Everyone remembers their first high school sweetheart -- unless, that is, you didn't have a high school sweetheart, and now things just got really awkward, much like the quasi-relationship between Jenna and Matty on MTV's hit show "Awkward."
You see, Jenna (Ashley Rickards), a high school nobody, had a summer camp fling with high school jock Matty (Beau Mirchoff), but then Matty started to be secretive and act like a jerk to Jenna, so she started to fall for nice guy Jake (Brett Davern). And that's when things started to get awkward. Jenna likes Matty, Matty like Jenna, but Jenna also likes Jake, who also likes Jenna -- but also has a ditzy blonde cheerleader girlfriend.
And just when it looks like Jenna has chosen her man -- when her and Matty share a passionate kiss on her crummy sweet sixteen -- Jake comes back into the picture. With only two more episodes this season, Jenna's head seems more confused than ever. Matty or Jake? Not even show star Beau Mirchoff can decide which one Jenna should pick.
"I really don't know who she should pick," Mirchoff told The Huffington Post. "I think Jake's a sweet kid, but I think Matty also has his qualities, so I really don't know about the one. It's a tough choice."
However, Mirchoff revealed that Jenna does, in fact, make a choice.
"The finale is a two-episode event, and I can definitely say that the love triangle gets resolved, and Jenna makes a decision -- it becomes a love line [laughs]. It's also kind of scary, there's a bit of a thriller element."
In case you're wondering if this means that everything is going to get resolved in the finale episode (Sept. 27), think again.
"There's definitely a cliffhanger," revealed the young star. Okay, so there's a cliffhanger, but at least the love triangle gets resolved. But does that mean Jenna's going to choose nice guy Jake or the somewhat guarded heartthrob Matty?
It's a tough choice, indeed. In any other typical teenage drama, Mirchoff and Davern's characters would’ve surely been portrayed as the mean jock (Matty) and the socially-inept nerd (Jake). Yet, "Awkward." avoids the cliché by making both boys popular, before revealing just how different the two friends really are -- especially when it comes to Jenna.
That, in part, is due to the show's honesty -- a perfect counterbalance to some of MTV's rowdy reality programming. You genuinely want Jenna, with her Seth Cohen–level wit, to succeed, and Matty and Jake are both great guys who can make her happy. Mirchoff credits "Awkward.'s" sincerity to the show's talented writers.
"When I first read the script, I was blown away by the honesty of the characters. I was laughing out-loud a lot and then I found myself really getting emotionally invested in the characters. It just had all of the elements to a great show. It's like baking a cake: you need sugar, you need flour, you need eggs and whatever else goes into the cake. I'm the egg to Ashley's [Rickards] sugar and the creator Lauren [Iungerich] would be the oven, and then the viewers would be the people who eat the cake -- and I think we're a pretty tasty cake."
Somehow, tasty seems like an understatement. "Awkward." was the sleeper MTV hit that no one saw coming, and it's currently the network's most successful scripted show.
When it comes to playing a teen heartthrob, Mirchoff has had plenty of experience -- on ABC’s "Desperate Housewives." He played Angie’s (Drea de Matteo) son, whose smoldering romance with Gaby’s (Eva Longoria) niece lead to a cross country chase in the sixth season.
The 22-year-old actor has also appeared in a recurring role on the Canadian drama, "Heartland," and his film credits include "I Am Number Four," "The Grudge 3," "Scary Movie 4," and his new project, "The Secret Lives of Dorks," also starring Jennifer Tilly and James Belushi, which is set for release this winter. And when it comes to his love of acting, he can thank Mel Gibson for that.
"I remember watching 'Braveheart' when I was really young, and thinking it was so cool and wondering, 'How do you make something like this?' I just remember being fascinated by movies."
So perhaps it comes as no surprise when the young actor revealed that he would love to tackle a period piece next.
"Just throw me in a time machine, hit random, and wherever I land would be great," said Mirchoff. "I've been reading these ninth century warfare books that I love. They're just historical fiction, and I find it really fascinating. I also really love the 1950s and that would be cool too. Just being thrown into a different time really fascinates me."
Meanwhile, all time machines aside, Mirchoff's own high school experience wasn't a far cry from Matty's, but according to the Canadian-born actor, high school isn't about stereotypes, so why should shows based on high school be?
"I was involved in a little bit of everything," said Mirchoff. "I played sports year-round. I was the captain of my football team, I played lacrosse and basketball, but I also acted a lot outside of school. I would go to auditions and take acting classes. I was involved in media art classes and made little movies and stuff like that. I was very busy, and always doing something. Everyone always has their own thing going on during high school. There really aren't any stereotypes."
Okay, so Mirchoff may have been more over-achieving than Matty in high school, but they do share one thing in common -- a love of summer camps.
"I remember going to summer camp and sneaking out late at night and going over to the girls' cabin, so that we could all sneak out and run around the camp, but I'm pretty sure that I only stood there and drooled over the girls," joked Mirchoff. "They hated us at camp. We would dump buckets of water on people -- but it's camp! There's not a lot going on."
To see what trouble Matty gets himself into next catch the new episode of "Awkward.," airing 11:00 PM ET Tuesday, Sept. 20 on MTV, and to catch up on season one, all episodes that have aired are available here.
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