MTV's 'Awkward' Better for Teens Than 'Gossip Girl' (VIDEO)

awkward. mtvThere's no way around it -- adolescence is awkward. Screw that, adolescence is the definition of awkward. That's why I'm psyched for MTV's new series, Awkward., a comedy in the grand teen angst tradition of John Hughes movies and My So-Called Life.

Played by Ashley Rickards (One Tree Hill), protagonist Jenna is a smart, sarcastic everygirl fumbling her way through high school in a way that's painfully familiar even to those of us who graduated ... well, a bunch of years ago. And whether or not they know it yet, there's an audience out there who needs her desperately.

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It's been a while -- too long -- since we've had a character like Jenna who makes it cool (or at least acceptable) to be uncool. Plus, thanks to MTV's high tolerance for the salacious, Jenna takes this prototype to new and undiscovered territory: A place where raunchy humor and behavior among teens is the norm, but is NOT sensationalized.

This is a huge development. Awkward. doesn't pretend that teens are angels, but it doesn't paint hook-ups to be the glossy, choreographed stuff of Gossip Girl. Jenna's first time is the stuff of legend: In a janitor's closet, on a tangled pile of mops, with a guy who not only has a girlfriend, but is wearing a glow necklace. And she has stubbly arm pits! (Bring back memories? Good lord, I'm glad my teen years are over.) This is the kind of teen sex we need on TV and in movies: Messy, weird, uncomfortable, and real.

Another much-needed update to the genre: Jenna has a blog, which turns out to be quite the nifty narrative device (kind of like when Doogie Howser, M.D., used to sit down at his computer at the end of every episode, except much cooler -- so really not like that at all). The blog's title alone says it all: Invisible Girl.

Awkward. premieres tonight at 11 p.m. on MTV, but if you can't wait, we've got the entire pilot right here!

Are you psyched for Awkward.?


Image via MTV

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