Highly addictive show, but I hope young viewers are watching with parents (SPOILERS inside)

I really enjoy this show, and have actually gotten pretty addicted to it. I initially watched it out of curiosity-- I wondered how a show on ABC Family about a 15 yr old pregnant girl would play out. Seemed to be a rather sordid tale for a network that seems to run towards the G-rating (hence the "family" part of the name). I was pleasantly surprised to see that this was a show that wasn't nearly as squeaky clean as I'd expected.

I must admit, I was also curious to see how the 80's icon who once played a struggling pregnant teenager herself would play the mom in the same scenario. Molly Ringwald is lovable and adorable as ever, but man I just don't buy her as a mom. That said, I do love her character here, and since the show is so highly unrealistic and unbelievable anyway, I really can't complain.

My main concern about this show is that it is giving some very unhealthy ideas to any young impressionables that might be watching about what teenage pregnancy is. As an adult, I can take the storyline with a big grain of salt and see it as the fantasy it is, but I sincerely hope that the young viewers have someone who is teaching them that Amy's situation is NOT AT ALL REALISTIC. A 15 yr old who gets knocked up, yet whose parents seem only mildly disappointed by the news? A girl who finds a sweet boyfriend that not only isn't bothered by the fact that she's carrying the school man-slut's child, but comes from a wealthy family, wants to marry her, provide for and raise the baby as if it's his own-- AND his father is on board with this scenario, too? Sorry kids, but this just does not happen in real life.

My other issue with the show is that it focuses the drama in all of the wrong places. The Juergens' divorce is not nearly as drama filled as it should be. The only person that seems even mildly distressed by this news is Ashley (whom I LOVE, though she's written way too mature for a 13 year old). Everyone else seems to have an awfully "ho hum" attitude about the family's collapse, including the wife who just found out that her husband is not only a cheating scoundrel, but finds out from her children, because he is, of course, cheating with a classmate's mother... a mother-daughter who prove that the ho doesn't fall far from the ho tree.

And then, of course, there's the small matter of the teen pregnancy (main plot device that it is, and all)... no one seems all that upset/incensed/disturbed about it. The main issue that Amy struggles with for so many episodes is how to tell her parents... which is done with the smallest amount of drama or dialogue possible. No yelling, very little tears... and then it's all over, and life is dandy-- no talk about abortion, no serious discussions about adoption, not to mention ZERO discussion about STDs-- shouldn't Amy be tested? That Ricky dude is a walking advertisement for Trojan, Planned Parenthood, and locking your daughters in their rooms, all rolled into one. He's cute and all, but *shudder* he has GOT to be incubating some nastiness in his hot little bod. And once parentals are notified, Amy only cares about the stigma of being the school slut-idiot who only said no to protection. Does this girl even go to the doctor after having her pregnancy confirmed? Where are the prenatal classes? The baby is an afterthought. As season 2 dawns, we are 3 months away from birth, and yet there are no plans made for the time after birth. Happily, Ann is pushing Amy in the "you made your bed, now you must lay your own damn baby in it" direction, which is great, but... where's the baby stuff? Shouldn't they be buying a crib, and reading What to Expect?

Anyway, I guess my point is-- great show, highly addictive, but if you are a teenager (or younger), please know that life does NOT happen this way. Teen pregnancy is NOT this clean. Please have your parents (or someone you trust) watch with you, so that they can point out how unlikely and patently ridiculous this show is. Enjoy it, but don't for



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Jan 7, 2009 1:03AM EST

Grrr... I was truncated! The rest was...
Enjoy it, but don't for a minute think that your teen pregnancy isn't much more likely to involve you getting thrown out of your parent's house, dropping out of school, and raising a baby on your own than it is to end up like Amy's story. This show is as fictional as Twilight... vampires just don't exist, and neither do Ben Boykewich's.


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Jan 7, 2009 8:40AM EST

Thank you so much for saying that!! I too find the show to be completely unrealistic and wouldn't want my daughters to watch it. It's extremely sex-driven and I'd hate to think they would idolize a pregnant teen or even try to imagine themselves in her shoes. I watched the whole first season in less than 24 hrs, decided I didn't care for it, but made sure to mark my calender and watched the season 2 premiere and I plan on watching it next week too. So I guess it must be addictive.

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