Jenna Hamilton has made her choice, but will she stick with it?
On the season finale of MTV's breakout hit Awkward., Jenna (Ashley Rickards) chose Jake (Brett Davern), the nice boy who's open about his feelings for her, over Matty (Beau Mirchoff), her first love who wanted to keep their relationship a secret. When the second season picks up (Thursday, 10:30/9:30c), Jenna and Jake will still be a couple, but has she really moved on from Matty?
"At the top of the season, she's questioning her feelings about Jake and she's having reservations, but she's not sure where they're coming from," creator and executive producer Lauren Iungerich tells TVGuide.com. "Her feelings for Jake are growing, but her feelings for Matty are changing. She has her moments of jealousy with him because she's moved on, but she's never considered that what if he does?"
Rickards adds: "She is with Jake, but Team Matty fans should not be apprehensive about watching the new season because there is still a love triangle. I personally believe that you never fall out of love with somebody; you just let go and move on, but at such a young age that concept hasn't really sunk in yet for Jenna."
To further complicate matters, Jake and Matty are best friends, and Jake is still clueless about Jenna and Matty's history. Although circumstances in the season premiere lead to Jenna and Matty potentially spilling the beans, they're both afraid of what the information will do to the boys' friendship and Jake and Jenna's new relationship. "She didn't cheat on Jake, but [she's] withholding a piece of information that would hurt him. And Matty doesn't want to lose Jake either. So [keeping the secret] is a mutual decision about the greater good of Jake," Iungerich says. (Of course, the season trailer reveals that Jake ultimately does find out, leading to more than a few thrown punches, but Iungerich remains coy as to how it all goes down.)
Although Matty clearly still harbors feelings for Jenna at the beginning of the season, Iungerich reveals that he'll eventually move on to a new love interest, played by Laura Samuels. "Matty has to reconcile that Jenna's made a choice and he understands what he did to get her to that place and owns it. There's this beautiful moment where he's able to say to her, 'I just don't want to screw it up with this new girl like I did with you.' Matty is such a hero this season."
In addition to her feelings about the men in her life, Jenna will have to resolve her emotions toward her mother Lacey (Nikki DeLoach), who shockingly and disappointingly turned out to be the person who penned Season 1's "carefrontation" letter — a document anonymously sent to Jenna pretty much telling her to nut up and stop being a waste of space. It might've been cruel, but Iungerich explains the genesis behind the letter and how it'll lead into the development of Lacey this season.
"She really thought her daughter tried to hurt herself," Iungerich says, referring to Jenna's accident in the pilot that was mistaken for a suicide attempt. "If you were to go back and [re-watch] Lacey's journey, she's going through the five stages of grief. She goes through denial, anger, bargaining, depression and then acceptance. When Lacey gave Jenna her [old prom dress for formal] it was such a beautiful moment of how important her daughter is to her. This season, we really get to know her and in many ways it's the redemption of Lacey."
The story line between Jenna and Lacey is one, in particular, that Rickards says all viewers can relate to. "To receive something so harsh and then find out later it's the person you least expected — your own mother — is a challenging thing to deal with, but the relationship evolves this season. It's a situation that not only mothers and daughters can relate to, but anyone in a close relationship who has made a mistake with the best of intentions."
Although it seems Jenna is constantly reeling from the actions of those around her, Rickards adds that this season Jenna ain't so perfect either. "Viewers are going to see Jenna make some really bad decisions," Rickards says. "She's always been wiser than her years and calculating, and we're exploring the aspect of her that is imperfect and makes decisions based on her actual level of emotional maturity."
Are you excited for Season 2 of Awkward?