Faking It Episode 203 Recap: The Most Eligible Lesbian On Campus

Welcome to the third recap of the second season of Faking It, a politically progressive dance film from the same network that brought you A Double Shot Of Love With The Ikki Twins. I apologize for the lateness of this recap, I’m in Indiana with my girlfriend’s family having a truly fantastic time. So, unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to sit down and do this thing until just this minute and we aren’t funded by a giant digital content marketing machine that could pay somebody else to do it while I eat fried chicken. But damn do we love you and damn was this episode ALL KINDS OF STUPID. I actually really like this show even though that opinion feels unpopular, but this week’s plot was racist and sort of half-baked and Shane was being really gross. I usually like Shane, probably because he reminds me of the fun parts of high school.

Also I’m trying to cure my cat allergies with hot toddies and prescription-strength antihistamines LETS SEE HOW THAT GOES.


We open beneath a gorgeous transcendent piece of mural wall art, where Amy and Karma are discussing how they’ve gotta break up again. Or, as Karma would prefer to explain it, “consciously uncoupling.”

Karma: Then you’ll be the most eligible lesbian on campus, and then we’ll land you a smokin’ hot girlfriend!

Tinder? Really?

Tinder? Really?

To be real, that’s actually true. Amy would probably be single for like six minutes. Then LIKE A KNIGHT GALLOPING INTO THE MORNING SUN, Liam Booker walks by and Karma’s rendered “unable to communicate like a normal person,” stumbling over her words to an uncharacteristically oblivious Amy about how she’ll start dating guys “again.” Did she ever date guys? I thought they didn’t date anybody.

Good thing it says "Austin, TX" on this sign or else the children would have no idea what city they were in

Good thing it says “Austin, TX” on this sign or else the children would have no idea what city they were in

Then Principal Penelope shows up, exclaiming that this is just the power couple she was looking for. I hope she was looking for bad news:

Amy: Every relationship is a journey. And on that journey, there are detours. A fork in the road, so to speak —
Karma: We’ve consciously uncoupled.
Principal Penelope: I am so sorry to hear that, I hope you two keep it civil I’ve seen enough lesbian breakups to know how brutal they can be. I’d love to check in with your feelings, but at any minute, a bus load of refugees will be arriving from our sister school in Brazil.

Wait, seriously? You've never seen "The L Word"?

Wait, seriously? You don’t recognize me from “My So-Called Life”?

Uh... I think we were born the year that show got cancelled?

Uh… didn’t that get cancelled before we were born?

I would fear for your generation if I wasn't preoccupied by pity

I am deeply concerned about your generation

Yes, due to a tragic sinkhole accident, a busload of humans from Brazil will be arriving any minute now, and Penelope needs Karma’s fluency in Portuguese to translate everything every single one of them says, ever. Did they drive all the way here from Brazil?


Elsewhere on this grassy knoll of a school, Shane’s got a speech for Liam regarding Liam’s damage at him for keeping Amy’s secret, which again I think is totally okay because of the gay code.

Shane: I want you to know I’m always on Team Liam. In fact, I’m the captain. And we have these really cute uniforms—
Liam: Shane — don’t sweat it, we’re good.
Shane: Really? We’re good? But we haven’t fought like that since I outed your GI Joes.

Did you use lube, though? Because you really need lube for your first time doing anal

Did you use lube, though? Because you really need lube for your first time doing anal

Welp, there goes that conflict and my fantasy of Shane explaining to his can-of-baked-beans-buddy why some secrets are just between gays. Now that they’re both single, Shane thinks they’ve really gotta mingle. Unfortunately, Liam’s decided to “bench his dong for the season,” which is unfortunate because he just said “bench my dong for the season” on television.

Shane: You’re still hung up on Karma, aren’t you? I don’t get it. Are her lips dusted with cocaine, or something?

Liam says it’s not about Karma, and that he’s only hung up on her because, unfortunately, “little Liam wanted to meet a lesbian, so he needs to be put in time out.” This is unfortunate because he just called his penis “little Liam” and referred to sex with a lesbian as a penis “meeting” a lesbian.

You know that scene in "We're The Millers" when that little boy gets bit by a tarantula in his you-know-what? That's what mine looks like ALL THE TIME.

You know that scene in “We’re The Millers” when that little boy gets bit by a tarantula in his you-know-what? That’s what mine looks like ALL THE TIME.

“The best way to get over someone is to get under someone new, stat,” Shane insists. But before they can say anything else terrible, the busload of Brazilians arrives! These aren’t real Brazillians, it’s sort of like a travel brochure come to life, replete with spicy music in the cafeteria and everyone wearing bikinis to school? It’s like From Justin to Kelly meets Epcot Center meets Club Med Rio meets a boring stereotype.

Who wears short shorts? Nair wears short shorts.

Who wears short shorts? Nair wears short shorts.


In the cafeteria, which I always wanna call the Mel-Caf because that was where I got cookies at Interlochen, Lauren’s pissed that her Kale Salad has been replaced by Meats, and Penelope wants Lauren to run the Carnival! That’s so gay.

What do you mean a starfish threw up on my shirt?

What do you mean a starfish threw up on my shirt? Feels dry to me.

Lauren’s projectile walking cross-caf when she bumps into our new friend Theo, who immediately identifies her as the HBIC — Head Bitch In Charge. Also Theo identifies as “not gay,” we learn quickly, not like Lauren cares. He’s sort of dazzling, though! I wish he was gay and then he could go to prom with Oliver.

C'mon, please? Just one quick piggy-back ride around the cafeteria I swear I can do it

C’mon, please? Just one quick piggy-back ride around the cafeteria I swear I can do it YOU’RE SO TINY

Elsewhere, Karma’s distraught that the “Brazilian beauties” are distracting everybody from caring about their breakup. Amy enthusiastically reaches for some coconut flan when a dreamgirl catches her eye! Amy hallucinates briefly that the girl’s hair is waving in the wind to more stock music.

BITCH YOU BETTER NOT BE REACHING FOR MY FLAN

BITCH YOU BETTER NOT BE REACHING FOR MY FLAN

BITCH I MIGHT BE

BITCH I MIGHT BE

okay.

okay.


