The future of Karmy is in his hands, and by “his hands” I’m not just talking about Liam (Gregg Sulkin) moving on over so that our adorable donuts can live happily ever after. I’m actually referring to the incomparable Carter Covington, showrunner, writer, our Faking It lord and savior. Ha! But really, if it weren’t for the mastermind behind MTV’s teen comedy, well, we’d all be a little more grumpy without our weekly dose of sass.
Covington, who is widely known for his work on Hart of Dixie, Greek and 10 Things I Hate About You, has been our fearless Faking It leader since the series start in 2014. The show, which chronicles the lives of teen besties Karma Ashcroft (Katie Stevens) and Amy Raudenfeld (Rita Volk) and their somewhat twisted quest to becoming popular. We’re talking fake lesbians… well, sort of. The two may start out faking it, but let’s just say things get messy when real feelings are involved and a handful of the characters are forced to do some soul searching.
Covington was eager to talk with me about the second half of season 2. We not only discussed Karma and Amy’s feelings but we also chatted about some new obstacles not only in Karmy’s path but Liam and Shane’s (Michael Willett) as well. New love interests, friend fights and so much dramedy to be had. Oh, did I mention he told me he has an endgame in mind and hopes to have many more seasons to get to it. MTV… if you’re listening, please give this man all the seasons. We need to see how it all ends. 😉
Let’s get to it!
MCKENZIE MORRELL: Obviously, this show has gotten so much traction since it first started. You know, there was a bit of skepticism with the concept, but clearly you have a hit on your hands. Looking back now, did you have any doubts that the audience would eventually fall in love with the story and the characters?
CARTER COVINGTON: When MTV brought me the basic concept of Faking It about two girls who pretend to be lesbians in order to be cool, I immediately got excited about what the show could be and I knew that if we did our job right, it would be a really fresh, exciting new take on a teen comedy. I really had faith in that because it spoke to me so personally, just the basic concept. So I wouldn’t say that I knew that this would happen, but I hoped that this would happen. [laughs]
MM: Oh, of course! [laughs]
CC: And it’s really nice to be here now and have so many people really connect and love the show.
MM: Right, I know. It just blew up, I’m so excited for you guys and for us, obviously, as fans. To get right into questions about what’s going on with this gang, in the first episode when we return, Karma says that she’s over Liam and Amy sleeping together, but her actions speak louder than words. Is that struggle to kind of let go of the past going to be a theme for the rest of the season?
CC: It’s definitely a theme not only for the rest of the season, but really the rest of the series, I think, will be a discussion about how two people— we talked about it in the room a lot— how two people who love each other so much and have been in each other’s lives so much, how they let themselves evolve and grow while still being that close. And how hard that is, and how rare that is to have a friend that close that you keep your whole life. They both express that that’s what they want, but that’s really hard to achieve. And it’s even harder to achieve when they have a past like these two have. So, we’re going to always be exploring whether or not they’re going to be able to have the kind of long lasting, deep friendship that they both want.
CC: Sure! We’d talk in the room about the kind of energy we wanted Felix to have and we spoke a lot about John Cusack and Paul Newman, just a lot of references to what kind of vibe we wanted to have. But we wanted a new outsider to come into the show. Amy’s always had a real outsider view on high school and we wanted someone to come in who shared that and a guy that she connects with in a different way. The only guy we’ve really seen her connect with is Liam after Karma broke Amy’s heart and they were just really having sex. So, trying to explore what does it look like when Amy connects with a guy and how that affects her, you know, she’s on this journey of self-discovery and how that would affect her now in her journey. So that’s going to be her journey over the next couple episodes.
MM: That’s great. It was interesting to see after the fact of Amy and Liam almost, not talking behind Karma’s back, but just saying, “Hey listen. She says that she’s over this but I don’t think she is. What are we going to do?” To see them come from not really wanting anything to do with each other to being genuinely concerned for someone they care about.
MM: So now, Felix’s dad is the new principal and he’s coming in to shake things up a bit with his rules. Is that going to create a lot of conflict once everyone learns he’s not only living in Karma’s house, but that it’s Felix’s dad?
