Faking It fans won’t have to wait long to discover the truth behind one of the first season’s big cliffhangers as the MTV series reveals why Lauren has been popping pills in the upcoming season 2 premiere.
However, because the premiere was screened Friday night at the PaleyFest Fall TV Previews, moderated by this reporter, EW has the scoop early. Want to know what the pills are for? Keep reading. Want to stay blissfully unaware until the Sept. 23 premiere? Turn back now! Spoilers ahead…
During the first season, Shane attempted to take the heat off of Liam for getting between Amy and Karma by drumming up another scandal and nearly revealing that Lauren had a pill addiction. When Lauren confided what the pills were actually for her boyfriend Tommy, he promptly broke up with her.
We’ll learn in the season 2 premiere that Lauren has been taking hormone pills because she’s Intersex. Affecting one in every 2,000 people, the condition means a person is born with different male and female sex characteristics. Lauren, in particular, developed to appear female because she was born with born with CAIS (Complete Androgen Insensitive Syndrome), one of over 30 different Intersex conditions.
“When [executive producer Carter Covington] told me, it just clicked into place why she is more closed off, why she refuses to be vulnerable. She’s just got this secret that she unfortunately finds shameful,” star Bailey De Young says. “I was really excited and honored to play someone with that type of condition because it’s not super common on TV.”
The writers came up with the idea for the acid-tongued antagonist Lauren to have this condition early in the first season, sprinkling some clues in later episodes. “I knew I didn’t want Lauren to just be the girl who comes in and says bitchy things,” Covington says. “Since our show is called Faking It, we were talking about what Lauren could be faking or hiding, what could be inside her that makes her this tough-as-nails, hyper-feminine character, and Intersex came up.”
In the premiere, the core group of characters discover the truth when Lauren makes a play to blackmail Tommy into not revealing her secret. “Tommy finds out right before the season finale and dumps her for it, which affirms her worst fears that she’ll never be accepted and that it’s super embarrassing,” De Young says. “The group finds out and she’s horrified. She’s super embarrassed and she’s also surrounded by people who are not her friends. These are not people who, to her, she would even want to be vulnerable with anyways.”
Despite the reveal, Covington says this won’t take the bite out of the bully. “I think it will humanize her without us having to sand off her edges,” he says. “We actually have this moment in the show where Amy and Karma are talking, and Karma is like, ‘Oh it was so much easier when we could hate her.’ It doesn’t negate that she is a force of nature, but it gives everyone a little more compassion for her”
The story reveal comes as Faking It attempts to tell more ensemble stories, delving into characters outside of leading ladies Amy and Karma.
“We have a lot of scenes where all of our characters are together,” Covington says. “I wanted Lauren to be woven into the show in a more deeper way. This has enabled us to do all of those things.”
Get more information on Intersex here.
Faking It returns Sept. 23 at 10:30 p.m. on MTV