Long before she was Lanie, Tamala Jones was Jennifer Love Hewitt's friend in Can't Hardly Wait. Yes, Can't Hardly Wait. Remember when that happened? (1998, BTW)
Anyway, what's weird here isn't Tamala's short hair or the fact that she's supposed to be a high school student. Disturbing to us is that her character's sole purpose of existence is to be JLH's lackie. Sorry, we just don't buy it. Lanie's a super funny genius! Not in a million years would she ever say to Beckett, "Totally Gwyneth, but prettierrrrrr!"
We realize Tamala isn't actually Lanie or Girlfriend No. 2, but if Richard Castle can be a best-selling author in real life, there are no rules anymore.