No matter who you take, what dress or tux you wear, or even if you go to the actual dance itself, everyone can agree that prom night is a major milestone in everyone’s high school experience. So you can bet that Awkward‘s take on the formal event is going to be huge for Jenna (Ashley Rickards) and the rest of the Palos Hills High gang when MTV’s dramedy heads to prom beginning tonight.
“Prom is two half-hour episodes,” executive producer Mike Chessler tells Nerdist exclusively. “A lot of shit happens at prom. A lot of people think about who the right person to take to prom is. Is it about taking the person who you think you’re in love with and think you’ll be with for the rest of your life? Or do you just want to go with your friends? Or maybe do you want to just go stag?”
Executive producer Chris Alberghini adds with a laugh, “Or do you just want to go with someone who looks good?”
The first half of Awkward season five has focused a lot on Jenna’s rekindled feelings for her first love, Matty (Beau Mirchoff). But even though these two star-crossed loves won’t be going to the dance together, that doesn’t mean things won’t finally come to a head under the lit-up disco ball.
“We have loved exploring the ups and downs of Matty and Jenna this season,” Alberghini tells Nerdist exclusively. “Are they able to be in a relationship with each other? Does love conquer all? Are they better off just being friends? They’ve tried all sorts of iterations, which is the one that actually works for them? That’s what this whole season is all about, and prom is a major turning point for them.”
But the two-part prom episode is about more than just Matty and Jenna. It’s also a major moment for Lissa (Greer Grammer) to shine after being in her BFF’s Sadie’s (Molly Tarlov) shadow for so long.
“The prom itself is so special,” Alberghini says. “Prom has been planned by Lissa who has some very strong ideas about what prom should be. And who wouldn’t want to go to a prom that Lissa has planned? It’s pretty amazing.”
Think: what prom would look like if a 8-year-old girl obsessed with fairytales designed the entire night. And then add more pink and unicorns. Times ten. That’s what Lissa’s idea of prom is, and it comes to life in the most hilarious way.
“There’s a lot of big moments at prom and each episode ends with some really great friendship moments where you see how much these guys care for each other and how much they’ll do for each other, even if they really don’t want to do something for a friend,” Chessler says. “And then there are some really big romantic moments. Someone unexpected might even show up.”
Check out an exclusive sneak peek at the first prom episode below now, in which Jenna and Tamara (Jillian Rose Reed) regret their choice of salon the day of the prom, and run into the last people they want to see:
Do you think Matty and Jenna have what it takes to finally act on their feelings? Or should they stay as just friends, knowing that they’re going to colleges on different sides of the country in just a few short months? Hit the comments below to weigh in with your thoughts now!
Awkward‘s first prom episode airs tonight at 9 p.m. and the second episode airs next Monday at 9 p.m. on MTV.