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  • As a teenager--15 years old, in fact, the same as the main character--I have to say this is an awful, unrealistic, cardboard-cutout teenage drama program. While I understand the thinly veiled message of abstinence, it is not brought forth in a intelligent or believable manner. If we're old enough to have sex, I think we're old not to be pandered and talked down to, which seems to be the primary aim of the show. Amy, the main character, is a shallow, boring, sour character. The show's attempts to make her seem remotely geeky or normal at all tend to fall flat, and in general the plot and character development of all of the characters is very poor indeed. The script comes off cheesy and overdone, the acting is terrible, and it's really just a show of stereotypes, not interesting, complex people. Not real people. The dramatic story lines are not half as entertaining as they would be with real people, in real situations, with realistic reactions.
  • xx_oemmao_xx1 September 2009
    I am 15, going on 16 in a few weeks. Being around the same age bracket/grade as most of the characters in this show, I can honestly say it is really, really off. Even the most genuine characters are phony. There are plot holes all over the place, and most things are never explained. Remember Rumer Willis? Who, what, where, when, wtf? Amy's dynamic with everyone just sucks, especially with Ben. According to them, they were in love after like two minutes. (A side note, the world love is tossed around excessively on this show, along with sex, funeral, baby, etc.) If they are so madly in love, why do they seem to hate each other? Another thing that bugs me is how nonchalant the parents are about their young children having "serious' relationships. Just because you are a high schooler does not mean the only thing you think about is sex/omg I need a boyfriend! The whole show is going nowhere, but it has found its place in my TV schedule as comic relief. I'm in too deep now, but if I were you, I would avoid Secret Life at all costs.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I watched this show just because of a tiny little interest, and have been astounded on how ridiculous and nonrealistic it is.

    Amy, the main character (a fifteen year old) is pregnant. In the wake of the popularity of "Juno", this show caught a wave because of its seclusive title and snapshot of its pregnant main character. The surrounding backstory with her family and friends includes the typical silly soap opera plots: everyone cheating/sleeping with each other, growing up, identities, blah blah blah. The Christian stereotype of the bouncy blonde cheerleader is especially reminiscent of "Saved!" characters.

    I am most frustrated with Amy's character. She is clueless, foolish, and naive, with no distinct other personality traits. She accidentally slept with someone, oh no, here comes baby. She thinks it'll go away if she forgets about it (how can anyone be that stupid?). And when the poor sap Ben comes along, groveling at her feet, she seemingly has no interest, even when he rushes the "i love you's." He finds out she lied to him, is having some other dude's baby, and what does he do? Of course, he proposes to her! How romantic, and he even says he'll pretend the baby's his! This show unfailingly portrays teenagers as foolish and aimless, with half baked goals and impulsive decisions. Amy expects her mother to take care of her baby, doesn't think she needs to get a job, and thinks she'll live happily ever after with her non- baby daddy. Of course its that easy, just pop out a child, you're mother will take care of it, you don't need a job either! I am sad for the audience of this show, if young girls watch this and take it to heart, what kind of message are they taking away? It takes no steps to give any teenagers credit. All of the characters combined have an IQ of 40.

    This show should not be as popular as it is. This is sad, America.
  • Cassiopea_Fay1 December 2009
    The whole plot line is nothing but sex. Sex sex sex. From all walks of life; whether it is the meek girl who was taken advantage of, the player, the wannabe-player, the bad girl, the girl who wants to save it till marriage, the boyfriend who wants to pressure her to give in...

    Seriously, there does not seem to be at least one sentence where the characters are not talking about intercourse. ALL of the characters.

    It's nothing but stereotypes, and really bad dialogue. And unrealistic in regards to what life as a teen really is like. If it is suppose to be a satire, or a spoof of some sort...doesn't seem to be doing a great job.

    And for one thing, the adults themselves appear to be brainless. If a principle KNEW that a boy wanted to join the band just because he wanted to pick up girls....wouldn't it be refused overall? The kid even asked for a condom!

    And I tire of the stereotypical portrayal of girls who do want to wait till marriage. Not all of them are girly, pushy, over religious and braggy about their chastity. But yet will eventually will always "give in" to their apparent urges.

    And not all teenage boys are crazy horny 24/7 with bad intentions on their minds.

    The whole sex theme and teen pregnancy is getting old - especially if it isn't done well and creatively.

