Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Secret Life of the American Teenager

Yeah, I watched this. What of it? I don't think I have ever watched an ABC Family original (in fact, I am currently at a loss at another show they have besides Greek and maybe Wildfire(?)). I have friends that like Greek, but I don't really expect much from ABC Family. I only managed to watch this because it was on and I was bored. And for how little TV I am watching right now, I saw a surprisingly large number of advertisements for it.

Oh goodness. This show. It was just too cheesy. Some of the acting was not very good (especially some of the younger cast members). The older ones (Molly Ringwald, John Schneider and Josie Bissett) were fine and a welcome relief to some of the awkward acting by the teens. It was a pilot, so that can be excused to a point, assuming they might get a little better.

[Speaking of John Schneider, I love his country album of Greatest Hits (available on iTunes). He has quite the sexy country voice! You can see a lovely fan vid with videos and song here. Yeah, I just pimped his music.]

The story is good enough, but not well-executed. Most of the characters are contrived, filling a "stereotypical" teenage persona (the innocent one, the slutty one, the pretty one, the athlete, the rebel, the boy next door). Almost every character is given a scene to allow for the viewer to like him/her (or at least forgive him/her, even if their characters don't seem that likable (such as the guy that sleeps with any girl he can, but it turns out it is because he was sexually abused by his father and is now in foster care).

It is brought to us by the creators of 7th Heaven, so there is the portrayal of the Christian teens. Christian characters are always portrayed so cheesily or ridiculously that it gives us a bad name. I have RARELY found it to be accurate (Sarah Paulson's Harriett on Studio 60 was pretty good). But I will be honest. Being a Christian teenager is hard (especially one not having sex). I have a sister that graduated from high school and I hear how it is.

High school is not the same as it was 10 years ago. Er...11 for me. But I just don't remember talking about sex all the time when I was 15. I am sure the boys were and I am sure some of the girls were, but sex is ALL these kids talked about. The whole time. Non-stop. Find something else to do with yourselves. No wonder you are all pregnant. OK, that was my rant.

I am glad to see a more accurate portrayal of teenage pregnancy, instead of how fun and cool it is to be pregnant in high school. That recent news about the pregnancy pact in that high school in the northeast is just disturbing. So it is good news that we are not seeing the fun exciting side of pregnancy here (at least, I assume that is the case), but that it is hard to be pregnant in high school.

I don't know how this show can stack up to a show like Gossip Girl, that has so much higher of a production value. But it can do alright in the summer, if viewers are bored enough (and I am pretty bored, since I just turned it to I Survived a Japanese Game Show). However, I may not be bored enough for this one...

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