Out on the Main Lawn, Shane’s wearing a swimsuit and rubbing suntan lotion on Francisco, who Shane has decided is “a benchwarmer for the Brazilian soccer team” even though he doesn’t actually know anything Francisco has said this whole time and apparntly Sporkle Translate is down.

Look I figured out what to do with all that modge podge you left in my locker

Look I figured out what to do with all that modge podge you left in my locker

Shane wants Liam to pick a “green pill” or a “pink pill” “or both,” but he’s not talking about pills, he’s talking about human girls! They’re from Brazil, though, so they’re not like real girls, they’re just sex on a stick smashed into pill form!!!! HAHAHAHAHA! WOMEN! RACISM! OTHER COUNTRIES THAT ARE NOT AMERICA THAT SHANE ASSESSES SOLEY BY STEREOTYPE! GIRLS IN BIKINIS! NOT REAL PEOPLE! JUST PILLS! LOLOLOLOLOL

Liam, meet this week's extras

These are two extras we’ve imported from a misogynist 80’s movie for your delight and enjoyment

Liam squirts suntan lotion all over the girls after they untie their tops, it’s super gross, I can’t talk about it.


Karma slides in to first base next to Amy, who’s just shared some coconut flan with Fabiana. Karma’s excited and convinced that Amy and Fabiana are destined to be together. Like Edward and Bella.

Amy: My life is not a romantic comedy. I can barely stand watching them.
Karma: Well, what about Pitch Perfect?
Amy: I like the songs, and the vaguely feminist message!

Oh my god, Amy. Look at her butt.

Oh my god, Amy. Look at her butt.

Karma says the Carnival is the perfect place to be in love, but Amy says she can’t fall in love with someone who doesn’t speak her language, which means this show is already more accurate than my second-least-favorite movie of all time, Love Actually. So Karma volunteers to translate! And… then a random Brazilian boy walks by and enchants both girls!

Hello, I've come to remind the men at home that Amy is still on the market

Hello, I’ve come to remind the men at home that Amy is still on the market

You did NOT just say that.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME

Dammit, show!

Karma: Is he as hot as I think he is?
Amy: I saw him first.

DAMMIT SHOW!

rootingif


A few minutes or perhaps several light years later, Karma and Amy are prepping for their big day, and Karma has some questions about where this storyline is going:

Karma: I was surprised that you were so into that guy. I thought you took them off your menu.
Amy: I never said that.
Karma: I guess I just assumed that since you fell for me, that meant you were a lesbian.
Amy: Sometimes my body reacts to guys even though my brain doesn’t want it to. It’s like I’m a sexual hulk.
Karma: So you can see yourself having sex with a guy?
Amy: One step at a time. We’re just talking about a high school carnival here.
Karma: Well I think that this is great news. You just doubled your chances of falling in love tonight.


Um, didn’t she just say it was just a sex thing? Or is that wishful thinking? WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO THINK ABOUT THIS. But seriously, the implication that hooking up with Liam could lead to this, whether said or unsaid, is disquieting.

NOT GONNA SNEEZE NOT GONNA SNEEZE NOT GONNA SNEEZE

NOT GONNA SNEEZE NOT GONNA SNEEZE NOT GONNA SNEEZE

I feel like bisexual men and lesbian women should have a special support group devoted to why every not-straight guy on Television has to be only into men and why every not-straight woman on Television has to be into women and men. This year’s Network Responsibility Index revealed that in the 2014-2015 TV season, we can expect to see 31 bisexual female characters and 44 lesbian characters, as opposed to 12 bisexual male characters and 82 gay male characters. [ETA: Another way to look at those numbers — 12% of LGBTQ male characters are into women, 41% of LGBTQ female characters are into men. Or: 73% of all LGTBQ characters are into men.] WEIRD, HUH? Almost as if Television simply prefers humans who are into men, in general. Seriously I wanna see a showrunner at the fucking upfronts talk about how the male lead on his show isn’t sure about his identity yet or doesn’t believe in labels. Sometimes it feels like the message is: women are never enough.

To be honest, I feel like my sinuses are eating the insides of my eyeballs right now so I’m not thinking coherently enough to make the point I’d like to make here (which was three paragraphs long at one point) but…. this whole situation just feels really uninspired. Boring. Unnecessary? Also: it doesn’t really fit in with everything else we’ve seen from Amy so far. It feels forced.

Really Papi?

Really Papi?


Back at Hester High, Lauren’s put together an All-American Carnival. Okay this is hilarious. She’s dressed like she just fucking sewed the American Flag into a Jessica Simpson / Little Debbie situation and Leila is a Native American and Lisbeth is the Statue of Liberty.

Lauren: Welcome to America! We hope you enjoy your visit! But not too much. You can’t stay.
Leila: I feel weird implying I’m Native American.
Lisbeth: This gown is hot, my thighs are chafing.

Yes I am a Maxxonista, thank you for asking

Welcome to my swingers club, please put your keys in the jar when you enter

Penelope isn’t impressed with Lauren’s themed celebration:

Penelope: You’re showing them the worst of America! Sno-cones made with high fructose corn syrup? A game that glamorizes the slaughter of ducks? And I saw a guy guessing a girl’s weight for prizes.

Theo butts in, and says to Penelope that he can’t believe she’s suggesting they censor what parts of America the Brazilians are allowed to see. She’s like, no of course not! I WOULD NEVER. Lauren is impressed and offers him a spot manning the bottle toss. No, “manning the bottle toss” isn’t a euphemism for sex. Or should I say wasn’t.

I just hate fun, okay? I HATE FUN

I just hate fun, okay? I HATE FUN

Meanwhile, Karma is totally having Amy’s date for her, censoring Amy’s words and intentionally mis-translating the inane conversation between Amy and Fabiana.

She said "I find my role on this episode fundamentally offensive." Well, actually she said "problematic" but Riese officially forbade all Autostraddle writers from using that word anymore as of one month ago, so I'm taking some creative liberties

She said “I find my role on this episode fundamentally offensive.” Well, actually she said “problematic” but Riese officially forbade all Autostraddle writers from using that word anymore as of one month ago, so I’m taking some creative liberties

Eventually, Karma gets frustrated with Fabiana’s pitching arm and invades her game of throw-the-ball-at-the-thing, winning Amy a teddy bear but losing Fabiana to the other side of the room.

