Recently, I watched a film I’ve wanted to see for a long time – The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I promise there aren’t any spoilers here, but about midway through the film, I peeked a look at the DVD cover. My husband noticed my distraction and I told him I was checking the film’s classification. Before I could give further explanation he asked, ‘To see if it’s rated ‘A’ for Awkward?’.
He knows me too well. He knew exactly what I was looking for. Unfortunately, the front cover showed no hint as to whether the awkward would escalate or resolve, so I had to wait it out. As it happened, this film contained mild levels of awkward – I didn’t have to leave the room, but for a moment, I thought I might.
I’ve come to believe this is why I’m drawn to children’s films and books – children’s stuff is safer. I can avoid situations that upset me and if I don’t, I’m still (mostly) assured of a happy ending. I have such empathy for people in awkwardly mortifying situations, that they can trigger an anxiety attack. Even when the source is fictitious. Even when the awkward is under the guise of humour.
Yes, like Miranda – many episodes are too awkward for me to stand. All the things that can go wrong for you, will. All the events you wish to avoid, happen. It becomes certain that you’ll be seen doing what you don’t want to be seen doing by the person whose opinion means the most to you. Shows like this are made from awkward and it’s my worst nightmare. I feel the same about shows like Faulty Towers and The Worst Week of My Life. I don’t find the impending or actual humiliation of others funny.
I find it interesting though, that I can ‘love’ past the awkward. I’ve watched enough of Miranda to know I love it (and the gorgeous Miranda Hart). I survived Perks, and I adored the film despite my discomfort. It’s weird how other factors can sway my affection.
‘Awkward’ though only gets one star.