    It gives a whole general bad impression on American society, as if all teens are really like this.
  • I'm sorry, but how much money did ABC Family have to pay the New York Post to call the show "beautifully written" when it truly is anything but. Brenda Hampton has no sense of what a teenager really acts like, all she seems to go on is stereotypes from other shows/movies. Grace is the overachiever who wants to go to med school: of course she's pretty and blonde. Adrian is Hispanic/Latina, of course she's the school hussy, and of course she has a mother who is never around. Jack is on the football team, so of course he'd be dating Grace. Amy is such a waste of a character. No teen is that naive, unless they have some sort of metal disability, and no: I am not dogging on the mentally disabled. Ricky is actually the only character that I could possibly see as a real teen. Ashley's personality doesn't fit the girl playing her, at all. Is she monotone, or is that her voice for the character? She's a very pretty girl and I do hope she can shed this image of Ashley.

    The only reason why ABC Family picked up this show is because all the ten year old girls are watching it. And can we be serious for a second? Why do you think this airs on ABC Family and not ABC or the CW? Everyone tries to pinpoint "Oh this is a family show, this is great for ABC Family!" Not really, if Secret Life had good writing, then maybe another network would have picked it up. Brenda Hampton sold the show to ABC Family because they're so desperate for ratings they'll pick up anything that they hope will make them money. Oh and another thing, the Network acts as if Secret Life is some record breaking hit for TV. It really isn't. The pilot averaged 1.2 million viewers. That's hardly anything to the big Networks like Fox or NBC. Hell, even The CW has better ratings! The reruns of Gilmore Girls get just as good ratings from my last comparison, and that is a show that's syndicated. As a future screenwriter for TV, it pains me to know this trash is airing...

    Brenda Hampton really needs to just... stop.
  • This has to be the most degrading show on television. Not in a physical sense but in a mental sense. The female characters are beyond naive and ignorant and the male characters are down right jerks. As a female who not that long ago was a teen, I felt like I was hurting the human race by giving this ratings. What a way to put down American teens. This is NOT the secret life of the American teenager. What a way to generalize. The main character Amy is made out to be some innocent damsel in distress who gets pregnant her very first time with a guy. While yes you can get pregnant your first time. Most teens who have kids have had sex more then once. Most of them, though made stupid decisions also weren't as naive as Amy. It's insulting. Teens know how to get pregnant and they certainly know how NOT to get pregnant. It is a choice they're making. This show makes Amy out to be so innocent she didn't know she was having sex. What??? I can hear teens now using that excuse after seeing this. Why are guys always the jerks. They make it seem like all of the problems on the show are the fault of the male characters. The female characters eat up everything the male characters feed to them as if they are so easily coaxed and have no minds of their own. They make the male characters to be out only for themselves with nothing else on their minds but to coax these "innocent" females who don't know any better. Please, females aren't stupid. In this day and age, we're strong, intelligent beings. Men aren't the enemy and they aren't all out for themselves. Save your dignity and self respect by NOT watching this trash.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Wow. This show was pretty bad. I was hoping the show would dig deep and find true secrets and struggles teens go through, but it was just so bland, predictable, and unrealistic! First of all, that is not how teens talk! It felt very scripted the whole time and didn't reflect how teenagers truly interact. In the 1st episode when Amy's friends find out she is pregnant, the pauses in their conversation and reactions are not how people would react. once they find out, they kind of carry on as if the news wasn't a HUGE shock to them.

    Secondly, Ben and Amy's relationship is so....just...things don't work like that. He claims he loves her and barely knows her and shes totally fine with it. I find that HIGHLY creepy and obsessive. When 15 year olds claim they "love" each other, they're just saying it because they think its the thing to do.

    Lastly, I really hate how they never let you figure things out. The script just goes and and tells you what happened. It would've been much more interesting if you had to figure out and got subtle clues that Ricky was sexually abused as a kid, but in the 1st episode, they just go out and say it. Instead of thinking and being engaged with the show, you are just spoon fed interesting information.

    The show is okay, just not something I would follow. Maybe id watch another episode if i was really bored on a rainy day with nothing else on.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is an embarrassingly bad show that supposedly depicts the "secret life" of teenagers. It's attempting to capitalize on the subject from "Juno" only in a clumsy and completely un-entertaining way.

