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The Secret Life of the American Teenager

You know the feeling you get when you see a well-made TV show, with great acting and an intriguing plot? Be prepared to bid adieu to that wonderful emotion before you sit down to see the atrocious monstrosity of a television show that is “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.” Created by Brenda Hampton in 2008, “Secret Life” makes it a goal to find any teenage cliché and exploit it – various times.

The show centers around 15 year-old Amy Juergens, a teenager who is saddled with an unplanned pregnancy. Though Amy only does the deed once, it turns out that once is more than enough for her uterus to start cooking up a baby. The first season follows her pregnancy, and the second season – so far- chronicles her exploits as a teenage mother.

If ABC Family's purpose in airing this show was to send teenagers the message that all teenagers are immature, whiny, sex-driven animals, they struck gold. Amy Juergens is the very picture of selfish immaturity; ninety percent of the show is centered on her whiny, judgmental comments. There are no redeeming qualities whatsoever in this character, a sad fact that ruins the already comatose show.

Maybe if “Secret Life” had semi-decent acting, it would be more interesting. No, instead, we get dull, scripted actions that simply increase the growing urge to bash your head against the TV. What started as a follow up to increasingly popular films such as Juno turned into a stilted, abysmal joke of a show. If there was ever a show that jumped the shark before it even began, this would be it. However, if you have a hunger for shows that drag, and characters that whine almost as much as the overpaid actors that play them, then “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” is for you!

Join the Discussion

This article has 62 comments. Post your own!

Anonymous said...
Nov. 4, 2010 at 7:52 pm:
I appreciate your review - you might be the only human being I've met that had a decent opinion on this televion show! Indeed, I believe the seriously misleading title is what might have drawn in many early viewers, but we must question ourselves, what is it that allows so many of our age group to keep watching?
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Baller 101 said...
Oct. 13, 2010 at 3:27 pm:
I LOVE this show. I think it relates to teens all over the world. Teens that are prego or have had a baby should watch this show to know that your not alone. All female teens adn in some cases moms should watch this show!!
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c.a.r96 said...
Sept. 28, 2010 at 8:34 am:
I love this shop..... it was deffinently great and still is this does set a great example for teens though cuz it shows us how it is to b young with kids it shows us that we should b protected when we do things like this the show was great and cant wait for it to continue........................
web1love replied...
Oct. 1, 2010 at 10:53 pm :
i know this show is aweosme
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kao-chanu said...
Sept. 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm:
You showed your opinion very vividly. You are a strong, persuasive writer. I, personally have the same feelings toward this show, but even if i hadn't i would still be swayed by your strong writing skills. thank you for your post.  :)
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lancer guuurl said...
Aug. 29, 2010 at 9:24 am:
ok i looove this show its sets such  perfect example for young teens and i hope everyone agrees yes its mainly about sex but it shows important effects of having sex at a young age im not  saying dont ever have sex but wait until your prepared for the total effect unlike amy did in the show
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PhoenixLord said...
Jul. 17, 2010 at 8:58 pm:
Hahaha!  Great opening!
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Bethani said...
Jun. 27, 2010 at 11:18 am:
my problem with the show is that it's too much like 7th heaven. it's like they're re-creating it. but other than that it's an ok show. the kids try to make good desicions and sometimes the parents aren't the best examples.
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luv2write4ever said...
Jun. 26, 2010 at 7:52 pm:
First of all, it's suppose to be over dramatic and whiney, it's a teenage soap opera. Second, I completely agree on it dragging on. After she had her kid, it was so stupid. I didn't even want to watch it unless I absolutely had to.
Prosaic-Scriptor replied...
Aug. 27, 2010 at 6:30 pm :
You have a point there. 
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lszyman96 said...
Jun. 17, 2010 at 11:24 am:
yes! i watchd it at first and i thought it was okay...but then it started to just get stupid and drag!
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pjam20 said...
Jun. 7, 2010 at 4:27 pm:
Although you may believe that Secret Life portrays things that make us look bad does not make the show bad. The actors are great, because they are definitely not like that in reality. Plus, this show shows us and everyone else what IS actually going on in our generation. Yes, it may not be with all of us, but the rate has skyrocketed since our parents were kids. Watching Amy talk to parents about her relationships and sex is inspiring. Teens, including us, should be able to express those kind of... (more »)
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twilight_teen14 said...
Jun. 4, 2010 at 7:46 am:
I agree. I hate this show now. When it first aired, I was like "Um....okay" and I sort of liked it, but after she had her kid, I was like THERE IS NO PT TO THE SHOW ANYMORE! I cannot believe they cancelled 10 Things I Hate About You and kept Secret Life!
soletmar replied...
Jun. 23, 2010 at 9:29 am :
i know!!! i loved the ten things i hate about you!! and the ending was just... well not an ending.
Prosaic-Scriptor replied...
Aug. 27, 2010 at 6:31 pm :
I completely agree, actually. I like 10 Things I Hate About You.
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prettygirl19 said...
Jun. 3, 2010 at 8:08 pm:
I'm kind of on the fence about this one. I agree that the show is mainly about sex. Their alleged purpose for even running this show is to stop teens from wanting to have sex, hence, Amy's pregnancy. But their not doing that good of a job. Amy's preganancy was the only example of why teens should wait to have sex. Also, you can't watch the show for five minutes without hearing the actual word 'sex'. If the actors were better at 'acting' that wouldn't be necessary. Yet, despite all of the cons, s... (more »)
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purpleink112 said...
May 29, 2010 at 5:09 pm:
I definitely agree with what you're saying here.  Everyone seems to obsessed with this show, but like you, I just think the main character is annoying and whiny. Plus, the supposed "romance" aspect of the show is revolves around the characters switching boyfriends or girlfriends. Either add more characters or have the characters just stay with their current boyfriend/girlfriend!
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Rebecca B. said...
May 16, 2010 at 7:04 pm:
Thank GOD I'm not the only one who feels this way about the show. It's a moving train wreck, but all my friends go ga-ga for it because they like they "hawt boyz" on it. Ugh.
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fun size said...
Apr. 26, 2010 at 9:31 am:
Great article! very nice word choice! But I have some other thinh=gs to say! The point is that thi show is very whiny and All that type of junk! But its making teens look bad! Just because your a teenager doesn't  mean your going to and get pregnant wich is what this show is mostly doing! It is In away pushing teens to You know have a child! This show is also showing how much of a responcibility it is to have a child in high school! Nice job any way!
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magic-esi This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 1, 2010 at 7:20 pm:

That's true- the show is horrific. Many age-discriminatory people I meet refer to the Secret Life of an American Teenager when they're trying to prove that I'm a dumb juvenile delinquent on drugs. It's pointless and it makes teens look bad.

Besides that, your article was absolutely amazing. I agree with you on every point and each sentence was well-structured, your vocabulary is very varied, and the organization of your review kept me hooked. Great review and I would love to read more ... (more »)

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