'Faking It': 5 Things to Know About MTV's New Comedy Series
"I feel like for teenagers these days and for the MTV audience, the show is not going to be controversial," says Carter Covington of the show's premise, with the two female main characters pretending to be a lesbian couple.
MTV's latest scripted comedy, Faking It, follows two best friends Karma and Amy who are mistakenly outed as lesbians in high school, catapulting them to instant popularity and prompts them to keep up with their romantic ruse. If there was any worry about whether the premise would ruffle feathers, the team behind the show is confident it will pass over.
"I feel like for teenagers these days and for the MTV audience, the show is not going to be controversial," executive producer Carter Covington says. "It's going to be an exaggerated version but very much based on the world they live in now. ... I think we carry this expectation that the world stays the same and it really doesn't."
Covington shared five things about his new MTV series, which begins production shortly, with reporters Friday morning at the winter Television Critics Association press tour.
1. Faking It asks similar questions to Awkward. Covington used his experience as a crisis counselor at The Trevor Project as inspiration for the show. "Tolerance is changing," Covington says. "Kids these days I don't think see the world as I did." Much of Awkward focuses on core questions such as, Who am I? Who do I want to become?, something that was a main arc for the third season. To hear Covington tell it, expect similar themes to be addressed in Faking It, with questions like: Who am I? Who do I want to be? How do I want to be seen?
2. There was never a consideration for two male protagonists. Covington admitted that he did not seriously think about featuring male characters in the main roles, instead of two female friends. "Female friendship is a very unique bond that I don't know is replicated in male friendship," Covington says. "I do think there's still a level of bravado and machismo in society that is there but I would like to think that it's unattractive for teen males to be bullies. I think there's an energy to make that energy not appropriate and I think that's a good thing."
3. The story behind the Texas setting. "My husband is from right outside of Dallas and he went to the University of Texas," Covington explains. "I find Austin this fascinating place. I find it so liberal and it's in the middle of Texas. It's enabling us to show that difference and I think it's going to be unique on television I hope."
4. The show has an American Idol connection. Star Katie Stevens, who was a season-nine finalist on the Fox singing competition, kept her Idol past under wraps until she was cast in Faking It. "I would be a really bad executive producer if I didn't use the talents that she has," Covington says. Expect her to show off her pipes in a future episode.
5. Season-one plan revealed. The premise introduced in the pilot will be the story of the first eight episodes and how it complicates the characters' personal and school lives. "It will be an interesting love triangle between two best friends and Liam (Gregg Sulkin)," Covington hints. The characters' parents will also be in the picture, with casting currently underway: "They will be a big part," he promises.
Faking It premieres April 22 at 10:30 p.m. on MTV.