    First of all, as a 26 year old woman, I can't relate my teens to any of these characters. Amy as the main character is the most unreasonable and unbelievable. Yes, teenagers have sex. And yes, some get pregnant. I'll even give in that a 15-16 year old might make many mistakes such as "pretending it's not happening" or continuing to date a guy even though she's starting to show.

    However this Amy is not likable, has no personality, and is poorly developed as a character by the writers.

    The episode that ended it for me was the 4th, where parents laughed over the young Christian girl defending herself against two men trying to abduct her, and she was the one punished for being out, rather than her parents being grateful that she was strong enough to defend against two predatory men. Only furthering the complete fallacy of what would REALLY happen in EVERY scenario this show presents. Not to mention, said girls parents making remarks against Amy and her pregnancy completely breaking doctor/patient confidentiality.

    The show is gross. I can handle a show about teenagers having sex (because, lets be honest, many are) - but this is not only vanilla coated to try it's best to be "family friendly", making it all that much more inaccurate in every sense - dialogue, storyline, character development, etc.

    Definitely one to skip.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    i'll give it a four for it being mildly entertaining, but i just graduated last year and it is not realistic in the least, most other teenagers will tell you the same. Brenda Hampton has no idea what she's talking about.

    this show has some of the most annoying characters played by the most horrible actors. Ben is unbelievable and REALLY creepy, so is his father. come on, what father would be perfectly fine with his fifteen year old son dating a fifteen year old girl who was having another guy's baby? absolutely ridiculous.

    the other characters are obvious stereotypes. Ricky is attractive, so of course he sleeps with every girl in school. Adrian is Latina and has a single mother who's gone all the time, so obviously she's the school hussy. trying to sleep with the guidance counselor and being ashamed of her grades? seriously NEVER happens, i can't believe anyone would ever go as far as to say that this show is accurate.
  • holy_jennifer29 December 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    I think this show is disgusting. Instead of actually educating teens about sexuality, it makes sex a dirty thing, and further represses healthy sexual growth. In the second episode, when the counsellor tells Ben that whatever a woman does before she meets you is none of your business i was actually positively surprised. But then he follows with saying that thankfully she probably feels ashamed and guilty (about having done "anything" with Ricky)-making it okay. So let's make teens feel guilty about sex! How ridiculous is that? Also, i hate the fact that the two sexually active people (Ricky and Adrien) are portrayed as "broken" sociopathic individuals. This is not a healthy example for young people, i think it is much more relevant to make sexuality a matter open for discussion, about enjoyment, love, and safety. Not something to be ashamed about.
  • porazzim4222 August 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    I have been trying to like this show since it came out but I simply cannot do it. This show trys to depict how high school really is, and as a teenager, I find this show insulting. Yes, some teenagers have sex and get pregnate, but not every sentence is about who's doing who, when they do it, why their doing it, who wants to be doing it...come on. Every line in this show is about sex. And that is completely inaccurate.

    The character of Amy is also unreasonable and irritating...she always seems on the verge of tears...why Ben loves her I don't know. Her mother is useless and is too wrapped up her own sex life. The only character I can stomach is Adrian because she is not as fake as everyone else and I especially can't stand Grace. The whole episode when she thought she killed her father because she had sex was so ridiculous I was laughing. I hope people don't think this is how teenagers really are.
  • tigressanele7 January 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    Those who like it seem as if they've never truly experienced high school, or are too far out of it (high school). No teenagers I've met talk about sex that much, nor are they this stupid. I am sure that teenagers do not think about marriage, and their immediate reaction to pregnancy would probably be abortion. The only seemingly reasonable adult is Amy's mom, but then again, I haven't seen all of the episodes. But overall, my least favorite character is the school counselor. He's too unrealistic and stupid. No school would give a student a schedule change in order to chase after a girl, and he never discourages sex, he just goes along and pretends to be friends with the students. He doesn't really seem like an authority figure. All the characters either lack personality or extreme stereotypes, and badly acted ones at that. It's a terrible show, and I don't think anyone should watch it
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I absolutely think this show is a wretched depiction of a pregnant teenager's life. At 15 you should know if you had sex or not, even if it was bad an short lived. It's kinda obvious what it is. Once you're pregnant, it is very rare that you are going to start dating some other guy, and fall in love within dates (that doesn't happen to non-pregnant teens). This guy is not going to propose to you, and if he does, his father definitely won't approve. The chances that your father's x-wife's husband is your pediatrician are impossible because your parents wouldn't be imbeciles. You probably wouldn't be the same age as your dad's x-wife's daughter, considering the time it takes to divorce, move on, and move on again (that's what Grace's mom did because she cheated on Amy's dad with someone who wasn't her current husband). Cliques in high school are not named, it is completely generic (Majorette is a cliché-ed term and a ten year old could think of it) The fifteen year old's sister who is supposedly 13 would not look older than the elder. Your dad's x-wife's daughter's love interest would not be your baby daddy. You would speak using contractions (ie. can't instead of cannot). You probably wouldn't be oblivious to the fact that your parents are having a rough patch. You won't be stupid enough to think that fake id's (with a different name on them) will legally be enough for you to get married. You're friends would probably act like they are five (Madison and that other girl are so immature) but their IQ's would be higher than that of a five year old (they take the longest pauses before they say their lines).

