We’re running a tournament to find the show that’s doing fast-paced storytelling the best. But we also want your opinion, so make sure to vote below! And keep up with all rounds of the tournament with the Fast-Paced Tourney tag.
We’ve opened every round of this tournament like this, but I mean it when I say that there could not be any two shows that are so dissimilar. Awkward. is a show about a teenage girl coming of age (and sometimes bouncing between two suitors), while Veep is the story of Julia Louis-Dreyfus being able to use the most absurd profane language. I guess, if we had to grasp at straws here, both Veep and Awkward. know how to coin a select phrase or two … or 100.
Though this is the first tournament round I’ve written that is going to be publicized, this is actually the last one I’m writing of this first round of 16. The others I will be tackling — Happy Endings vs HIMYM, The Vampire Diaries vs Teen Wolf, and The Following vs Nikita — all had very clear winners in my mind before I even began typing. And going in, I was fully expecting to pick Veep. But since these two shows are so different and unique, they hold varying standards in my eyes. And now I’m staring at whitespace, unsure of which one I’ll choose.
Veep at points goes so quickly that it can give me whiplash. But at the same time, though both of these shows are comedies, I can find myself watching an entire episode of Awkward. and never even crack a smile. That’s not a point in the cons column, though. It is my personal belief that comedies don’t always have to be on or consistently funny. We care about the characters and the storylines before we care about laughing. Then again, Veep is a show that hopes you’ll laugh first and then ask questions later.
When Veep works, it’s side-splitting and hilarious. But when it doesn’t, well … it doesn’t. The same can be said for Awkward. Sometimes it goes too fast for its own good, disowning clear characterization for quips.
But that said, there’s definitely no way that Veep could ever do a story like Awkward. does. This season, Awkward. decided to tackle having its main character dig into her dark side. Mainly on Veep, everyone is just dark. And even then, there are no layers there. These are flimsy people who are all after the same thing: power. And they struggle with those who are actually in power to get there.
And something both shows are known for: the whiplash. You can begin an episode of Veep with plot point A and then quickly turn to B and back to A and so on. Like the finale, when Selina found out the president wasn’t running for another term… then he was… then he wasn’t… then he was… and then… well you get the point. Awkward. does this a lot, too, but it just doesn’t work the same. The reason for this — my guess, anyway — is that Awkward. is more than just plot points. Veep‘s schtick is its fast-paced nature, but Awkward. thrives in more than just that space.
So much so, that the latter half of season two was at times annoying. And weirdly so, the last couple of episodes of this midseason — where Jenna abruptly has feelings for her classmate — worked for me, but mostly because Awkward. decided to mold not just a plot storyline, but a character and emotional storyline, too.
I can’t believe I’m writing this, and I love me some memema’am hilarity, but…
This poll closes Thursday, Aug 15, at noon ET. You can vote as many times as you’d like.