Pick a man, any man, and throw as hard as you possibly can

Pick a man, any man, and throw as hard as you possibly can


Shane convinces Liam to tag along and take a “grenade” out of Francisco’s grill, promising that she’s “no Giselle” and therefore won’t threaten Liam’s celibacy plot device.

DUDE. IT'S FREE. FREE BLUEGRASS, ALL DAY ALL WEEKEND.

DUDE. IT’S FREE. FREE BLUEGRASS, ALL DAY ALL WEEKEND. IN THE PARK!

Bad news: the “grenade” is actually “super hot.”

Wait are you the guy who got bit by a spider in his you-know-what?

Wait are you the guy who got bit by a spider in his you-know-what?


Luckily, Amy quickly runs into The Boy, and Date #2 is underway!

Nowhere, fast?

Please say “Boston Market”

Then, Karma screws up Amy’s date with Boy by shoving them both on the ferris wheel, where he has a panic attack.

I was told there would be hush puppies

I was told there would be mashed potatoes

FI20300131

This is what happens when you promise somebody three side dishes, one of them being cinnamon apples, and don’t deliver

Amy uses a lot of VCR imagery to tell Karma to butt out of her life and her date! It’s a real Stephanie Tanner moment.

I'll have a taskrabbit bring macaroni and cheese to the hospital!

I’ll have a taskrabbit bring macaroni and cheese to the hospital!


Karma then butts in on Liam’s date with Not-Giselle, which doesn’t really take off as an idea. They stare at each other while Karma eats from a large tub of popcorn, which is actually the best part of the scene, how she’s like, whatever, I dress like a fancy Mom and I’m holding an extra-large tub of popcorn like a baby, how you like me now?

You know what? I wish I was at an Arby's 'cause there's better food and cooler people there!

You know what? I WISH I was at an Arby’s ’cause there’s better food and cooler people there!

Shane shoves in to tell Karma that “Lauren is looking for someone full of hot air to go blow up some balloons!” if she’d like to skedaddle. Karma shuffles off with her sadness and her liquid butter.

Seriously, it's like a magic fish you put it in your hand and it tells you if you're a good lover or not. Try it!

Seriously, it’s like a magic fish you put it in your hand and it tells you if you’re a good lover or not. Try it!


Meanwhile, kids are necking! Amy and Fabiana are sitting in awkward silence when Amy decides to spill her guts, insulated by Fabiana not knowing English. But really, isn’t this speech spoken in the Universal Language of Lesbian/Straight Girl Love?

Amy: I fell in love with my best friend, and I finally got up the guts to tell her, everything got weird, and now she can’t wait for me to fall for someone else, but every time I look at her my stomach gets these fluttery I think I’m gonna barf feelings, and as much as I want them to go away, I kinda don’t, you know?

One tear

This is my best imitation of the single tear gif

“We kiss now?” Fabiana asks. YEAH that’s my kind of girl, get right to the point!


Lauren gets really mad at Theo for giving away a free stuffed banana to “The School Slut,” because this isn’t socialism, they don’t give phallic objects as prizes for being “The School Slut,” she has plenty of phalluses at home LOL can you tell I’ve had too much allergy medicine and hot toddies tonight. So then Lauren and the school slut rip the prize apart while fighting for it and she’s like, oh now it’s your prize for being the school’s biggest bitch! DAMN GINA.

Wait hold up I was gonna sell that banana on eBay

No I’M the biggest bananahead!

This leads to Lauren and Theo bonding over how weird this school is, like how they have to hold hands and sing “We Are The World” every day in homeroom, which Lauren says is “just the tip of the melting iceberg.” But Theo defends certain aspects of the Hester High Experience:

Theo: Come on, there’s no bullying, no silly cliques, no sodas in the vending machines — those are just empty calories — look I’m not saying you have to stop wearing leather, just loosen up a bit!
Lauren: Are you calling me uptight?
Theo: Just look around. Everyone’s having a great time except you, and I bet you’re even prettier when you smile.

Here, wear this hat, lesbians love hats

Here, wear this hat, lesbians love hats

So he makes her smile! Aw. Also he’s like two feet taller than her, they have a real Will Smith / Jada Pinkett Smith thing going on.


Well, well, well, looks like Amy and Fabina have gotten themselves into a little stiff-armed kissing where only their lips touch and not any of their body parts. I think I must be an animal or something, I would’ve already bitten her arm off by now, who are these people. I feel like this has been a chronic issue with Amy.

Don't move, I'm trying to get some popcorn out of your teeth with my tongue

Don’t move, I’m trying to get some popcorn out of your teeth with my tongue

Karma smiles like she’s genuinely thrilled by this, and then whips out her binoculars. She takes one look, smiles again, and then finds herself re-drawn to the binocs, like a moth to a flame of your best friend hooking up with another lady.

Awww, the stiff-bodied kiss, my favorite kind!

Awww, the stiff-bodied kiss, my favorite kind!

Shane blocks her view and is like, what are you up to Nancy Drew? Are you just trying to push Amy off on somebody she can’t communicate with in words so you can go hide Liam’s salami behind the burning bush?

No I don't have an "I like to watch" fetish, why do you ask

No I don’t have an “I like to watch” fetish, why do you ask

Shane: You pretended you were a lesbian to be popular. On behalf of my people, we find that off-putting.
Karma: You were the one who outed me.
Shane: You could’ve corrected me. But you didn’t. You used your witchy ways and made my two favorite people fall for you. And I have no clue how you did it.

Then Shane leans over and smashes his lips into her lips.

This is how gay boys and straight girls have sex

This is how gay boys and straight girls have sex

I think it’s supposed to be a kiss? anyhow, then he goes, “nope, still don’t get it.” Yeah that was the worst lip-smash EVER.


A period of time later, Amy finds Karma, who’s still working on a big puff of cotton candy. Amy wants to sing You’re the One That I Want, which is like, WAOAH okay way to tease me with my ultimate lesbian fantasy!