    Also, Molly Ringwald can't even act that well, or she is being given the worst character to portray. My least favorite moment with her was when she found out about Amy's condition. She was just making her coffee and she jumped because Amy was sitting there in the dark. And I quote, "I didn't see you. (LONG PAUSE) You startled me." duh, I think we got that from the jump back and gasp. You had to say it twice in two different phrasings? And she used such clear syllables as if she was talking to a two year old. Honestly, I don't think she was ever a great actress...but that kind of melodramatic style was considered the 80's. The best actors on the show are Adrian and Rikki, and they are playing the most stereotyped characters written. I feel sorry for these actors, and I encourage them to find a loophole in their contracts and find new jobs.

    In conclusion, the characters are all unrealistically connected, the plot is very weak, and the dialogue is terrible. This makes it a very suspenseful show. How much cheesier can it get? And gasp, is that finally a real tear rolling down Amy's cheek? Because every time she "cries" she is smiling. Also, that disclaimer at the end of the episode should really be updated. I'm sick of seeing the same one after every episode. Have a different character do it for a change. Maybe have Rikki do one on child abuse.
  • If you remember 7th Heaven, you probably noticed how the Camdens always suffered the same maladies at the same time. Mom's addicted to coffee, dad is taking too many Advil, son is smoking pot, other son is taking no-doz ... etc. You felt like you were getting hit over the head with the message every week, but at least it was a different message each week. Secret Life runs over you with a steamroller. Then, they back up over you and do it again, and again, and again, and OH Dear yet again. Aside from the flat, stereotypical, unlikable characters (yes, they even made a kid with Downs Syndrome a sex-obsessed total jerk too), they drone on and on about the only thing that is on any of their narrow minds. For fun, I counted the number of times they use the word "sex". It was 17 times just in the scenes from previous shows. For the show itself, the total was around 40 - including references to oral and anal sex as well as a mother recommending masturbation to her daughter. Of course, one must suspend disbelief while watching a fictional program, but how much can you hold back the urge to scream BULLS**T when a teenage boy tells his girlfriend that he wants to "have sex" for the fourteenth time in one episode. No teenage boy EVER got what he wanted by whining "I wanna have sex", yet this clown is climbing off of her in the very next scene. People DO NOT live this way. Although my daughter will not miss this show, I can see how one with no life experience might overlook the bizarre departure from reality. What I can't understand is why she devotes an hour of each week to something so bereft of entertainment value.
  • z_amiruddin9 January 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    As I said it's downright awful. The acting is awful and the story is so unbelievable. Ben says he loves Amy in the second episode! And then he wants to marry her by the fifth? They are 15! The acting is just appalling. I'm sure there are so many other talented young actresses out there who can show a little bit more emotion than just staring intently with a sour face. The girl who plays Ashley has one look, blank, and when she changes her mood all that happens is her voice gets louder. Amy another lifeless character, all see does it fiddle with her hair and then start crying and go on about how she can't have the baby.

    I gave it one extra star just because the underlying storyline ie teenage girl getting pregnant and dealing with it is a good idea, but they could have worked a little harder with getting better actors and a making a better story.
  • PartialMovieViewer27 January 2009
    The word is gob-smacked so many troubles in such a short time. I guess this is a really good young chick show, packed full of father hating nuance, pregnant teen-queens and arrogant know-it-all youths. I made the mistake of sitting through this show and felt really out-of-place. Why is it that the male parent is always a loser and the female parents walk on water? Not my cup of tea and I do not feel there are any impassioned queries that warrant my attention or a reply. I truly enjoyed the commercial breaks and think they did a wonderful job of breaking up the monotony of the show. Ah well...if I were a young girl I probably would be all giddy and my heart would be a fluttering over this show
  • I agree with what a lot of people are saying, it's clichéd and preachy, BUT I also find in completely fascinating. That's my opinion, of course, but the whole premise is fairly new for TV. Sure, sure, we have about a bazillion lifetime movies about underage girls having babies, their parents wanting them to give the baby up or have an abortion and the father of the baby wanting or not wanting to be in the picture. But I can't recall watching a TV show about it.