CC: Well, you know, we really wanted Felix to be faking something, too. He doesn’t really want anybody to know that the principal is his dad because that affects the way everybody sees him. It’s a fun energy that does blow up later in the season.
MM: We love blow ups and we hate blow ups, so we’re looking forward to it! So let’s talk about Reagan. You know, she’s got this crippling fear of Amy leaving her for a guy because, obviously, her ex did that. Will Amy come clean about her lingering feelings for men?
CC: Yes. Amy is going to come clean and she and Reagan are going to really have a discussion about what that means because I really wanted people to see in the second episode how hurt Reagan was by her first girlfriend because it is coming from a real place. She doesn’t want to get hurt like that again and she doesn’t want to put herself in a situation where she could get hurt like that again. And Amy isn’t sure enough of her sexuality to proclaim she’s a lesbian right now and what does that mean for Reagan and can she deal with that?
MM: A lot of fans wrote in to me their questions for you and they were kind of wondering why Amy was still questioning her sexuality. They were saying they were under the impression that she was a lesbian but I know you guys had mentioned that things aren’t always so black and white, and that it would be a theme that she would be figuring things out. Is that still true for the rest of the season or the series?
CC: Yes. I feel like she has not reached the end of this journey of discovery yet. She hasn’t figured out what label feels comfortable for her yet and I want to watch that process a little bit longer. I know that people want her to decide and I think so much of that is because Amy is so well loved by fans and that makes me happy. They all want to claim her, you know, like, “she likes me.” I like right now that Amy can speak to so many people’s experiences. I think that that’s a real important part of the show’s power. So her journey of figuring it out is going to go on a little longer.
MM: Well, I think that’s good. Not everybody knows, you know, what label they want to choose, if they want to at all. So I think that’s great that you’re representing that.
CC: Thank you. And you see right now with Miley Cyrus and all these young women in Hollywood who are saying, “I shouldn’t have to label myself and it shouldn’t matter who I’m interested in. I like who I like and that’s just who I am.” So I think there’s a lot of interesting perspective on how to express your sexuality these days.
MM: Let’s talk Liam, he is not giving up on his love for Karma, but then we’re introduced to his hot new intern pal at Squerkle. Would you say that introducing new people and testing relationships and pushing boundaries is something we’re going to see for the rest of the season and the series?
CC: Yes. You know, one thing I’ve learned in television is that it’s always good to be bringing in new characters and to explore the world that your characters live in, and that’s very hard to do with just five characters. You have to bring in new people for them to bounce off of and if you want a couple to be together, they need to be with other people to even see how good they’d be together!
MM: Right? [laughs]
CC: It’s that longing for your hero couple to be together that makes, I think, really good, juicy television. So that will always be a part of Faking It and deliciously so, I hope.
MM: Right! Oh it is, it is, for sure. And now, there’s some great guest stars ahead for the second half of the season. Are you able to give us the name of Lindsey Shaw’s character or whether or not she’ll be in more than one episode? I know that Michael [Willett] had mentioned that she was playing his sister and we were going to see that dynamic a little bit, but is there anything else you can tell us?
CC: Her character’s name is Sasha and she is Shane’s sister, so I can tell you that much, his older sister. I worked with Lindsey on my last show 10 Things I Hate About You and I love her, and so I just asked, “Would you? I’ve got this really fun part for you to do, it would be so fun.” She was not working on PLL [Pretty Little Liars] at the time so she hopped on board and it was fantastic. She was everything I hoped and I think fans will really love her character.
CC: I think Karma is on her own journey. Just like Amy is trying to figure out what her feelings are, I think Karma is trying to figure out what her feelings are, but I don’t think she is consciously questioning her sexuality yet. But I think Amy means so much to her and Amy is so important to her that sometimes it looks and appears like it’s a romantic interest and I don’t know if Karma has come to the realization yet that there might be something deeper under that.
MM: Yeah, I definitely can see that. So now, fans want to see the cast auditions on the next DVD. Any chance of having that as a special feature?