FI20300179

What do you mean that shark documentary wasn’t real? DIDN’T IT BITE CHUNKS OUT OF WHALES

Amy said she was a really good kisser but that Amy’s hands are orange now from her self-tanner? Seriously this episode was written in a room so thick with marijuana smoke that you could get high just from living down the block.

Period sex. It's the best.

Period sex. Seriously. Like my whole world has changed.

Anyhow, Amy’s obviously a little bit annoyed by Karma’s eagerness to ‘set her up’ with someone else. Seriously nothing makes you feel more pathetic and single than the person you have a crush on trying to push you off on somebody else. I think Carmen said as much to Shane re: Jenny that one time. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

Karma: I never expected that the way that I love you would ever not be enough. You deserve someone who makes me happy.
Amy: You make me happy.
Karma: You know what I mean.
Amy: I do. And I promise I will move on, but it just might take a while.

Anyhow, why dwell on all that when they could ride the ferris wheel until Karma turns green? LOLOLOL Best friends!

Seriously it's just a fucking ferris wheel grow the hell up

Seriously this isn’t The Matterhorn, it’s just a fucking ferris wheel, grow the hell up

Have you noticed that all their friendship rituals seem like, kinda affected and youngish? They make Snickerdoodles, force each other to drink glasses of green mayonnaise, watch Twilight 56 times while eating cake frosting, and hog the ferris wheel when there’s probably a very long line! It’s cute, sure, but doesn’t always feel authentic. Actually I can’t decide if it’s adorable or inauthentic.


Amy’s not the only one who can’t get over Karma – Liam tells Shane that he couldn’t seal the deal with not-Giselle because Karma. Shane suggests a radical concept — forgive her and move on! But he can’t.

Liam: I did forgive her, that’s not what’s standing in the way.
Shane: So, what is?
Liam: After you told me the truth I got really drunk and I slept with —
Shane: Let me guess! Brandy? Soliel? That girl from homeroom?
Liam: Amy.
Shane: OH MY GOD.
Liam: The guilt is killing me. I have to tell Karma.

durrrrr

durrrrr

Shane makes a face like he doesn’t have another line in this scene and is waiting for them to yell CUT! Meanwhile, Amy and Karma are screaming on the ferris wheel like it’s the motherfucking Tower of Terror. THESE KIDS NEED TO CHILL.


There you have it — that’s the show! This is definitely my least favorite episode of Faking It thus far. Hopefully next week will be totally different and fun like it usually is!

Riese is the 37-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2683 articles for us.

58 Comments

  1. “Almost as if Television simply prefers humans who are into men, in general. Seriously I wanna see a showrunner at the fucking upfronts talk about how the male lead on his show isn’t sure about his identity yet or doesn’t believe in labels. Sometimes it feels like the message is: women are never enough.” YES YES YES

    Your thoughts are my thoughts. This episode was overall garbage, compared to last week’s cute-but-ultimately-pointless one. Blarghhhh.

    I think in general I’m sorely disappointed that this show is going the whole “Ohhh she’s a lesbiaaa- psyche, we’re still gonna make her like guys LOLOLOL”. If they’re going to do that, then have characters who are established bi but don’t keep fucking pandering to the lesbian audience by making the characters sleep with guys as part of their “coming out” process but dancing around the bisexual label and instead using lesbian as a code for any same-sex female coupling.

    • It’s idiotic story lines like this that make me just not really enjoy watching. I wish it would focus on Amy’s road to self discovery instead of the other side characters.

    • SERIOUSLY THOUGH. This whole white washed Austin business has been killing me since the show started! There are a lot of people with Mexican heritage here specifically (I’m one of them!) but the high school appears to be in a white people bubble. Also, chime in here Austinites, but there is no way Amy’s house could be in Austin. That grass is way too green and it isn’t painted a weird color. Gotta be Lakeway or Round Rock or something.
      I realize this is very very inconsequential given the larger lack of diversity issue but I mean, keep Austin weird, right?

  2. “This year’s Network Responsibility Index revealed that in the 2014-2015 TV season, we can expect to see 31 bisexual female characters and 44 lesbian characters, as opposed as 12 bisexual male characters and 82 gay male characters. WEIRD, HUH? Almost as if Television simply prefers humans who are into men, in general.”

    I’m confused by this. There are going to be fewer bisexual women than lesbians represented on television, but we prefer humans who are into men? I completely agree that the representation of bisexual men is very disappointing, but Amy’s identity can’t be relevant to that. Here she is representing the rarer group for female characters, though, so that seems not so bad. I agree that this episode wasn’t great, but hopefully they take this in a direction which will help crush some of the stereotypes about bisexuality in America.

    • Besides, I think that the way they portrayed Amy doesn’t crush but strengthens damaging stereotypes about queer women’s sexuality.

      Putting the fact they lied to fans about Amy being lesbian aside, she was showed to be completely disinterested in guys before. Oliver made her feel nothing. But then, after having sex with Liam (which, as Covington in recent interview said, was for the reason her body responded to him and she couldn’t help that), guys suddenly turn her into sexual beast.
      So she just needed “the right man”, who happened to be “the lesbian conqueror”, to f*** her good.

      That comment about “sexual Hulk” also strengthens damaging notions that queer women’s same-sex attractions are more emotional in nature because all women do is to cuddle and talk about feelings, while when it comes to attraction to men, it’s raw, real, strong sexual lust, because it leads to procreation, which desexualizes female same-sex sexuality and makes it look less “natural” and “real”.

      • tru.
        It’s so disheartening.
        I remember when I was in middle school, not out, didn’t know any other queer kids, I’d watch any show featuring young lesbians (really anything with subtext tbh). To see someone on screen that I thought I could see myself in, and then to have that taken away was not a good feeling. They’re really not doing anything positive for queer youth with this show

  3. Yes yes yes, all of this. This week’s episode was offensive in lots of different ways (mostly just racist though. Very racist).

    I was disappointed with the Amy having feels for a guy thing too – I felt it was forced and I disliked that it played out through the lens of Karma and what Karma thought. I would like to see Amy exploring her sexuality – not just her feelings towards Karma – in an arena outside Karma. Like maybe chatting to Shane/Lauren/her mum/literally anybody except Karma.

