1:30pm PT by Jethro Nededog
'Awkward's' Creator Lauren Iungerich Talks Season 1's Finale Twists
Fans were hit with a double whammy on Tuesday night’s Awkward finale on MTV. After a season of back and forth with Matty (Beau Mirchoff), Jenna (Ashley Rickards) chose the stability of Jake (Brett Davern). Then in the final moments of the one-hour finale, Jenna discovered that her mother, Lacey, wrote the crippling care-frontation letter.
“I think life can be really funny and can be really heart wrenching and real,” creator Lauren Iungerich says. “All I can say about the tone of the show is that it wasn’t thought out… It’s just what it was. It’s just how I wrote it and it just comes from such a real place.”
If viewers are still unsure if Jenna’s mom really wrote the letter or if it’s just another red herring meant to throw us off the scent of its real author, Iungerich and the actress who plays Lacey, Nikki Deloach, say believe it.
“I knew from the time that I auditioned when I went into the room,” Deloach says. “And after I did the first take, Lauren said, ‘OK, here’s the deal and you can’t say anything… and then she tells me about the letter and my heart just dropped.”
“It was kind of this cathartic experience going through the show,” she continues. “Of also trying to make sense that sometimes moms do something with the best of intentions and that intention gets lost along the way and it kind of lands in the lap of your daughter or your son in a very painful way.”
Iungerich says she laid out Lacey’s story arc in relation to the letter from the first episode. “Lacey goes into denial and then she goes into bargaining,” Iungerich explains. “And then in Episode 12, it’s acceptance.”
Next season, she says that the show will explore why Lacey wrote the letter, as well as the ramifications for her relationship with her daughter.
“I’m still working it out how to reveal that Lacey knows that Jenna knows,” she says. “Jenna is going to start to become the daughter that Lacey always wanted and at the same time push her mother away.”
Then, there’s the other big decision of Tuesday’s episode. Jenna chooses Jake over Matt in the end. “I think she was just in that moment and she was being impulsive almost,” Iungerich says.
“It was all about fate and the hand became a big part of it,” she continues. “With Matty, he never held her hand in public. That simple thing, it just reminded me of being a teenager. I remember someone holding my hand in public and it was the most intimate thing I’ve experienced.”
“I mean I’ve made out on the dance floor, I hooked up with boys at parties, but I never had that really intimate thing when someone was willing to hold my hand in public and acknowledge ‘I like this girl and I want to hold her hand.’ That’s so intimate and gives a beautiful message to girls, I think.”
Going into next season, Iungerich says that Jenna and Jake will continue dating and she’ll handle it much differently than her clandestine romance with Matty. At the same time, Matty isn’t going away and he’ll begin to make some changes of his own that may give Jenna some second thoughts about her choice.
“I think what Jenna has done is she has left an indelible impression on him,” Iungerich says. “He missed out. He missed the boat. It’s his fault as he sees it in some ways… I can say this, it’s never going to be easy, it’s always going to be complicated. Matters of the heart when you’re a teenager are really complicated, because you’re still figuring it out and it’s still really new. I wouldn’t count Matty out.”
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro