'We left it all on the playing field,' showrunner Carter Covington says
Warning: Read on only if you watched the Faking It series finale because there are spoilers to follow.
Less than a week after MTV announced the progressive sitcom would end after three seasons, the show’s finale aired, luckily tying up the series’ relationships in a semi-neat bow.
The relationship drama in the finale included… Shane sticking up for Noah and winning him back; Lauren and Liam, a.k.a. #Booper, keeping up their fake relationship and sharing an unexpected kiss; Sabrina wooing Amy back; and Felix and Karma kissing. Plus, the show was able to end the way it should: with Karma and Amy in a “solid, healthy place,” says showrunner Carter Covington. “The show has always been about whether their friendship can survive the kind of test that has been put between them.”
Read on for Covington’s conversation with EW about the series finale, what this friendship could have become, and the legacy of the show.
So do you love or hate that the final episode title is “Up in Flames”?
[Laughs.] We picked that episode not knowing that it would be the final one. I kind of love it and hate it. It is an appropriate title for where we are, which is this ends up being our series finale, we didn’t want it to be, but to me, we left it all on the playing field.
How does it feel now that its ending?
I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished, and while I’m sad I don’t get to end it exactly the way I wanted it to, I’m really happy that we’ve gotten to explore all the things we’ve explored and we’ve gotten to go to all the places we’ve gotten to go. And I’m super grateful to MTV for giving us the opportunity to do that.
With that in mind, what would you have done differently this season if you knew ahead of time it would be the last?
If I had known this was the last season, we definitely would have explored Karma’s feelings for Amy. We were headed very much in that direction. If you noticed, the series started very much through Amy’s perspective with her questioning her sexuality. This season we’ve shifted to Karma’s perspective, and we were going to continue that in the next season until she was going to realize that she seems incapable of having relationships with other people that aren’t Amy, and she seems really unhappy when Amy is in relationships with other people that aren’t her, and that maybe she should look at that — we would have explored that. I’ve been very open that that’s where I wanted to head, and someday I wanted to explore that, so I think for fans who are waiting for that, this is a bittersweet finale.
Did you have plans for Amy to ever officially label herself?
[This is] part of why we did the eighth episode this season — where she had the chance to stand up and sort of say her take on labels. It’s not to say that I don’t think Amy would never label herself, but I feel like she has taken the stance in high school that she deserves the space to figure out who she is and she deserves the time to figure out what label fits her. And, right now, she isn’t that concerned with picking a label for other people. I feel like that’s an important statement to make. With all the acceptance that the LGBT community has found these past couple years, it must come with the freedom for people who are exploring their sexuality to not feel like they have to label themselves immediately, and I think that’s an important message to send to young people out there.
Aside from Amy and Karma, is there anything else you would have liked to have explored on the show?
I think we could have written 10 more seasons of Faking It with all the ideas that bubbled up, but I feel like this season we really threw in a lot of things that we were excited to do. We wanted to see Karma and Amy at odds and argue and really hash out their differences, which was the first three episodes. We really wanted to explore Lauren’s intersex journey in greater detail and how she felt being a spokesperson, and we explored that. We wanted to explore gender, which we got to do through Noah’s character. We wanted Liam to have a new romance and new side of him that isn’t just Karma, and we got to do that with him and Lauren. I was really excited that we got to do what we did.
Faking It has had such a big impact on fans; is there a particular moment that has stuck with you?
For me, personally, I think the most powerful moment will be when Amy tells Karma she loves her at the end of season 1. That was such a profound moment. I know for me, it was feeling old, old things for me when I fell in love with best friends and didn’t feel like I could handle it. It was very impactful for me, but I felt that resonate with every fan. I think we’ve all been in that position of wondering if we told the person that we love that we love them, would they reject us? … That moment to me will always be where I felt like we were connecting with a really universal feeling and something that I hadn’t seen explored on TV before. I will always be so proud of that scene and that episode.
What do you hope the legacy of this show is?
Even though we’re a show called Faking It, I hope that it has shown that the more you can be your authentic self, the more you can be treated as who you are, the more you will attract people around you who accept you and love you for who you are, and the happier you’ll be. I think that we’ve done a great job of pushing to include LGBT characters as just the same as everyone else. And I really feel like our show, even though we dealt with a lot of LGBT issues, I think anyone could watch it and relate to the characters in our show. I hope that other showrunners will pick up where we left off and continue to weave [these storylines] — whether it’s intersexuality or trans issues or LGBT issues — into their characters in ways that everyone can relate to and that talk to our universal hopes and fears as people.