    I also really like this show – I feel like their portrayal of Amy has been relatable and heartbreaking in an oh my god I am in high school again type way, but this episode was disappointing.

    Best lines were Amy’s cute monologue about how she doesn’t want her feelings for Karma to go away and the reference to the ‘vaguely feminist message’ in Pitch Perfect.

    Crossing my fingers next week will be better because I am soooo invested.

  4. Who even let this episode out of the gate? Like, if the writers were okay with it is ENOUGH of an issue for me (credibility wise) but there’s a lot of people involved in these things. Whoever thought this was good quality entertainment, on par with the previous episodes, and would continue to secure a bright future for the show, obviously failed.

    I’ve never experienced a show dying in one episode like this before. I am a TRUE holder-on to anything I’ve seen a bright future in.

    The closest thing I can equate it to is SMASH, but even that was like …ehh lets see where this is going (aka I still KINDA cared about the characters regardless of plot).

    They destroyed any bit of dignity in ALL the characters this episode.

    I’m not giving up on it, but damn if they didn’t just slap us all in the face. Like not even teenagers will appreciate this kind of nonsense, it’s like they are pandering to the 7-12 yr old crowd? Screw that though, a good story is one that is entertaining to all ages, or at least adults, and kids that have a loose foundation on how to interpret adult stories. This is just a nonsense vehicle for one liners and ooh so naughty because it was almost dirty jokes. 🙁

  5. “Sometimes it feels like the message is: women are never enough.” Yes, this. I’ve never managed to articulate it so clearly, but that’s definitely a sentiment I’ve run up against time and time again in real life as well as on TV.

    I was really rooting for this show, but this episode disappointed me on SO MANY levels with the racism and general grossness. Also, I think I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve seen a gay male character attempt to kiss a girl just so the show can be “nope definitely gay, queer men are 100% gay and not even a little bit interested in women”. That scene was particularly irritating after an episode that suggested that all women, including all the queer ones, MUST be into guys in some way. If Amy is going to be interested in guys as well as girls, I’d like to see the show establish her as bisexual and stop tiptoeing around things. At the moment, it kind of feels like the show is telling us that she’s a lesbian but also dudes are irresistible.

    • I think they intended for Shane kissing Karma to be interpreted as Shane wondering “How have both Amy AND Liam fallen so crazy in love with Karma? Who ARE you? Some magical human being whom everyone is attracted to, defying the laws of how the universe works? Nope, those two are just weirdly obsessed with Karma”. But it could too easily come off in the way that you mentioned above, which is negative and stereotypical, so that’s problematic. (Oh no, I just realized that I used Riese’s forbidden word, but I can’t delete it now!)

  6. So they lied to and gaybaited lesbian fans:

    “I don’t know about Karma’s path, but for Amy, she is a lesbian, and Carter and I talked about that. We don’t want it to be a tease, we don’t want people to feel like they can relate to this vulnerable process that she’s going through, and they can relate to this girl because she’s a lesbian and then have that taken away, like, “Oh, never mind, you know, I’m into guys now.”

    http://community.ew.com/2014/06/09/faking-it-stars-talk-real-life-faking-it/

    “Her sleeping with Liam is just a way to bury that because he’s a guy. It doesn’t even matter that it’s Liam to her, it’s just that she wanted a guy. It’s her effort to not be a lesbian. She’s trying to deny her feelings which won’t work, because that’s not who she is.”

    http://www.zap2it.com/blogs/faking_it_season_1_finale_katie_stevens_rita_volk_burnt_toast_post_mortem-2014-06

    “Amy isn’t going to wake up wondering if she likes boys. Boy or girl, it makes sense to me why Amy slept with Liam (Greg Sulkin). They connect through their mutual love, and then hate, for Karma. /…/ It makes sense to me. It wasn’t the right decision, but it is understandable. It doesn’t mean that Amy likes boys.”

    http://starrymag.com/?p=3327

  7. I’m with you, Riese. I also like and enjoy this show, even if it’s the unpopular opinion.

    I know they’ve said that Amy is currently questioning and exploring her sexuality. But I used to have a solid prediction about which way they will go when they finally do “bust out the label maker” for Amy. And now I can’t seem to figure it out. During Season 1, I thought for sure they were indicating that Amy would likely end up being lesbian, especially based on statements given in different interviews with the cast and the creator. But during Season 2, they’ve put a few brief moments in the show that could end up being interpreted as Amy being bisexual, even thought they’re still saying a lot of the same lesbionic things during interviews. So I’m pretty confused at this point.

    Based on my interpretation, the only thing that I clearly got out of Amy’s talk with Karma in the bathroom was that maybe she feels more of a sexual attraction to guys and more of an emotional attraction to girls.

    • “she feels more of a sexual attraction to guys and more of an emotional attraction to girls.”

      Which is really terrible, typical desexualization of queer female sexuality in its same-sex aspect.

        • I don’t think it changes anything. Like I noted above, it strengthens damaging notions that queer women’s same-sex attractions are more emotional in nature because all women do is to cuddle and talk about feelings, while when it comes to attraction to men, it’s raw, real, strong sexual lust, because it leads to procreation, which desexualizes female same-sex sexuality and makes it look less “natural” and “real”.

        • I think the show has made it clear that Amy’s sexually attracted to Karma. She gets uncomfortable when Karma undresses and she admitted (at least by not denying) fantasizing about her while mastrubating.

          I don’t think the convo in the bathroom was meant to mean Amy wasn’t sexually attracted to girls, but that sometimes she’s attracted to guys too. I feel like that really fits me, cause even though I never see myself in a relationship with a guy, they can still be super cute and make my stomach flip. Just not in the more significant way women make me feel. As a teen that was super confusing.

        • Annie, now IMO it looks like she’s much more strongly turned on by men than women – it’s men in general that wake “Sexual Hulk” up in her, that’s why she couldn’t resist having sex with Liam despite disliking him when she was drunk (confirmed by Covington), while when it comes to women, it’s only Karma, girl she’s in love with.

          They had chance to explore the subject of bisexuality with Karma, not lie to us that Amy is lesbian and her having sex with Liam had nothing to do with any attraction, just to make it out of nowhere that she’s actually pretty much Kinsey 2 at most when it comes to her sexual feelings.

