Life as a TV show addict is tough. You have to deal with many losses. The loss of a beloved character (Grey’s Anatomy and Game of Thrones fans know what I’m talking about) or the loss of the original greatness of a show. Or – the worst of all – the loss of a TV show itself. It happens to the best of them which is why I still can’t believe that they cancelled the only MTV show I ever truly cared about.

I was sitting on my bed after a busy day, scrolling through my Facebook timeline, not expecting anything tragic. Until this headline of a page’s post caught my attention: „Take A Bow: We’re Honoring Faking It For These 5 Groundbreaking Moments“. My first thought: Yaay a post about one of my favorite shows. My second: Wait…? Take a bow? Honoring? Does this mean…? Yup, it did exactly mean that. MTV’s groundbreaking show Faking It got cancelled after three seasons. Which means that next week’s episode won’t be the season finale but the series finale. I gotta admit, I was a little devastated. Not because I’m such a fangirl (which I obviously am) but because I strongly believe that TV shows can change the world by enlightening their viewers about very important and difficult topics. And that’s exactly what Faking It was about. It was so much more than a silly, shallow MTV show as people usually would expect from the cable network. For everyone who doesn’t know the show (reportedly a lot according to the low ratings) here’s some reasons that made Faking It so unique and amazing:

1. Not Afraid of Being Different

First of all the show is about some teenagers of a very alternate high school. At Hester High the misfits are the cool kids and the bullies turn into the bullied. It’s a school where a gay guy is the leader and his straight good looking best friend could be seen as his sidekick. The rich Daddy’s girl (or: the Regina George) is an outsider and the pregnant teen girls are being admired. And if you want to be popular at this school you just need to fake being lesbians which is the premise of the show: Two best friends, Amy and Karma, faking to be a couple while Amy actually falls in love with Karma and starts questioning or rather finding out about her sexuality. It’s arguable that this kind of high school seems silly and unrealistic and can only exist in an alternate universe. Nevertheless, this alternate universe gave the show a storytelling canvas and let it tackle some very difficult, unpopular issues and tell important stories.

 
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2. Tackling Difficult Topics

Out of the show’s five protagonists one was an openly gay male, one a bisexual (or homosexual or pansexual?) female and another one an intersex female. Making the latter the first intersex leading character in TV history. This goes to show that the writers on the show cared about telling important stories that we don’t deal with everyday. They tackled issues most people don’t know a lot about which didn’t make them any less important. If I’m being honest, I haven’t really known anything about intersexuality before it was discussed on the show in a very beautiful way. And even though Faking It‘s creator Carter Covington and MTV always expected that such complex and difficult topics could offend viewers and make them stop watching the show and increase the risk of low ratings they kept telling those stories. They knew how important it was for some viewers to feel understood and to see their stories being told on television.

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3. Helping People Struggling With Their Identity

Unfortunately, the show really did get cancel due to low ratings. Most of the storylines weren’t based on universal, everyday topics and Faking It definitely appealed to a specific audience. But the show has dealt with one topic that probably everyone could relate to: struggling with one’s identity. No matter what kind of identity we’re talking about – sexual identity, gender identity or religious identity – Faking It covered it. I don’t have any specific numbers but I’m sure the show has helped thousands of people all over the world trying to find out who they are, what they want or who they want to be. I can only speak from my experience. There I was, a 21 year old student trying to realize all those things and finally, against all expectations, finding all the solutions in an MTV show about high schoolers. Yup, I wasn’t expecting that. But I didn’t even care that I’ve learnt to deal with my identity thanks to a show like this and not by myself. I was just really grateful to the show and the creators and I soon found myself being very proud of this show. Proud because Faking It once again proved that a show can actually change lives and accomplish something great by simply telling a story.

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4. An Authentic and Heartfelt Show

Although the show is set in an unrealistic overly tolerant high school Faking It didn’t lack of authenticity and heartfelt moments. I don’t know how but the writers managed to tell some of the stories in such an honest way that I often felt like they were telling my story and projecting my exact emotions onto the screen. For example, they didn’t make Amy get over her best friend and first love easily. Up to this point of the show she still isn’t completely over Karma and she falls for her and gets hurt over and over again which is exactly what the process of unrequited love is like. The character’s journeys and emotions were raw, authentic and real. And even though the show is a comedy there were lots of moments that made me feel all the feels. The dramatic scenes were so good and real that they could’ve been taken out of a TV drama. I found myself crying over and over again about some heartbroken and confused high schoolers. But I realized quickly that the show was so much more than that.

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Faking It is ending after next week’s episode and it’s a great loss for the LGBTQI community and for the viewers whose lives have been changed by this show. I know I’m gonna miss it a lot for its courageous storylines, lovable characters and its fearless way to tell stories that really matter. We’re only left to hope that Faking It will be the first show that started what Carter Covington (creator of the show) calls the post-gay era on television and that there will be more shows that ‘don’t focus on characters’ differences and sexuality and speak more to our common characteristics as human beings’. (Carter Covington, THR)

 

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