    For such a young cast, they're not half bad with the acting. Shailene Woodley is very cute, as far as annoying, well, I hate to break it to you, but she plays the typical fifteen year old, to a 'T'. She seems selfish and vain and emotional, because, stereotypically (which this show is all about, stereotypes), she is the perfect example of a fifteen year old, and to top the sundae off, she's pregnant. Ken Baumann is absolutely adorable. He's the perfect boy next door, geek chic, that a girl would like to have around. The rest of the cast is on the ball, for the most part. Molly Ringwald is a little stiff in my eyes, but that could be because I'm so use to watching her in her 80's glory.

    The Characters are pretty much predictable and completely set in their stereotypical roles, and there are moments where you want to slap every single one of them. I don't remember being like that at 15, but that was way back in the day. Ricky... Ricky just blows my mind, that boy needs to be hosed down. And for most of the episodes I want to beat Adrian with a stick. But Amy's two gossiping gal pals crack me up, and the adorableness of Henry and Ashley (individually/together) is entertaining. The parents are all having just as much drama as their kids, which is somewhat mind blowing, but it leads to an entertaining quality.

    Personally, I love it, my brand new addiction for the season. It's mind blowing, especially when Amy and Ben talk about forever and true love, but highly entertaining. I want to know what's going to happen next, for all of them ;) Worth a watch if you're bored. I think it's def a hit or miss program. Either you'll love it, or hate it. (Shrugs) ;)
  • The Secret Life of the American Teenager shows everything you see in normal television shows about teenage life, however, it is still addicting.

    To those who say that it is stupid and unrealistic, I understand where you come from, but I have to disagree. I am actually fifteen years old, and a freshmen in high school. My school is very similar to The Secret Life school as far as students go. I come from a very large, blue-ribbon, public school, and with so many kids, and so many kids who want to go to my school (although they think we're stuck up rich kids), I've met many people who are exactly like one of these characters.

    There is a senior at my school who happened to get pregnant. There are the perfect boyfriends, the perfect cheerleaders, the slutty cheerleaders, the band geeks, and the player guys. There are also, however, normal people (and I'd like to think I'm one of them).

    The Secret Life shows the basic high school stereotypes, not everyone. It does not show the 'normal' children. Christians are not all preppy, the boyfriends aren't usually perfect or terrible, best friends don't always gossip (although they often do) about what's a secret, and not all sex addicts have trouble at home in some way or another.

    If you actually understand the high school brain mind, not individually in each student, but as a whole, it's a perfect show. When someone from your school gets pregnant, the whole truth about everyone involved in the littlest way unravels.
  • skepple86419 July 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    I am a mother who is in the kitchen a lot, so i am a Netflix on the Kindle gal. i stumbled across this show and i am almost done with the entire series. i stuck with it because i was hoping there would be a bit more character development through the 5 seasons, but now i feel duped. Molly Ringwald comes out of hiding for this? seriously? I fondly remember the doofus of a dad delivering the baby in their house because there was no time for a trip to the hospital? come on.Or the classic (and constant) story line of the parents encouraging all the teens to be married? what is that? When Adrienne and Ben marry, miscarry and divorce all before their 18th birthday, i find that a little ridiculous. the acting is very flat as well. maybe the awful terrible writing could have been less bad if the acting was even partially OK. i am not sure why this show lasted this long. I will finish it (because, no matter what, i am not a quitter) but i am sadly realizing that i just wasted hours on a show that went no where at all. the only reason i gave this 2 stars is because Molly Ringwald sings the opening song and i like it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This show is just awful. Every character has the same personality- they react to everything with this weird, sarcastic, unintelligent answer. And I noticed that not one person has boundaries- they literally burst out to random people "MY DAUGHTER'S PREGNANT" "I was married!" "I had a miscarriage!" They are oh so dramatic. Of course, a teen mom, there's gonna be drama. But Jesus, it's not the end of the world.

