A few years out of the teen pool myself, I’ve rekindled my love for all things adolescent in an attempt at forestalling a pending quarter-life crisis. I’ve graduated from the cheese of Bayside High to the more revealing, truer-to-life Degrassi and Gossip Girl, so when I heard about ABC Family’s Secret Life of the American Teenager, I thought, “Yes! Real teen drama! With true teen issues! And if anyone can do it, the producers of 7th Heaven and Molly Ringwald can!”
So to the show. We open with Ringwald as the oblivious mom (is pot roast really anyone’s favorite meal??) and the ol’ pregnancy-test-in-the-French-horn trick. Even before we hear an Avril Lavigne song, we know what the “secret” is. Cut to the next day at school and an intro for the show’s top teens — and their sex lives…
Amy: Secret‘s star (Shailene Woody) is no doubt up the stick. No morning sickness yet, but her nerves are palpable even before she tells her friends, “Dude, I’m totes K Heigl in that movie!” Was anyone else bothered by the way she described her first time? Not sure it was sex?!? The baby growing in your uterus might be a good indicator. But more than that, it’s just disappointing to see young women always portrayed as sexually passive and all teen boys a la Superbad, just excited to lose their V-card.
More ‘Secrets’ after the jump…
Ricky: I don’t think I’m buying that this kid gets girls pregnant, has an overactive sex life andgoes to band camp. I do believe however that he would use the “blueballs” excuse with girlfriend(ish) Adrian — not so sure that thisbaton twirler (love the phallic symbolism) would buy it though.
Ben: Just the right amount of sweet to swoop in and be the shining nerd for our preggers protagonist. I hope this doesn’t turn into She’s All Thatsyndrome, where she eventually finds out that his love for her bloomedout of a bet. At least according to the season teaser, he’ll graduateto boyfriend status in no time.
Grace: “She’s not a goddess, she’s a Christian,” says thesnarky female friend (who also tells Ben not to “objectify” Amy –little Women’s Studies major in the making!) to her horny male friends.The bubbly blonde cheerleader is dating Jack, who is “the guywho’s not having sex with his girlfriend” (but is later enjoying the”temptations of the flesh” with Adrian). The abstinent adolescent comesfrom the perfect seeming family, while Amy seems stuck with parents onthe brink of divorce and an angsty younger sis Ashley.
The first episode relied too heavily on stereotypes — girls rebelby wearing sexy clothes and eyeliner! Teenage boys have to have sex tosurvive! But wait, maybe all of that really was true in high school…What do you guys think? How well did Secret Life represent theAmerican teen? Did anything make you blush and go “yeah, me too” orwere you stuck rolling your eyes and wishing for more Ringwald?