Though it’s no surprise Jake will continue to challenge Matty — they did fight over Jenna for two seasons — the way that Jake (who’s now lips-deep in a relationship with Tamara) throws a wrench into the works is unexpected. Jake and Jenna “had a very special relationship,” says Iungerich. “Jake communicated better with Jenna than Matty communicates with Jenna. Therein lies a really interesting dynamic of complication for Tamara and Matty when they all hang out together.” She continues, “For Jake, we wanted to see this sensitive guy kind of put on the pants this season. He’s not going to be just an easy-going guy who’s a pushover. He’s with Tamara, she’s a handful.”
Though Jenna’s mentor Valerie spent the summer bonding with Jamara, she’s not going too far out of Jenna’s life. “Valerie has a big arc this season that is interwoven with Jenna’s arc in some respects,” says Iungerich. Adds Rickards, “Valerie’s always been an integral part of Jenna’s sphere. She’ll still be in there. They’ll still have weird conversations and that incredible advice Valerie gives her.”
We can also still expect Val’s trademark oversharing, promises Iungerich: “The fun of writing for Valerie is, like, ‘How many ways can we get her to cross inappropriate boundaries? How can we complicate her and work her in?'”
Alas, that oversharing won’t be related to Mr. Hart, a new writing teacher played by John Hughes favorite Anthony Michael Hall. Initially, Iungerich and her writing staff “did want to have a love story for Desi and Anthony Michael Hall. We tried, believe me. We thought it was so funny, but we couldn’t make it work.”
The acerbic teacher will instead factor more heavily into Jenna’s life. Says Rickards, “This class will provoke to get a little bit more metaphorically naked. Jenna is pressured to become a little bit more vulnerable and to really experiment with her writing.” That experimentation will definitely have an impact on her primed-for-conflict friendship circle. Matty, Jake, and Tamara have always been “in her blog so, without fail, they’ll be involved” in her writing this season, Rickards promises.
Sadie also turns up in her writing class, and she’s up to her old tricks as Palos Hills High School’s resident mean girl. “Jenna’s always going to be hopeful,” says Rickards. “She’s always going to put her best foot forward, be the nice girl, the bigger person. And Sadie’s not. That doesn’t change.” One constant in a sea of change? You’re welcome.
Awkward.‘s hour-long season 3 premieres tonight at 10 p.m. ET on MTV.
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