          It really looks like it’s sex with Liam that “turned” her, because guys made her feel nothing until that point as it’s been showed by her attempts with Oliver.

  8. “Sometimes it feels like the message is: women are never enough.” Exactly. And it’s so ironic that women are told this about other women. Because men are told that women are more than enough for them, women are everything! What a double standard.

  9. There is such a thing as having different sexual and romantic orientations, I doubt the writers would go there, but it’d be nice. I only know this show from these recaps, but it seems like Amy could be a homoromantic bisexual, (she was excited about the threesome for the sex with Karma right?) or with fluid sexuality this could just be a small thing.

    • And? How does anything you said negate Riese’s point or the fact that the people from the show lied to us saying that Amy is lesbian: “but for Amy, she is a lesbian, and Carter and I talked about that”.

  10. “Sometimes it feels like the message is: women are never enough.” Well, in a world where men are considered subjects and active agents while women are considered passive objects of male pleasure, it follows naturally that men can afford to disregard women entirely if not attracted to or amused by them, while women on the other hand, given their passive and delicate nature, cannot even exist without male protection and patronizing guidance (=ownership). I so wish we had really moved beyond this, but unfortunately media seems stuck with that idea 🙁

  11. This episode felt like it was written by the staff at Saved By The Bell. Deliberately insulting. Which is a bummer, I’d really been enjoying the show and giving them the benefit of the doubt.

    That said, the final image of Liam saying he has to tell Karma and then the shot of Amy/Karma best-friending-it-up gleefully on the Ferris Wheel did at least drive one relieving point home: the central relationship of this show continues to be a female friendship, regardless of other complications.

    But this regarding ‘problematic’: “Riese officially forbade all Autostraddle writers from using that word anymore as of one month ago” made my day. Can Riese forbid all otherwise lovely and articulate think piece writers the world over from using that word as well?

  12. Yeah, I understand the anger over lesbian-bating because that is a totally arguable point. I just want to say that as a lesbian-identified person who sometimes has superficial feelings for guys, I had a mini-happy dance when Amy said she feels the same way. This little nuance to a lesbian identity is hardly ever talked about or held up as something that is ok to feel.

    I was one of the few I guess who felt represented by this little coming out by Amy. I stand with you guys on the fact that this episode was subpar (and awkward to watch with my Brazilian partner). I just think that we shouldn’t get too angry about the Amy thing just yet. She hasn’t come out as bisexual, and her identity is her own.

    • “This little nuance to a lesbian identity is hardly ever talked about or held up as something that is ok to feel”

      It’s completely the opposite. It’s hard to find a lesbian character that isn’t sexually attracted to men. Just few days ago on “Hell on Wheels” lesbian character started sleeping with a man, being obviously entranced by lust for him.

      Little over week ago, lesbian character on “EastEnders” did sexual stuff with some guy (few months ago different lesbian character on the same show had drunken sex with a man).

      Lesbian character on “Hannibal” had sex with a man.

      Lesbian character on “Dracula” had sex with a man and looked like she enjoyed it tremendously.

      Lesbian character on “Waterloo Road” got seduced and had passionate sex with a guy.

      And so on, and so on…

    • Yeah, at this point, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Amy is in the middle of a journey of self-discovery, and until we reach the end and find out the answer to the question of how she identifies (whether she’s lesbian or bisexual), I’m going to hold off on passing major judgement. Because Amy could easily end up being a lesbian, even if she has some sexual attraction to guys, because maybe she has more of a romantic attraction to girls, and so maybe she would only want to date girls because those are the truly fulfilling relationships for her: ones that can pair the emotional with the sexual.

      I kind of think they will decide to make Amy a lesbian because of all the hints, and even outright statements, they’ve been making in interviews. I don’t think they would contradict all of that evidence, and I certainly hope they won’t (because if they did that would be lesbian-baiting). They don’t want to show all of the cards in their hand and ruin the surprise by telling the audience exactly how Amy will identify. But they also need to give the audience some clues to indicate how they think things will end up with Amy, so the audience can see that they are not being deceived and will give the show a chance.

    • Pretty much every lesbian character on television has that “nuance to a lesbian identity”. The true anomaly is the lesbian on tv who doesn’t experience feelings, even superfificial, for a guy. As for the identity is her own thing, that reminds me of political lesbians who would call themselves lesbians while having sex with men all the time and with women rarely if ever.

  13. I actually really identified with Amy’s my body reacts but my mind doesn’t bit. Like just because you are physically into guys doesn’t mean you aren’t a lesbian romantically. For me as like a super-gay I used to feel really upset and that I couldn’t identify as a lesbian whenever I saw a guy and got feels, but then I realized it was just my body and not my whole self and I wouldn’t really want to like ACTUALLY touch him.
    Anyways, I think Karma is the one that takes Amy’s feels to the next level not Amy. BASICALLY, I thought having a *lesbian* character who can admit her body can sometimes react to guys was really awesome and I really related. If later they say it means she can’t be a lesbo I’ll feel different but yeah.

    • But you’re aware that there are popular damaging homophobic stereotypes that lesbian women “deep down need d***” and they’re not “truly gay”, like gay men are, something that also stands behind sexual harassment and even “corrective” rapes, and that, just like Riese pointed out, overwhelming majority of queer female characters (including lesbian identified female characters) are portrayed to crave men sexually?

      Which comes from beliefs that women “turn” into lesbians just to seek emotional comfort, but they “can’t deny the biology” and deep down, need a “real” sex with a man.
      Even gay men share those ideas, like Frankie Grande thinking that “Any lesbians choose to become lesbians later in life” while “Gay men it doesn’t work so much that way. It’s usually they’re like, ‘Oh OK, no, I’m gay'”.

      Besides, even if Amy was supposed to be lesbian who’s sexually into men, people from the show lied to us, because they made it clear that wasn’t the reason why Amy slept with Liam:

      “Her sleeping with Liam is just a way to bury that because he’s a guy. It doesn’t even matter that it’s Liam to her, it’s just that she wanted a guy. It’s her effort to not be a lesbian”

      But the showrunner made it clear in recent interview that the reason why Amy slept with him was exactly because she craved him sexually.