CC: [laughs] You know, it’s so funny the way they do the DVDs they don’t do any special features. I would love to do something like that for fans but I don’t think it will be possible on the DVD. But, you know what, you bring up a good point and maybe we can find a way someday to put them out online or something as a reward to everybody who’s out there. I have to find the the tapes though, oh my God. [laughs] Those would be fun to watch.
MM: [laughs] Yeah. They also want to some bloopers. They’re a demanding bunch these fans are.
CC: [laughs] I don’t blame them. It makes me happy when people want more of the show and whatever way, shape or form. I never mind that.
MM: Oh yeah, that’s got to be a great feeling. So I have an off the cuff kind of question for you. If you had to be trapped in a show for a month, which one would it be?
CC: Oh, Friends.
MM: Oh, that’d be awesome!
CC: If I had to be trapped in a TV show, I would be in Friends. Oh my gosh, I loved Friends. I watched the entire run and it just felt like you were hanging out with fun people and having kooky adventures that you always knew would end pretty well and that should be life every day. That would be fantastic.
MM: Right? I know, that would be amazing. So I chatted with Rita Volk recently and we were talking about flavors of donuts. She mentioned that if she were a donut, she would be a hot Cheetos donut with sprinkles and chocolate chips. What kind of donut would you be? [laughs]
CC: [laughs] That is a weird donut.
MM: And I actually made those donuts, just for fun, and they are interesting. I’ve yet to taste them but they might be good. We’ll see how it goes. [laughs]
CC: [laughs] Oh man, that is interesting. I’ve never heard of that. I would be a chocolate covered cruller and only because those are my favorite donuts. Those are the ones I get everytime and they’re not that great to look at but they taste really good.
MM: Right. Sometimes you have to go for taste and not looks. The presentation isn’t always what everything is about. So now, do you guys have any idea how many episodes you are going to be getting for season 3, because I know I need like a million. [laughs]
CC: Well, we’re ordered for 10 and they will make a decision whether or not we’ll get a back 10 or if they’ll order a season 4. But right now, it’s a 10 episode order until we hear otherwise.
MM: So basically, everybody needs to watch it, they need to tweet, we need to do everything we can to make sure that we get some more episodes.
CC: Yeah. You know, I think it’s a struggle these days. A lot of people watch the show online but not through the MTV app or the network, so we really want to encourage fans to tune in and get their friends to tune in because it’s an important part of the show. I know how much people love it, but we need to stay on the air, you know? [laughs]
MM: Of course. We need to do it the right way, so we’ll send that out into the Internet. So now, in terms of how you approach writing, do you have an ending planned out for the series or are you writing each season without getting bogged down with an ending?
CC: I do have an ending. The network and I have discussed it and they’re very well aware of what I’d like to do and how I’d like to wrap up the series. Right now, I’m not building towards that ending because I think we’ll have many more seasons, but that would be my worst nightmare if we got canceled before I got to do the ending that I’d like to do.
MM: Oh gosh, that would be terrible. Let’s just not have that happen. [laughs] To go out with a bang, can you kind of describe the remainder of the season for us to get people pumped up to tune in?
CC: Sure! OK, the end of the season is going to have lots of twists and turns. We’re going to see Amy start to fear that her old feelings for Karma are going to come back. We’re going to see Karma go a little bit off the rail, which is going to be fun. We’re going to see Liam and Shane have a whole new challenge to their friendship, which is going to be great. And we’re going to see Lauren reveal a new vulnerability in a really great, heartbreaking episode for her. So lots and lots of good stuff. And everybody knows there’s a big Karmy kiss in a pool, and it is not a dream. So we’ll have to see how we get to there!
MM: That’s amazing. Thank you so much, this has been wonderful! I’m super excited to see the rest of the season and more seasons to come and it’s just been an absolute pleasure. You are a delight!
CC: Aw, thanks, McKenzie. Thanks so much. And thanks for all your help in promoting the show!
MM: Of course!
Watch Faking It Monday’s at 9:30|8:30c