endless but at the same time, time goes by so fast. So what better way to spend the time away than with a fun distraction like a summer fling?Normally, the term is used when talking about short term relationships but I've always said television is my boyfriend anyway so for this summer, I've chosen Faking It as my summer fling! Or one of them at least. ;)
REC ME FRIDAY: THE SUMMER FLING
FAKING IT | Season 1
MTV, Tuesdays 10:30PM EST
Rita Volk, Katie Stevens, Gregg Sulkin, Michael J. Willett
Carter Covington (hey, that's an actual character on
Hart of Dixie
Most of the official summaries for the show don't do it any favors because the idea of faking homosexuality as a way to climb the social ladder? Yeah, that sounds terrible on paper. The show starts off on that awful idea but by the end of the pilot, the show moves toward something much more interesting.
is about two best friends, Amy and Karma. At their supposedly extremely liberal school at Austin, Kara realizes that being a lesbian will increased her popularity level as well as her chance to hook up with the school's hottest boy, Liam. Amy is much less concerned about her social status but loves her best friend and goes along with it. After a kiss to 'prove' their homosexuality, Amy realizes she may be genuinely attracted to her best friend.
The show has only just aired its fifth episode but I'm really enjoying it so far! It's fun, entertaining and cute, just what I need for the summer. Carter Covington has also written for shows like
Hart of Dixie,
, and even developed
10 Things I Hate About You
. All shows I enjoy and really love as my happy shows.
At the show's core is Amy and Karma's relationship and it's really where the show shines. Karma is outgoing, occasionally self absorbed and social while Amy's more realistic and withdrawn. It's the old 'opposites meet' friendship and it's delightful to watch because it's so obvious how much these two care about each other. I mean, I love my best friend too but giving up peanut butter because she's allergic? No one would ever stop me from peanut butter time.
Karma is absolutely adorable. It's kinda impossible not to fall in love with her.
Obviously, as Amy struggles with her newfound feelings, she realizes that any romantic feelings have the potential to ruin their amazing relationship. All the classic tropes are in play here: 'let's pretend to be a couple!', 'oh no, I've realized actually like you', and 'help, I'm falling in love with my best friend'. Throw in high school popularity contests and a villainous step sister too. Of course, the show's spin on all of these cliches is adding the issue of homosexuality and using it to gain popularity. Karma's motives for declaring herself a lesbian aren't great but it's not done in a truly malicious or joking manner. The fact that the ploy springboards Amy into questioning her own sexuality also helps the show prove that it's so much more than it's name and initial premise.As for the issue of how the show deals with representing homosexuality, it doesn't do too bad. I find some of the things the character have said slightly problematic but only in that they tend to generalize certain things. It's very teenage and not offensive.Everyone including Amy's conservative Republican mother is accepting of Karma and Amy's lesbian relationship. And rather than create a huge dilemma about sexuality, Amy's main struggle is just dealing with having feelings for her best friend.
Other than Karma and Amy's relationship, I really love the friendship between Liam and his gay best friend, Shane. Liam shows absolutely no reservations about his best friend's sexuality and I don't think I've heard anyone on the show use the term 'bromance'. The two are completely comfortable and supportive of each other as they go to dances and bars together. They even share a dance and there's no hesitation from either boy. It's refreshing after the countless depictions of straight men suddenly becoming worried or anxious around gay men.Before playing Shane, Michael J. Willett was a recurring character on
United States of Tara
as Lionel. He played a similar character - the proudly open fun gay character. Willett is just as entertaining and wonderful as Shane but I'm hoping this show will finally give Willet a character with his own storyline. For the most part, he's served as the fun supportive sidekick to different characters on
But where are possible introductions for Shane's own character development? If Liam is allowed a possible storyline about his integrity and corporate company parents, Shane more than deserves a plot as well. Especially given that he is the show's only confidently gay character.Sexuality in general is depicted quite nicely as well. Gay, bisexual, open relationships, casual relationships, threesomes and sending nude pictures? That's all okay and easily accepted by the characters because the show attaches no shame to any of these things.
A brief glance at
's Tumblr tag suggests that many audience members are rooting for Karma and Amy to ultimately have a romantic relationship. I'm glad the fandom has chosen to embrace the gay relationship rather than Karma and Liam. Karma and Liam are fine and I even like them sometimes, mostly because of Karma, but their relationship isn't exactly anything new. Personally, Karma and Amy are delightful just as friends and I'm not really seeing any romantic feelings from Karma but I'm more than willing to be proved wrong. I'd love to see Karma have an epiphany and return Amy's feelings.My only wish is for the show to incorporate more diverse characters in the recurring cast. A black lesbian made a brief appearance and she was great. I hope she returns,perhaps as a love interest for Amy. Lauren, Amy's step sister is also frequently accompanied by an Asian girl and a plus sized girl. They're both quiet and serve as her lackeys but I hope they get some development as the show goes on.
Basically, if you want a weekly dose of cute teenage hijinks with cute girl best friends and their fake (or possibly, real romance!) then check out
! For US residents, MTV has the pilot streaming