"THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER: SEASON ONE"
by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Daren Kagasoff as RICKY
Ken Baumann as BEN BOYKEWICH
Shailene Woodley as AMY JUERGENS
Amy Rider as ALICE VALKO
Molly Ringwald as ANNE JUERGENS
Mark Derwin as GEORGE JUERGENS
Allen Evangelista as HENRY MILLER
India Eisley as ASHLEY JUERGENS
Megan Park as GRACE BOWMAN
Francia Raisa as ADRIAN LEE
Studio: ABC Family
Created by: Brenda Hampton
Back to DVD Review Home
WHAT IT’S ABOUTClick here to read more DVD reviews!
Click here to read more movie reviews!
Click here to watch films by 7M Pictures!
The creator of “7th Heaven” is making some noise at ABC Family with her new show, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.” Taking a more edgy approach to the American family, the show centers around Amy Juergens (Shailene Woodley), a high school girl who finds out she’s pregnant. She learns to deal with her secret, keeping the truth from her family and some friends at school. However, as she gets a new boyfriend and starts to show her baby bump, the truth must soon come to life.
WHAT I LIKED
In case you haven’t heard, I’m not a teenage girl. So, you can understand when you hear that I’m not exactly the target market for a show like “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.” Even as a critic watching shows outside of my general target market, I can appreciate how younger viewers will get into a show like this.
It’s a sad fact of life that teen pregnancy is nothing new to the American high schooler. Even when I went to high school in the 80s, it was a bit taboo to see a pregnant girl walking the hall (although there were a couple girls that went down this path, even back then). So, the subject matter and the storylines are relevant to the average teenager, regardless of what many parents would like to think.
For a show that profiles a “girl in trouble,” I thought the writing did a decent job by not glorifying the experience. It doesn’t excuse the pregnancy, but it also doesn’t shame it into oblivion either. In terms of handling this story as a social issue, the writers manage to show how certain behavior can just complicate things.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
As I said earlier, this teenager drama isn’t exactly my cup of tea. I can get into some ABC Family shows, but I prefer something more like “Kyle XY,” which has a distinct sci-fi bent to it. Of course, this is just my tastes. I tend to identify more with the parents in a show like this and, quite frankly, the parents are pretty much idiots in this show.
The dialogue and acting is a bit rough. While the writers might be in tune with the teenagers, they really can’t write convincing adults. Or, they might be writing the adults the way your average teenager sees them, and this theory makes everything seem to make sense.
Finally, in an attempt to show the many sides to teenagers in a typical high school, the writers have either made the stereotype characters too simple or mashed several into one. For example, the hottie cheerleader is also a born again Christian, which sometimes conflicts with what the characters might do.
The three-disc set includes all 11 episodes from the first season as well as the short featurette “On Set with the Cast.”
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Teenagers, tweens and anyone who loves high school drama.