      So you have absolutely no reason to assume that they did it out of respect for people with the story similar to yours. It looks like typical gaybaiting and desexualization of queer female sexuality.

  14. Seeing comments from lesbian identified women who are sexually attracted to men and condone this kind of portrayal I just wanted to say this. I’m corrective rape survivor. That I, in loose translation, just need to be f***ed good to start liking men was something I’ve heard when that happened. Whenever I see yet another portrayal of lesbian sleeping with a man and/or expressing lust for him, my stomach aches and I cry from anger because I feel that all the men like him are reassured in their thinking and have a good laugh seeing that it’s true that lesbians just need a good d***.

    And I had a reason to feel like that 3 times during last 2 weeks.

    So please, dear lesbian identified women who are sexually attracted to men. If you really need to wear the same label as I, at least don’t condone homophobic ideas about my sexuality by supporting this kind of portrayal. I say my, because in the end this erases me, and all women who are only attracted to women. We don’t have any other label we could cling to, so when yet another show or movie presents a lesbian who craves sex with men, it doesn’t send the message that “apparently there are different kinds of lesbians”. It sends the message that all women, even if they are lesbians, deep down need men and truly homosexual women simply don’t exist.

    • I certainly did not mean to invalidate your experience, corrective rape is a violent patriarchal act and I hope nothing I say would every condone it.

      However I don’t think that my identity as a “sexually fluid lesbian who is also sometimes attracted to men” invalidates your identity as a “lesbian who is only every attracted to women.” This sort of identity-policing is what turned me away from the words gay and lesbian for a long time before I realized that I had autonomy over my own labels. You say that I am erasing you but I am asking you to please not erase my sexuality either.

      You are right that the fact that others and I identified with Amy does not mean that the show was trying to represent her as the fluid person we imagine ourselves to be, in fact I am critical that this show cares very much at all about representing any identities correctly as much as it does maintaining viewership in our neo-liberal capitalist society. That being said, if we can find our marginalized identities reflected in characters we see on screen I have a hard time seeing how that does violence to other marginalized identities.

      • You and I claim the same label, but your and mine feelings are contradictory.
        You want your experiences as a lesbian who’s attracted to men be considered valid, which, because of popular homophobic stereotypes that say pretty much the same, works against women like me, since example of women like you is used as an argument for our erasure.

        Those are simple facts. It’s women like you that make almost exclusively the lesbian representation on TV. When last time I sent a complaint to BBC about lesbian falling in lust with a guy in one of their shows, they responded that they are just representing “some lesbians”. When it happened in another of their shows month later, they wrote back the same. I didn’t bother sending them a complaint when it happened two more times (everything during last 10 months).

        So I take your words as an announcement that you’re still going to support and validate by your example the portrayal of lesbians who end up having sex with men and sexually crave them. OK, but don’t think that you’re not doing by that any damage to people like me.

        • This could not be said better Amelia. Television, at this time, is giving viewers two types of lesbians. There is the lesbian who is sexually attracted to men and the lesbian who dies to assist in the plotlines for straight people. One of the major reasons the former is pushed on viewers is that there seems to be a hesitance by sites to call out shows that depict that trope and I really think this is tied into certain viewers who go this reminds me of my experience as a lesbian. Those viewers, in a way, seem extremely selfish. They act like the television depictions of lesbians having sex with men or being attracted to men are rare when it is normal depiction. Faking It. Dracula. The despicable show Hell on Wheels. Hannibal. That is just this year. This lesbian erasure needs to stop.

          And you are so right about people misusing the concept fluidity.

        • I would like to say thank you for your thoughts and comments. For a long time I kept reconsidering how well identifying myself as lesbian suited me because I do experience sexual attraction to men and I’ve had some enjoyable experiences with them.
          Your comment, along with a couple of other recent experiences has made me reconsider my “label” and I have decided that for the time being bisexual suits me better. I realize that I feel like it’s dishonest for me to keep saying I’m a lesbian just because I’m scared of the stigma attached to bisexuals.

          Anyways, thank you very much. Your comment really helped me see things in a new light.

      • And if you’re speaking about “sexual fluidity”, I recommend to read the book of the person who created that term and theory, Lisa M. Diamond. Because in the concept of sexuality she formed on conclusions from her longitudinal research, “sexually fluid lesbian” is not a woman who’s sexually attracted to men and women but emotionally prefers women. That actually would be woman with bisexual orientation because Diamond thinks that emotional preferences aren’t hardwired in any way and only sexual feelings (proceptivity) reflect sexual orientation.

        “Sexually fluid lesbian”, in other words, homosexual woman with “fluidity potential”, would be a woman who’s only sexually attracted to women, but if she ever fell in love with a guy (and like I said, according to Diamond we all could potentially fall in love with anyone), she could develop sexual feelings to that man and only to that man, not men in general.

        So, lesbians without “fluidity potential” wouldn’t feel anything sexual even to men they loved (and there were some women who experienced that in her research).

        It’s similar concept to “demisexuality”, only sexuality of such people is driven exclusively by “fludity potential” and beyond that they are asexual. Diamond called them in her book as “people with person-based attractions”.

  15. I never watched faking it again after the season 1 finale but riese’s recaps made me want to comment.

    For the Tv Gods aka Producers, Did you guys know there is a sexuality named bisexuality? But, It’s evident to say that you guys are fixed on the idea of creating characters like amy. I’m not hating on you guys. I just want to let you know.

  16. 1. This episode was so ridiculously racist. seriously what the fuck, MTV.

    2. I really genuinely love the show – mostly because I relate so much to Amy. I relate to the occasionally-being-turned-on-by-men thing (which definitely happened more in high school than it does now) and I relate to the having-drunk-boring-sex-with-men thing and to the straight girl crush thing of course. As a lesbian who was attracted to men sometimes in high school and (very occasionally) is still now, I LOVE feeling represented like this.

    BUT I also get that power structures exist and all the media we consume exists and can shore up destructive power relations and ideas- like the idea that men can turn queer women straight.

