“Faking It” recap (3.1): Sorry Not Sorry

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Hello and welcome back to Faking It, the show where at least nobody dies. (Yet. Oh god oh god please don’t let me jinx it.) As you can probably imagine, I return to Faking It each season (or whatever ungodly half season thing they insist on doing) with no small amount of trepidation. Emotions run high surrounding this show, and even its most ardent supporter must agree that they’ve dropped some pretty significant balls.

So I was not only pleased but deeply relieved when I had the chance to watch the first three episodes of Season 3 and found that they were actually very good! Not “good” as in “20 minutes of Karmy and Amy flirting, 20 minutes of them making out, and 20 minutes of watching them sleep,” although I think we can all agree that we as a community have earned that. By “good,” I mean that this show seems more comfortable than ever in its own skin.

Of course, even that compliment comes with a set of caveats. Faking It has always been the television equivalent of a poorly behaved housecat: mostly it’s a welcome presence, somehow managing to be cute in spite of its air of superiority and tendency to look straight in your eyes while it knocks a glass off the counter. Sometimes, in the middle of what you thought was a perfectly pleasant petting session, it abruptly attempts to claw out your eyes. And very occasionally, when you are sick and sad and lonely, it curls right up next to you and gives you exactly the love you need.

These qualities are as much a part of the show’s DNA as they ever were, and if you didn’t like them then, you won’t like them now. But from what I’ve seen, at least, this season the show is leaning harder into its over-the-top cartoonishness while simultaneously grounding itself more deeply in the emotions of its central characters. Even that choice has a somewhat “push me-pull me” element to it, as the show asks you to dig in and lighten up at the same time, but they’re doing the best job they’ve ever done of walking that tightrope.

So, we return to a Target commercial’s fever dream of Austin at the close of the summer. (Sidebar, and not that this is the show’s fault, but I HATE it when show time and real time don’t line up. Do not ask me to invest in a Christmas episode in the middle of fucking July.) Amy has just returned from her summer with Pussy Explosion, where she drank beer, slept in a van, and for 100% certain slept with every member of that band.

fakingit1.1YOU NEED MORE PRACTICE, TBH.

Amy has prepared an eloquent speech for Karma about how, while she regrets leaving so abruptly, a summer away was exactly what she needed to finally overcome her romantic feelings. She’s practicing it on one of the band members, who is no doubt REALLY SICK of hearing the word “karma,” and who gives Amy a quick smooch before disappearing back to Portland in a cloud of vaporized hash oil.

fakingit1.2SO LONG, AND PROMISE ME YOU’LL NEVER FORGET THAT TONGUE THING I TAUGHT YOU.

Three things about this:

  1. I am blonde, and I like being blonde, but when I see two blonde girls kiss each other, I am overcome by a deep sense of wrongness. Like, how do you know who to yell at for clogging up the hairbrushes? IDK; maybe I’m alone.
  2. So this girl is at least five years older than Amy, right? Can we maybe take a break from that this season? Let’s save our bitter acrimony for the things that matter. Like Lisbeth.
  3. I also hate this trope where queer girls get a throwaway kiss from an unnamed character we will never see again. Like, we are supposed to be satisfied with the fantasy of Amy and the Overly Made-Up Indie Rocker were having sex all summer? Nah.

So that’s not a super auspicious start to Season 3, but if you’ll recall, Karma spent the first five minutes of the pilot pretending to be blind, so let’s be patient.

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