MTV’s “Faking It” shatters convention as Karma (Katie Stevens, “American Idol”) and Amy (Rita Volk, The Hungover Games) take drastic, uncommon measures in order to fit in at their progressive high school in Austin, Texas. The teenage comedy follows the two best friends as they are mistakenly identified as lesbians, which catapults them higher into the school’s hierarchy.
“Faking It” begins with a phone call between Karma and Amy, during which Karma reveals her latest scheme to pretend to be blind from a sudden brain tumor in order to achieve popularity from her classmates. “In this school, you have to stand out to fit in,” Karma explains. From this scheme alone, it is clear that Karma is desperate to break into the popularity ring of her high school. Amy, on the other hand, is content with who she is and where she stands amongst her peers, but placates Karma’s burning desire to be popular. Watching the exchange between Karma and Amy, there is a sense of reliability and familiarity that is relevant to the audience. Obviously, Karma’s latest scheme falls through, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Shortly after Karma’s failed attempt to fake her blindness, the popular and openly gay Shane mistakes Karma and Amy as lesbians and inevitably nominates them to become their high school’s homecoming queens. At first, Amy clarifies that they are in fact straight, but Karma wants to go a different route and continue with the facade in order to ensure admission into the popular crowd.
While the overarching storyline is one worth watching, the smaller storylines within the show make it much more enticing. Initially, it is slightly worrisome that the show attempts to make a person’s sexual orientation just a trend that can be adopted or shed at the drop of a hat, but at the end of the episode there is a redeemable foreshadowing. After sharing a kiss to prove their fake romantic relationship, one of the girls seems to realize that she may not be pretending to have feelings for her friend.
Furthermore, the progressive and accepting environment that exists within the high school is a breath of fresh air from the typical high school dynamics that are usually portrayed on the small screen. The inclusive nature of the student body will hopefully resonate with teenager viewers and make them feel that being different or unconventional is OK and worth celebrating.
Show creators Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov could potentially have an incredibly successful show on their hands that delivers a different kind of message to its millennial audience on acceptance not only from others but also of yourself. Even within these deeper messages, however, the dialogue remains quick and witty, creating an overall enjoyable show.