Tonight marks the Season 2 finale of MTV’s teen comedy Awkward, and in preparation for the chapter’s conclusion, we talked with totally un-awkward star Brett Davern (Jake) about his character’s evolution and the season-ending choice Jenna (Ashley Rickards) makes between Jake and Matty (Beau Mirchoff).
Wetpaint Entertainment: We're obviously in a really interesting place with Jenna finally having to choose one of the two guys. What can we expect from tonight’s finale?
Brett Davern: Well, Jenna makes a decision. That's for sure. She is going to pick someone. The finale for Season 2 is not as much of a cliffhanger as it was for Season 1. She definitely makes a decision between the boys, and I think it's more of a philosophical ending. The decision leaves her thinking, did she make the decision she wanted or the decision that she needed?
I understand how we got to this point, but at the same time, did you never question why the two guys didn't just walk away?
Yeah. We get all the scripts before we shoot even the first episode of a new season. So we have everything already laid out and [we’ve] been talking to Lauren, our genius creator, about everything. And yeah, I mean, that was definitely a question that Beau and I raised. Would these two guys really like go through all this? And I think both of us as actors had to come up with our own reasons as to why they would continue to fight for Jenna and come up with the things that make her so special, so we could keep those in mind as actors as we played through it.
So what’s Jake's reasoning for staying in this?
I think Jenna is just unlike any girl that he’s ever been with. They're all young. They're 16. It's not like he's had a huge dating experience anyway. But he's been with Lissa for a long time, and kind of been putting up with that. And I think he was with Lissa for a long time, and he thought he needed to be. He's class president. She's head cheerleader, and it was kind of that quintessential popular kid relationship. But then you see Jenna in the pilot and — honestly, if I've done my job as an actor, there's this arc for Jake that's been going on for both seasons now. So I think right in the pilot, when she raises her hand, and she's got that broken arm, he's like, “Wow, there's this girl putting herself out there, and she's completely different. She can think for herself and is confident.” That's the thing that she shows everyone. So he's just attracted to that right away. She's different. So I think that's what Jake sees.
I'm so happy that this arc is still going, but you've got to sort of wonder.
I think Jake is possibly fighting an inner battle with himself anyway. He’s such a good guy, and he's constantly fighting that battle of what he actually wants to do and how he actually feels inside, but then he has to put out that “I'm a nice guy. Everybody likes me. I'm class president. Vote for me!” kind of a thing. And so, caught in that place, he doesn't want to come off like a jerk. That’s his kind of inner battle.
Do you think Season 3 will allow him to be less of a people pleaser?
Yeah, I think so. I hope that one day, whenever Awkward's over, after season 16 — knock on wood — that people can sit down and watch it and go, ”I understand. This character's evolving from the pilot all the way through.” I think he's still evolving. I think all the characters are. My goal is to have fans watch it cover to cover and be like, “I see them growing up. I see these little moments as to why he likes Jenna and why he sticks around.” Hopefully, I've dropped enough breadcrumbs as the series has been going along for Jake and for his relationship with Jenna.
When is your sit-down for Season 3?
I think it's next week, actually. I go into the writer's room, and they’ll kind of drop a few hints as to where we're going. I don't think they physically have any of the episodes written, but I think everything's kind of boarded out as far as storylines go. Lauren and her writing staff, they're amazing. She goes every year to Palos Verdes High School which is her alma mater, and she sits down with the group of teenagers and talks to them. That's where a lot of the slang comes from too and a lot of the storylines. I think I'm going to go with her.
And back to the finale: obviously, Jenna’s choice is a big storyline, but are we getting answers to any of the other arcs in the last episode?
Yeah, definitely, there's a lot of stuff with Jenna's parents. There's things with Sadie, Ricky, and Tamara and that whole situation, and Ming with Fred Wu. And, obviously, Jenna and the boys. There's a lot of wrapping up of all of these presents, if you will, that we’ve been giving out. Yeah, I think people are going to like it. It's a fun episode.
What do you think people are going to make of her choice?
I don't know. I think that our writers and Lauren, obviously, are the number one fans of the show beyond anyone. So whatever they decide to do is what's best for the show, and so I think people will be okay. I don’t know. We’ll see.
And I assume Season 3 will be awkward because one boy will be without Jenna?
Yeah, definitely. Season 3 — I have no idea what's going to happen, but I think the love triangle is such a fun storyline, and the fans really love it so much. I think they'll always be kind of playing with it a little bit, but we'll see. I don't know. Maybe in season three, there's new boys or something?
The season finale of Awkward airs tonight, September 20, at 10:30 P.M. ET on MTV.
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