Ask any high school or college-aged girl if they watch Awkward., a show that is part of MTV's move into scripted programming, and you'll probably get an "OMG, Totes!" Ask anyone in their thirties if they've seen Awkward., and you'll probably get a more discreet version of the same response: "Um... maybe, do you? OMG I love it!" That's because Awkward. is one of those rare shows that defies category and audience.
Intended for the prom-throwing, spring-breaking set, the show appeals to a wider swath of people thanks largely to its sharp, fast-paced scripts and an ability to not tread in tired high school melodrama. Instead it deals with real problems that teens face in high school in an open, comedic, and refreshingly frank manner.
The other reason the show works so well is the cast. While technically there aren't a lot of actual teenagers on set (average age is about 23), all are still youthful, energetic and angsty enough to pull off high school seniors. And the actual adults adults involved play characters that are relatable to a younger audience without trying to hard to be hip (even when the joke is that they're trying to hard to be hip).
One untapped resource of this cast is Lissa. Sadie's BFF, Jake's ex, and all around peppy cheerleader, Lissa, played by Greer Grammer, has spent most of the past three seasons popping in and out from the sidelines, but is now moving up to main character status for season four. We got a chance to talk with Greer Grammer (and yes, of that Grammer lineage) about what that means for Lissa, and what we can expect this season.
Lissa is becoming a main character in season 4. Tell us what that means for her in the new season.
Well, it means Lissa actually get's a last name. For so long on the call sheets it was Jenna Hamilton, Sadie Saxton, Matty McKibbon. And just Lissa. Now it's Lissa Miller!
That always helps in a character development I would imagine.
It does. This season we'll get to learn more about Lissa's family and backstory, so that's always exciting.
So what's on tap for Lissa?
Well, the season opens with her getting back from Africa, where she and her family have adopted a child. So she has that to deal with. We also get to learn more about her friendship with Sadie again, which is always fun.
Lissa and Sadie have kind of a hilarious relationship.
They do. They're friends, but there's this weird competition between them. And this season Lissa gets nominated for cheer captain. Sadie isn't used to anything getting taken away from her, so the two of them have to deal with that.
Will Lissa get a new love interest this season?
She does! Which I'm glad about, because its always fun to kind of explore that dynamic. I don't know how much I can really say about it, but it will be a new character that kind of catchers her eye.
What's in store for the Palos Hills gang this season in general?
Well, it's senior year. In the first episode class rankings come out, so you'll get to see how everyone deals with that. And then there's college applications, a senior sleep over, prom. All things seniors in high school deal with. I think it's cool that the season will end with spring break rather than with graduation.
Do you think the show would ever go on into college years?
I'm not really sure, but ending with spring break at least guarantees one more season for all of us!
Thinking back to the first season and the pilot of Awkward., what drew you to the role of Lissa?
Well, I actually kind of brushed it off at first. I thought "MTV getting into scripted?" So I went to the audition and thought I sucked; figured that one of the other girls in cute sundresses would get the part. But then I went back and really read the whole script and realized that it was so smart, and funny, and didn't talk down to its audience at all. That's what made me really want to be a part of it.
Is there a character outside of Lissa that you feel you resonate with on a personal level?
It would probably be a combination of Tamara and Jenna. Tamara is the super involved, energetic person, which I was a little bit of in high school. I was in a lot of clubs, and school plays and things. And then Jenna is just kind of the every girl, which I think a lot of girls can relate to.
Are you Team Mattie, or do you think Jenna should stay single this year?
Oh, I think Jenna single will be fun, but I'll always be team Mattie. He's just such a great guy, you know?
So, we have to ask, being the daughter of Hollywood staple Kelsey Grammer, did you receive any good advice about a career in acting? Like run?
Oh, he's been great. He didn't try to keep me away from it or encourage me toward it. He saw that I really loved it, so told me that I have to do what I love, otherwise you won't do anything good.
And now you're about to graduate from USC?
I am, in May. I really wanted to have a base in acting, and really hone my craft. USC is one of the few programs that let's you work while you're in school, so it was the best of both worlds. Some said I should be focusing on learning the craft, but I feel like I am getting a good education by working too!
Season 4 of Awkward. airs Tuesday, April 15 on MTV