    BUT also men feel entitled to women’s bodies no matter our sexuality- that part of rape culture is the problem, not the fact that some lesbians are occasionally attracted to men and are open about that fact. That wouldn’t be a problem if men weren’t terrible and entitled.

    I’m not sure what the solution is or whether, because of our cultural context, this type of portrayal is ok, but I’m super grateful to the people who’ve commented sharing their personal experiences and opinions on this, and I’m really trying to think about them more.

    (Also it feels relevant in this conversation to mention stats on queer women and sexual assault- bi women are at a much higher risk of sexual violence than lesbians and straight women. “Additionally, nearly half of all bisexual women and one in eight lesbian women have experienced rape in their lifetimes”
    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/report/2014/09/19/97504/a-hidden-crisis/)

    • “(Also it feels relevant in this conversation to mention stats on queer women and sexual assault- bi women are at a much higher risk of sexual violence than lesbians and straight women. “Additionally, nearly half of all bisexual women and one in eight lesbian women have experienced rape in their lifetimes”
      http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/report/2014/09/19/97504/a-hidden-crisis/)”

      How does it feel relevant in this conversation if we didn’t speak about bisexual women? Have you brought those statistics just to show that corrective rapes on lesbians aren’t “real problem”?

      Then first of all, the data is about rapes in general. Obviously lesbians, since overwhelming majority of rapists are men (which has been noted in that article), are in much less danger of date rape and being raped by the partner.

      Second of all, like I said we were talking about “corrective” rape which is encouraged by homophobic portrayal of lesbians that “deep down, they just need a good *******”. Bisexual women are unaffected by that, unless they are taken for lesbians who don’t want men.

      Third of all, it’s about American statistics. I don’t live in America, where I live, we don’t even have civil partnership and there are no rights at all protecting us from hate crimes. Nor anyone is doing any research on us.
      Yet American shows portraying lesbians as deep down craving men are aired here, and if not, most people, especially teens, have access to the internet.

  17. Also can we talk about how Shane as a character is such a great portrayal of white cis gay men? Like he’s so horribly racist and misogynistic and he acts like he can just kiss Karma without her permission (and it seems against her will) and get away with it because he’s gay so obviously his touching a woman’s body without her consent is ok… and it’s all just really accurate.

    (but also I kind of love him)

    #problematicfaves

  18. All I wanted was for Amy to be a real lesbian, that’s it. They couldn’t give it to me. I love you Shane, but not even you can keep me watching this show after they confirmed her bisexuality. I’m out. I’m tired of this storyline.

  19. I did want to comment on everyone else’s responses of the racism.

    The whole show is essentially a caricature; a humorously skewed version of everything like how the school isn’t exactly like most high schools we’d think of. They poke fun at many attributes of American teens and families. I actually think it was more of a parody of how Americans view other countries rather than trying to actually portray Brazil correctly. So, in turn, they purposely made the Brazilians over the top based on common assumptions.

    I don’t know, just my two cents. But I do agree with most, this definitely wasn’t a favorite episode.

    • THIS. It’s so obviously over the top to me that I have no idea how anyone could not see it as a parody of the way American’s, or at least the American media, imagine a whole group of people to be.

  20. “Have you noticed that all their friendship rituals seem like, kinda affected and youngish?” Totally agree. How old are these girls supposed to be? When I was a teenager my friends and I bonded by drinking lots of cheap booze, going on road trips and skipping class to go to the beach. They act like they’re 12.

    • Thank you! I mean maybe I watch too much Skins but I was one of the best behaved most academically serious most sober kids I knew in high school and we did a lot more drinking / breaking into hotel pools or pretty much anywhere / drugs / sex / smoking at all night diners / watching movies for grown ups / generally fucking shit up / than these kids seem to. Even their truth or dare game reminded me of middle school

    • I don’t know if it was because I didn’t have a BFF, I went to a boarding school as a day student, or because I was super boring but my high school socialization mainly consisted of eating food, watching TV or movies, and occasional afterschool hangouts in nearby woods and fields where we mostly just talked about feelings and emotions before we had to go back to the dorms for study hall/curfew.

      I don’t think the bonding rituals are inaccurate. Maybe the Truth or Dare bit, but the rest remind me of my high school experience.

  21. This episode was so painful to watch. Bringing in the Brazilians was such a lazy plot device, the racism was disgusting, I almost gave up at the sunscreen scene.

    Amy deserves so much more than a half-hearted rebound with a hot chick with whom she can’t even communicate. And we deserve so much more than another sexually confused girl who can’t resist the allure of a guy. She already made her mistake with Liam. Isn’t Karma there to live out all the hetero crushes? JUST LET US HAVE AMY.

  22. As a brazilian… Just no. Nope. This episode was so racist I couldn’t bear to watch. (Also, those banners were in spanish and what language were they speaking? Because there’s no way in hell that was brazilian portuguese)

  23. Theory re: Amy attraction to men.
    Amy was thinking so hard about Karma when she had sex with Liam that she was turned on during sex, not by Liam but by Karma. So she kind of finds men sexually attractive though a weird lampy, Karma related thought process.

    Yep, it is a shit theory but it beats “Here have a lesbian character, psyche! She is bisexual because lesbians are only allowed to exist in the L Word.”
    Why can’t the introduce a nice bisexual for Amy to fall in love with instead of taking the pretty well established lesbian and confusing her? I don’t think it can be due to ‘the fluidity of sexuality’ because otherwise there would be more experimenting characters in this nutty show.

  24. Loving some of the comments here. I come to Autostraddle pretty frequently looking for guidance and validation, and it often feels like there aren’t enough critiques of the lesbian characters who writers feel the need to make sexually available to men. It’s a damaging trope we see in almost every single portrayal of lesbian women on TV, and it feels nice and validating that some readers here share my rage.

  25. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BRINGING UP THE RACISM!! I’m half Brazilian and I was completely floored by how disrespectful this episode was, and immediately resolved to never watch the show again. Did any of you guys notice how in the cafeteria, they had posters with “HOLA!” written on them?? That’s not even Portugeuse!! In Brazil, the equivalent would be “olá.” I was really disappointed by how badly this show turned out to be. Way to use south american women as sexual props, MTV.

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