Guest post by Libby Feltch
Ever seen the show "Awkward." which was just renewed for a third season on MTV? It’s a teen dramedy with characters who—although cartoonish at times—for the most part seem more tangible than those in the network’s “reality” TV programs.
I’m a little late to the game, but I finally gave in to peer pressure and started watching it and I’m really REALLY glad I did. If I hadn’t, I would have never experienced "The Way We Weren't," a beautiful episode in which a girl who has taken a purity pledge decides to offer up her “be-hymen” to her boyfriend (around 15:06 min) after a friend suggests taking full advantage of where “God has a blind spot” (around 12:50 min).
Awkward establishes itself early on in its pilot as an alternative to the more romanticized and/or traumatizing visions of sex in most other teen dramas. **Spoiler Alert** Two minutes in, the main character, Jenna, loses her penis-in-vagina virginity very unceremoniously in a broom closet. With tears welling up from pain, Jenna explains to her crush that the waterworks are due to an allergy attack. The scene is very simple, funny and comforting.
AfterElton did a nice piece on how the show handles sex right around the time the “be-hymen” episode first aired in 2011. I think this quote from the article by series creator/exec-producer, Lauren Iungerich, neatly sums up the show’s intent:
"When I first started having sex… I had sex with somebody because I felt like I had to get it over with," she said. "And afterwards [it] was sort of this like, 'Oh my god, I gave this thing [up]. I'm really vulnerable… I've shared something truly intimate with somebody I don’t even really know.' Not until you're older do you realize what intimacy really is, and it has nothing to do with sex. And that's [Jenna's] journey."
Libby is a recent graduate of Vassar College and a talented intern here at Trixie Films. If you work in television, you should hire her. Give her a shout!