    I honestly do not understand how this show is still on TV. Every episode goes like this - "I had a baby at 15! I can't do this! Should we get married? Let's get married! No let's get a divorce. I'm jealous of this person so I'm gonna have sex with you. OMG they had sex! No WAY"

    I feel bad for the actors, because I'm sure some of them can really act, but the scripts and directors are HORRIBLE.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I actually do like this show, but I haven't figured out why. It's addicting for whatever reason.

    I think the acting could be a lot better. The guy who plays Amy's father is downright horrible. Overdramatizes everything.

    The plot is definitely interesting. And the title catches your eye quickly. It makes you think you will really see the secret life of teenagers. And the idea of a show about a girl who gets pregnant at a really young age and being the central topic hasn't really been done before on TV. Unless I've missed some show that has portrayed this.

    I don't really think this is all that accurate though. I doubt Ben would really go after Amy when he found out she was pregnant in real life. And although I'm two years removed from my teenage years, we don't think about sex all day every day. Especially when you get to the latter part where you have to think about college and where you will be going.

    I do like the show, but it really wasn't that well put together.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    We saw the initial episode tonight on ABCFamily. Considering the network and the time slot, we would expect it to be family-friendly.

    Shailene Woodley, who really is 16, appears to be the lead character Amy who is 15 or 16 in the TV show. She is a good girl from a good family, she plays the French Horn in the school band, and in many ways is the model "geek" type of girl. Molly Ringwald of "Sixteen Candles" fame plays her mother.

    As often happens with good girls, who also are naive, Amy gets charmed by a student whose goal is to have sex with as many girls as he can. It is all about "him", and in a therapy session we see that he is this way because his father mistreated him when he was younger. Ernie Hudson is good as the shrink, Dr. Fields.

    The nice young man who is attracted to Amy is Kenny Baumann, 18, as Ben. He joins the band to play cymbals just to be closer to her.

    The story line of the first episode has Amy falling victim to the boy who just wants to have sex, and she becomes pregnant. Previews of subsequent episodes show this clearly, and the run of the first season will evidently be to examine this issue of teen pregnancy further, as a cautionary message to teens.
  • I was excited to see this show initially because of Molly Ringwald, and looked forward to the premiere for several weeks. I was not one bit disappointed. Finally, another good 7th Heaven type show that deals with serious issues in a family friendly way. The young actors are all very good and believable, and although it is a little bit cheesy, I would prefer this show to Hannah Montana anyday. After the first episode when they showed the teaser for the upcoming season I was so excited to see more and wished I could buy the whole season right then! I can't wait to see what this show has in store and plan on recommending it to everyone!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I have too much time on my hands as I am currently watching the second season of this tripe, but I can't seem to stop watching. It's like looking into an alien world where creatures roam a high school, who look human, but act like they have just stepped off the mother ship.

    They all fall in love in 2 seconds and then decide to get married after 2 weeks before having sex. Oh, the "sex". This word is used hundreds of times each episode. There are periods in the conversations where it is used in every sentence for 5 minutes running.

    I'm not going to be affected by any of these idiotic characters but I seriously hope this doesn't make teenagers feel guilty for wanting to pursue a sexual relationship with their partners. The attitudes are so unhealthy and almost Victorian bar the fact everyone constantly talks about "SEX!" like its the word of the day.

    As an example of the programs mono tonal viewpoint one of the main characters, who is a Christian, changes her mind from " NO SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE EVERRRRR" to " Well, I love my long term boyfriend and he loves me and god wouldn't mind if we shared that love physically as it's natural". So what happens? The second she has finished having sex she learns that her father has died. The plane he was on just fell out of the sky! The program is one long abstinence lecture with a script filled with characters who are barley recognisable as human beings let alone teenagers, who are just starting to discover the opposite sex and beginning to feel comfortable with their own bodies.

    And why is abortion never mentioned? I know that this show would rather show a montage of Amy self flagellating and weeping with guilt over her dirty, filthy sexual desire than show an abortion, but its never even mentioned, not once, even by her parents or her friends on learning she is pregnant.

    In conclusion if you fancy a laugh and have an hour to kill why not but be warned that this is rubbish of the first degree and you will want to reach into the TV and slap all of the characters silly and tell them to grow a pair. Especially Ben and Amy as he is a sap and she is selfish bitch. Oh, and take every characters views with mountains of salt.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Secret Life of The American Teenager is a good concept in theory. However, the final product is a bit half-baked.

