The Secret Life of the American Teenager

ABC Family



User Score: 277


The Secret Life of the American Teenager Fan Reviews (200)

out of 10
2,279 votes
  • Just...wrong

    I think this show is a classic example of what goes wrong when you combine washed-up, out-of-touch, unorginal writers and low-budget non-talented actors in the wake of a terrible epidemic, like teenage pregnancy. Just because it looks easy, and even noble in the move, "Juno" or when Jamie Lynn Spears had a baby, does not mean everyone lucks out so smoothly.

    There are many problems with this show that are problems in other shows, such as a weak story line, minimal character development, and mediocre acting. It's hard to write and produce a good show. I understand that.

    However, this is the first show- perhaps the only one -I can recall that personally offended me. I was the same age as the main character, Amy when the show first aired, and I remember imagining all the out-of-touch parents and childless couples that were reported to closely follow the show, and what a negative message they must be receiving from the show about teenagers' capacity to take responsibility for themselves.

    I think it is a good thing that teenage girls who accidentally conceive a baby no longer live in a society where they have to live in shame and hide without the support of their community. However, the liberation from sexual repression is no reason to send kids the message that they have no power to resist the temptations they encounter or that they are not responsible or in control of their own love life. I read an article recently (in the HuffPost, I believe it was) that announced the show's fifth season (four seasons too long in my opinion) would be the last. The article described the show rather positively, describing the characters as "people who reach for their dreams despite [being confronted] with road blocks like teen pregnancy." "Well, come on," I said to myself, "teen pregnancy isn't a curse that rained down on these kids unfairly. It is the consequence of some of their impulsive, promiscuous, ill-informed choices."

    That's what these characters are, by the way, kids. From their petty worries and feelings, to their aimless arguments, during which they seem more concerned about venting their feelings than solving the big problems at hand, to their lack of appreciation for their family members and friends, to the lack of perspective on their own life, one does not need to follow the show too closely to be reminded that these sexually active high schoolers are still, by many measures, children. And I think it goes without saying, children should not be having sex, let alone a lot of sex with various partners, as nearly all these characters do.

    I am relieved this show is being cancelled. If I wanted to send teenagers a message that sex is the only thing that should be on their minds or that they need not think about the consequences of their sexual activity, I would show them a porno. At least in a porno, the actors have personality.
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