'Awkward's' absentee dad Mike Faiola: 'Without him things could spin off out of control'

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Zap2it: How do you describe your "Awkward" character, Kevin?

Mike Faiola: He is calm, cool and collected under fire and probably learned that after 16 years of living with two highly strung females who both gravitate toward drama. He was a very young father, probably involved in a family business. I think he works with his father in textiles. I think he is integral to the show because without him things could spin off out of control.

Zap2it: Do you interact with teens apart from the show?

Mike Faiola: I work with teens quite a bit. I work for L.A. Youth Network, which houses and helps homeless youth in Hollywood, and I had taught a playwriting program to help students learn English. I knew Lauren's (creator Lauren Lungerich) voice would strike a chord because teenagers know when they are being b****y, and this takes their emotions and treats them with delicacy and respect. It is about time. There is not enough of that stuff on television.

Zap2it: The main characters are all sophomores in high school. Do you see this show continuing for a while?

Mike Faiola: They are in high school and getting older. I would like to see more people watch it. Last year, we were critically praised, and a lot of people didn't know it was out there. This show changes that MTV is just for music. It is legitimate and credible artistically and takes a familiar project and doesn't pander to its audience, doesn't weave the high-school narrative into a cliche, and treats it delicately and really honestly.
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