    The Good) Let's not kid ourselves: sex education in public schools (and in private homes) always has and still does take a back seat to more 'important' activities such as sports, honor society, being popular, and all kinds of other BS that has nothing to do with real life. Kudos to Secret Life for finally addressing the elephant in the room that nobody wants to acknowledge. Most kids learn about birth control on the Net or from friends, but rarely from parents or educators. While the show gives virtually no beneficial information about birth control, at least it slams the issue right in front of parents' eyes so they have the option of discussing it with their kids if they're brave enough to do so.

    Acting-wise, Mark Derwin (George), Francia Raisa (Adrian), India Eisley (Ashley), Megan Park (Grace), Luke Zimmerman (Tom), and Amy Rider (Alice) all do an excellent job portraying multifaceted characters despite the limitations of the script. They have realistic emotions & give a zing to their dialog that the other cast members lack.

    The Bad) Realism, where art thou??? -- Not on the set on 'Secret Life', that's for sure. I would not send *my* kids to "Ulysses S. Grant High School" because, apparently, anybody who wants to can just stroll onto the grounds and enter the school at will. In fact, they can even take up residence in an official school office and nobody seems to notice. It's a good thing that Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold didn't go here... The school counselor would've been fired, if not tarred and feathered, a million years ago if he even said one quarter of the highly unprofessional things we are to believe he got away with. Speaking of which, kids don't converse in real life the way they do on the show, nor do they react to situations the way the show portrays. It's so absurd that it's a complete farce. Listening to the dialog, I am reminded of *every* training video from every job ever where the actors react in a completely silly way.

    Everyone is sleeping around with everyone else and nobody has gotten an STD? Yeah, that's realistic! And this point, in particular, really demonstrates the half-assed way the show is put together. On one hand, the show wants to be socially responsible, while on the other hand, the show leaves out all kinds of relevant issues. The show is an accurate portrayal of most American families: complete lack of respect for each others' boundaries, little if any emotional intimacy, isolated kids and non-communicative parents. But so what? "Square Pegs" and "My So-Called Life" pioneered this technique back in the 80's and it's nothing new. If series creator Brenda Hampton wants this to truly be a family show that is a vehicle for positive social change, she should write more episodes where the family tries to heal itself rather than just maintain the status quo.

    The Ugly) Throwing around all the just-add-water "I Love You's" between Ben and Amy is disturbing to say the least. But even more disturbing is the tacit approval of this behavior from all the parents. Earth calling Brenda: these are 15-year-olds; they don't know what "love" is and any remotely competent parent would certainly not endorse this by taking it seriously. Also, nobody ever gets punished for *anything*. The kids run around doing all manner of outrageous things and all they get is a slap on the wrist. Using fake ID's to get married? Call me crazy but I suspect that most parents with an IQ higher than that of a dyslexic trout would come down on their kids like Eliot Ness on Al Capone.

    Also many of the characters are flat, contradictory, or absurd. For example, the characters Amy Juergens, Ben Boykewich, Jack Pappas, Kathleen Bowman, Madison & Lauren, Henry Miller, and several others have no depth whatsoever. After watching the first season, I was tempted to make a call to Disneyland and tell them some of their Animatronic's escaped from Pirates of the Caribean. I don't blame the cast for this; they try their best to do a good job with the hollow, wooden roles they've been handed. No, the fault here lies with the crappy writing.

    The characters Ricky and Amy, arguably the main stars of the show, have less personality than Scooby Doo. Enough said.

    Some other characters that, to use the youth's vernacular, "suck the big one": are Anne Juergens and Leo Boykewich. Molly Ringwald is a very accomplished and talented actress whose ability is being wasted in this role. Her character is weak, puny, and flighty. Her portrayal of Claire Standish in "The Breakfast Club" was much stronger and she was only 18 at the time! Once again, the blame lies with Brenda "Quaaludes" Hampton for crappy writing. Likewise, Steve Schirripa is a extremely talented actor who is being wasted here as little more than a caveman in a tux. If I was his agent, I would catch up with Ms. Hampton in the parking lot and kick her in the box.

    The Secret Life of The American Teenager has a lot of potential and could be a excellent vehicle for family discussion and growth. However, in its current incarnation it is little more than a flaccid, predictable teen drama with all the excitement of C-Span.
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