The Secret Life of The American Teenager Review


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!

Comments

5 comments

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RachelLEditor
Jul 14, 2008 7:36PM EDT

Thanks for the shoutout, LS! I hear that you have sadly returned to NY...Totally agree with your analysis of the show. I too fall just a little above the show's target demographic - so while I can easily see what I view as its supreme shortcomings now...I can also see how I would have loved it about 8 years ago.So...in the spirit of nostalgia, I will continue to watch and try to not be too harsh!

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Jul 15, 2008 12:25AM EDT

Oh to have a true LOL moment - thanks Laura. ;) Your Yaz commercial is the perfect comparison for that weirdness of the fact quoting. As for the adults of the school, I thought it was strange that the new counselor guy was just overwhelmed by the craziness of the kids and the frankness of Ben - who by the way may not really be that upfront but maybe more awkward about sex especially to an adult? I felt in the pilot episode, everything was a bit too "this is who this character is" and "this is what the show's about"... but I'm hoping they can move on from that and get the action going... um, so to speak... and make this the big hit show it certainly has promise to be!

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Jul 21, 2008 5:16PM EDT

Well, i thought the fact-spouting was actually not that weird, and the fact that ( and don't take me as racist here) it was an asian made it all the more belivable, i thought. Iam in highschool, so iam at the target age and i think that this is one of the more realistic portrayals of teenagers that iv'e seen on tv, not everything goes perfect, and their akward moments are realistic to me... except the akward moments with the parents, as teenagers are rarely that open with their parents about sex, i think. Thannks for the review

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Jul 21, 2008 5:18PM EDT

Oh yes and it really did sound like that stupid Yaz commerical- Now thatss unrealistic

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