The Secret Life of the American Teenager

August 4, 2009
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!

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This article has 70 comments. Post your own now!

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.
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 »)
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!
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.
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!
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 »)

Valery5 replied...
Apr. 26, 2010 at 11:59 am
great acticle and i dont know i kind of think the show is good well the first season was the 2nd one is boring they should had stop at the first.
Prosaic-Scriptor replied...
Apr. 29, 2010 at 12:23 am
Thank you, magic-esi, for your kind words! I'm flattered that you liked it so much!
Savor~the~Moment This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 25, 2010 at 7:14 pm
What gets me about this show is the other girl that's dating the guy that got Amy pregnant does it like every night, and Amy did it one flipping time and, oopsie, "I'm preggers!" But i loved your vocabulary and the fact that I thought u were a huge fan of the show and it turns out that u hate it. :)
Prosaic-Scriptor replied...
Apr. 29, 2010 at 12:24 am
Glad you enjoyed it!
delilahsky This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 12, 2010 at 4:05 am
Ok, before I finished reading your article, I thought it was going to be a complimentary one- it wasn't, but that's ok. I agree on some of your points, that the show is ignorant at times. Personally, I haven't watched it recently but for a while I did, and for a while it was one of my favorite tv shows.
May I just say that you are a wonderful writer! Your vocab is impressive, and unlike some young writers, it doesn't sound forced.
BasketballChick5 said...
Mar. 10, 2010 at 12:32 pm
I hate this show its so annoying its all about sex nothing more nothing less and how they regreat doing and why did they did it but guess what you did so!
fun size replied...
Apr. 26, 2010 at 9:35 am
I know what you mean! they could make it less crying and everything cause it just gets so boaring that all they talk about is sex! That is there obbsession SEX! Get over it!
BasketballChick5 said...
Mar. 9, 2010 at 9:35 pm
I think this show is so DUMB....its only about SEX and how they didn't want it to happen! But guess what you did!!!I HATE THIS SHOW~
poohbear2010 said...
Feb. 24, 2010 at 11:08 am
that show is good and bad cause it shows you the consaquences of having sex
Prosaic-Scriptor replied...
Mar. 5, 2010 at 11:59 pm
I completely agree with you - there is a big benefit to showing the consequences of having sex . It's more the way that it is all portrayed that gets to me. Thanks for commenting!
Black-Widow said...
Dec. 16, 2009 at 10:17 am
Ok that show is so dumb if you think about it, it makes Americans seem all bad and stuff. i mean i dont really like how we are doing stuff here but this show just doesnt serve any purpose to me. I'm sorry for the people that actualy like this show but how many people really do ok.
Prosaic-Scriptor replied...
Jan. 28, 2010 at 6:02 pm
Thanks for commenting; glad someone feels the same.
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