Faking It returns to MTV for season two next Tuesday, September 23rd, and if you missed this one when it debuted earlier this year, I'd urge you to give it a try. I know a lot of people were put off by the premise - two high school best friends pretend to be a lesbian couple to gain attention and popularity. There are obviously a million ways in which such a premise could result in a terrible, offensive show, not least because non-fictional gay high school students who come out often face negative social consequences (and worse things), not positive. I was highly skeptical going in, but one of the lead actresses is from the same small town as I am and knows my brother, so I wanted to give it a try for her sake. And I'm very glad I did. I'm absolutely not claiming the show handles everything perfectly, but (like most shows) it's much more complex than the one-line premise might imply, and I was impressed by how sensitively it handled a number of potentially fraught themes, including but not limited to its characters' sexuality. It deals with issues of friendship and love and family, and has some interesting things to say about adolescents' individuation and the role played by both internal and external expectations. And it's also just good entertainment - it's both funny and genuinely touching, with a great cast that got me invested in the characters almost immediately, despite my initial doubts.
The first season only had eight half-hour episodes, so you can catch up in barely any time. You can find them on MTV.com or stream them from Amazon Prime. (They might also be on demand, depending on your cable provider.) If you do give it a try, let me know what you think!