High school has always been a special kind of purgatory for angst-ridden teens. Popularity rules all and those who aren't in the golden circle dream of ways to get in. Try as hard as you can; it's a code that may never be cracked in your four year sentence. Faking It explores a twist on obtaining that ever-elusive glory when two best friends, Karma Ashcroft (Katie Stevens) and Amy Raudenfeld (Rita Volk), decide to take a slightly different approach at skyrocketing into that royal inner circle. These ladies make a bold move and their high school existence is forever changed.
Hester High School is not your typical hallowed halls. It is the most universally accepting school ever. You practically couldn't even find someone you would label an underdog. But for Karma, she's always felt like an outsider looking in, even with her best friend Amy by her side for all of life's best, and worst, moments. After numerous failed attempts to become popular, Karma's wish comes true, just a little backwards. When classmate Shane (the deliciously snarky Michael J. Willett) mistakes the BFFS for lesbians, Karma strikes with the idea to keep the ruse going when it launches them into high school celebrity status. When the most popular guy in school, Liam Booker (hottie Gregg Sulkin), takes a sudden new interest in Karma, she tries to parlay that into a relationship with him. One that they have to keep secret. The problem with this (besides the obvious Karma's pretending to be gay) is that unbeknownst to Karma, cutie Liam really sees her more as a conquest because of her supposed sexuality. Unfortunately, it seems like Liam is not the only one with sudden feelings for Karma. Amy may be realizing a little too late that her feelings for Karma may truly extend beyond friendship. Karma is quickly blinded by popularity and seduced by Liam's charm while Amy begins to question her actual sexuality. While Karma is ready to jump into things feet first with Liam, she doesn't think about the effect it all will have on her best friend. Amy has to learn to navigate this rocky road by discovering some things about herself she never knew were within. Thankfully, she has Shane to try and help her figure this puzzle out. Meanwhile, Karma may blow the entire charade by sneaking around with Liam and possibly making the biggest mistake of her life. Both ladies are in too deep, will they be able to keep their farce going or will it all come tumbling down in shambles?
Besides possibly becoming their own undoing, Karma and Amy are constantly tested when it comes to playing their parts in the relationship. Their biggest obstacle may in fact be Lauren (sinfully evil Bailey Buntain), Amy's arch nemesis and step sister. Lauren uses everything she can as arsenal and leverage to tear down Amy, including instilling the fear of "outing" Amy to Amy's conservative Republican mother. She is relentless in keeping her popularity and making sure Amy knows that she is beneath her. Luckily, with some help from Shane (and the unsuspecting student body), the relationship of Amy and Karma may be propelled into popularity, and the lines between friendship and love may become blurred.
Faking It is by no means your average rom-com television show. The writing can be campy at times, but it also has such smart quick wit to it. The characters are likable, relatable, and both Karma and Amy have become unexpected role models. Amy and Karma may not be a real couple; however, you can't help but root for their adorableness to work out (or at least for Amy to find her true happiness). Volk is a spitfire with charisma and natural comedic timing. She and Stevens have a give and take which makes the push and pull of their characters' relationship feel effortless. Stevens plays sweet and naive to a tee as Karma. She showcases vulnerability with poise and panache. Willett as Shane is a hilarious standout and his character, to me, has skyrocketed him into being MTV's newest version of Awkward's Sadie Saxson with his sharp humor and silver tongue. Furthermore, Sulkin is some serious man candy! Plus, he plays the douche you just can't wait to get his comeuppance. You simply just love to hate him. MTV continues to be a force with their teen-based dramas that suck you in from minute one. Faking It is no exception with its steamy melodrama, endearing story lines, and sudsy romances.
What makes the heart of the show is the various relationships and the complications they present. Nothing is ever clear, or cut and dry, especially when it comes to teenage hormones and romance. We may know what we want one moment and the next another. It's how you handle the mess and wake of those decisions, that propels the rest of our lives. Feelings are one of life's greatest blessings, but also one of life's truly greatest complications and curse. Life always has challenges to face, especially in your formidable high school years. If you're not on top, you're most definitely on the bottom. You always feel like the boat is being rocked and the ground will never be steady. There may be a designated pecking order, but to get by, sometimes just have to fake it, to make it.
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