Awkward. Season 3 (DVD Review)

awkward whysoblu thumbBased on a string of positive notice from some TV reviewers I trust, MTV’s Awkward is a show I have been keeping up with in passing.  It has the basic structure of a high school sitcom, with all the familiar tropes, but the writing has just been a lot smarter and self-aware in a way that made it more enjoyable than a lot of what I see in this sort of genre these days.  Especially given that MTV has become a weird zone of bad reality TV and no music whatsoever, this series is one of the network’s few bright spots, even in its current incarnation, which unfortunately lost its original showrunner.


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I could attempt to summarize things, but the DVD box actually does a solid job:  Awkward is about the specific incidents in our formative years that define us, sometimes for the best and sometimes for the worst.  In season one and two, Jenna (Ashley Rickards) tackles “Who Am I?” and “Who do I want to be with?”  Now, coming into her junior year, Jenna for the first time is confronting the monumental question of “Who do I want to be?”

While season 4 is currently underway, looking back at season 3 of this series, it is clear that a shift has occurred.  Series creator Lauren Lungerich stepped down and the shift in quality shows.  That said, speaking of season 3, it seems clear that the best days of Akward were back in the first two seasons.  The third season ended up reminding me a lot of the third season of Showtime’s Weeds, as both shows went away from the natural charm created by the basic premise in favor of manufactured drama.  In Weeds, it was the character of U-Turn, in Awkward, we have a storyline with this Collin character.  With that in mind, while adding in a few new characters to shake things up makes a lot of sense, it does stand to reason that some shows just can’t maintain the same level at all times.  Still, the series was never bad in its third season and even managed to feature some of the series’ best episodes.

This Season 3 set includes all 20 episodes:

  1. Cha-cha-cha-changes
  2. Responsibility Irresponsible
  3. A Little Less Conversation
  4. Let’s Talk About Sex
  5. Indecent Exposure
  6. That Girl Strikes Again
  7. Guilt Trippin
  8. Rubbed Raw and Reeling
  9. Reality Check
  10. Redifining Jenna
  11. Surprise
  12. And Then What Happened
  13. Taking Sides
  14. The Bad Seed
  15. A Very Special Episode of Awkward
  16. Less Than Hero
  17. The Campaign Fail
  18. Old Jenna
  19. Karmic Relief
  20. Who I Want to Be

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The cast is what makes this show work, specifically the supporting characters, as Jenna becomes quite grating in this third season.  Looking at cast members like Jillian Rose Reed, who plays Jenna’s best friend or Molly Tarlov, who plays Jenna’s worst enemy, it is clear that plenty of the subplots seem to be the most fun for the writers, compared to the relationship stuff, which is all quite standard and has generally obvious results.  With that in mind, it is the later episodes of this season, which really seem to do enough in the way of completing Jenna’s arc, which takes turns quite fitting of the character and done into the spirit of the show.  The 1-hour season finale, in particular, is quite great in how it plays off the dynamics created by these characters, given all that has gone into this series, regardless of some missteps.

I have been a bit brief on really examining the storylines of this season, but fans of the series are surely well aware of what I have referred to in this write-up.  With that in mind, I would recommend starting from the beginning, if so inclined, as Awkward is one of the better high school sitcoms I have seen in some time, especially for an original MTV series.  That in mind, season 3 finds the series winding down in strength, but it is still easy to watch and full or reasons to find it likable at the very least.


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Encoding: MPEG-2

Resolution: 480i

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  For DVD standards, this show is pretty well-handled. It’s a bright series and the DVD does a fine job of presenting details the best it can.

Depth: Not a show that really goes for wide scope, so depth is limited, but fine.

Black Levels: Blacks are relatively inky when in use.

Color Reproduction: As I said, it is a bright series and the colors really do shine in the various outfits of all the characters.  Probably the highlight in regards to this presentation.

Flesh Tones:  Consistent and bright.  Enough in the way of textures to showcase the details of each character, given the opportunity to really look at them in close up.

Noise/Artifacts:  It is a DVD, so not really errors to spot, but just an overall understanding of the format’s setbacks, compared to a Blu-ray.



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Audio Format(s): English Dolby 2.0

Subtitles: None

Dynamics: Not a complicated sound mix for this series, but between the dialogue and music, you basically all that you need.

Low Frequency Extension: The use of music pushes this area up at times.

Surround Sound Presentation: It is basically all heard in the center channel, but the music and ambient sounds make their way into the mix and can be heard in the other channels, depending on episodes with parties or school assemblies and aspects like that.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Loud and front heavy. Clear as can be.



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While lacking in commentaries, which would have been nice, there are a variety of features, but none of them really focus on what it is to be a part of this series.  It is a series of webisodes and featurettes where the actors can talk about all the fun they are having, which is appropriate for the MTV generation of extra features, just not all that insightful.

Features Include:

Disc One – None

Disc Two –

Webisodes: Palos Hills High Tour, How did Ricky Die, Who Killed Ricky Schwartz, I’ll be Watching You, Jake Interrogation, Here Comes Justice, You can’t Fool a Fool

Behind-the-Scenes: Awkward After Show (focused on the summer finale episode), Most Awkward Moments (A long montage of moments form the show), Cast Interviews, Season 3 Fashion

Disc Three – None

Disc Four –

Bonus Clips: It Gets Moderately Better, Tamera Campaign Video, Jake Campaign Video, Palos Hills High Casting Tapes

Cast Interviews: How We Got Here, #1 Moments, Superlatives, Awkward Favorites, Awkward Favorites Again, Even More Awkward Favorites



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Awkward gets by on its charm for the most part.  It has a winning cast and some strong writing that pushes it into better territory than some of the other sitcoms that are currently attempting similar things.  That said, season 3 finds the show on the downslope, which is unfortunate.  Still, for fans of the series (especially those who may appreciate it more than me), this DVD does a fine job of presenting the series as far as the video and audio is concerned.  The extras are a bit less impressive, but there is certainly enough to satisfy some fans.  Decent set, but start from the beginning if curious.

Order Your Copy Here:

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

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