Ok, so I finally sat down to watch the series premiere of ABC Family's The Secret Life of The American Teenager and I have very mixed feelings about the show.
Now, it's only fair to preface this review with a disclaimer that I'm definitely older than the target audience that ABC Family's viewership typically brings in, therefore my critique may be due to this fact alone.
As noted by RachelL, the awkwardness that most of the characters portray seems a lot more real than what we often see of high schoolers on television. It may seem like it's just really bad acting, but in fact it is great acting demonstrating a really horribly awkward age. I liked this more honest representation.
I also enjoyed the boldness of a show addressing teenagers having sex. I think they're showing lots of different viewpoints about sex before marriage, teenage pregnancy, and the pressures around losing your virginity. I did, however, find it a bit bizarre that Ben's friend was so well versed in statistics around the topic. I felt like I was watching that Yaz commercial where the girls spat off medical information as if it were a normal way of conversing. Even if this girl is extremely interested in the sexual behaviors of teenagers, rattling off statistics just seemed unnatural.
I also felt like the faculty should be taking a more active role here in this sexual education. Based on the availability of condoms at the guidance counselor's office and their knowledge that sex is a prevalent thing in their high school, you'd think that they'd take this opportunity to educate the students on ways to protect themselves and make informed decisions. Didn't their turning a deaf ear to the topic strike anyone else as odd?
In a very 7th Heaven way of presenting issues, I think Secret Life does a good job portraying the pressures intrinsic in being a teenager and going through high school. Hopefully if I were still in that stage of my life I would agree and I would find the directness that they have, as well as the multiple points of views informative and refreshing. I'm glad it paints a more realistic picture of high school life than we're accustomed of seeing.
I'll definitely tune in when I'm around for it!