Thursday, August 7, 2008

Secret Life of an American Teenager

Because of DVR, I was lucky enough to catch a marathon of the first six episodes of ABC Family's new television show, Secret Life of an American Teenager, and of course, it wouldn't be a typical summer without latching onto some weird television show that I will indubitably not end up finish watching once school starts. Of course, the big "secret" is that teenagers have sex and that you can get pregnant the first time that you have sex. Wow! I didn't really know that those facts were that secret.

Monopolizing on the rather public pregnancy of Jamie Lynn Spears, ABCF decided to jump on the disturbing "new" trend of redefining "family values." Every episode is followed by a PSA about preventing teen pregnancy, however, it seems the only way to deal with it is to get married and have the kid (uh, disgusting). Of course, I was overly thrilled at the idea that Amy, the main "pregnant" character might actually succeed in getting an abortion. I mean, since the first episode, the word was mentioned and the seed planted. However, I should have known that a network with "family" in the title wasn't going to allow sweet teen Amy to actually follow through with it. This weeks episode was the final straw. She actually made it into the operation room of the clinic after being bombarded by a pro-life, evangelical ex-cheerleader and her new boyfriend who wants to marry her and make everything better. The naivete of half the cast is so lame and sort of passe when it comes to TV drama.

The redeeming features of the show, however, are Molly Ringwald as Amy's mom and India Eisley (quite the newcomer) as Amy's sister. While Molly Ringwald is playing the opposite end of her 80s roles, she does a pretty good job of acting like the adult version of her former roles, sometimes. India often steals the spotlights from the other characters of the show. The dry delivery of her lines seems to make her acting style seem raw and lame, however, her quirky lines and forward-thinking sensibilities outweigh her own childishness concerning her inability to understand adult relationships. And before I forget, I have to mention Francia Raisa as Adrian (the school's resident bad girl who enjoys sex and quite frankly may have the best lines of the show so far) and Amy Rider (Ben's friend and resident romance/sex statistician who seems to know more about sex than those two dudes from Loveline).

So, what is Amy's way out of this pregnancy? Well so far her options are abortion (which is probably a no-no), marrying Ben (which is lame and shouldn't happen), or getting together with the baby-daddy (which will probably happen for ratings and plot twists). Ah, conventional television.

But what really bugs me is that ABC Family won't just give her the abortion. Doesn't that happen in families? Is every family so story book? There are no gay families on the network. It seems as if the most they are willing to do is have inter-racial families (that are because of a foster agency not because of choice). (While I'm not an expert on the whole network, I'm pretty sure my statements are true, and if not, I apologize.)

Anyways, I'll keep watching it for a while, and who knows, maybe like Gossip Girl, a follow-up might appear in the future.

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