Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Why The Secret Life Sucks
Hope yall are ready for a rant. Everyone knows I'm a sucker for cheesy (and trashy) TV, but something really rubbed me the wrong way last night, and it has to do with the ABC Family TV show, The Secret Life of The American Teenager.
It all started yesterday when I was watching Maury (told you, I love trashy TV). This lady was on there trying to stop her 15 year old from having a baby. Evidently, the mom came home from work one day to her daughter having sex with some random man; the daughter then confessed with sleeping around with over 20 men because she wanted a baby that badly. What the hell!? What is wrong with kids nowadays? When I was 15, I spent every moment thinking about Myspace, the newest A&F clothes, and getting my braces off. I didn't even think about sex, much less being a mother.
Later that night, my roommate was watching The Secret Life, so I decided to tune in with her. I've watched The Secret Life for a few years, intermittently, and have always thought it was ridiculously cheesy, but this past season has really just gone overboard.
Let me give you a little synopsis of the show:
The show revolves around a 15 year old freshman, Amy Juergens. Amy and Ricky Underwood had sex at band camp, and she winds up pregnant. Ricky wants nothing to do with her and starts dating a sex-obsessed girl named Adrian. Amy then starts dating Ben Boykewich (also 15), who winds up proposing to her while she is pregnant. Ben wants to take over the father role the baby needed, since Ricky is out of the picture. As the show progresses, many of the main characters (Grace, Jack, Ashley, Alice, Henry, etc.) find out what sex is and become obsessed with it. Almost all of the characters use the term "love" very loosely and find themselves broken hearted or in a sticky situation. Infidelity becomes a huge platform for most of these relationships, and because of that a pregnancy, a marriage, ultimately a divorce between Ben and Adrian (juicy, I know) surfaces. Eventually, Amy and Ricky work things out and decide to get married... and that's where we are now.
If you didn't gather how much the show sucks from above, here are some of the main reasons as to why the show irritates the crap out of me:
1. The show instills unwholesome morals in its viewers
Like I mentioned earlier, when I was 15, I wasn't thinking about having sex. The target audience for this show is young girls, aged 12-18; clearly not the demographic that needs to be taught that casual sex is okay. I really don't think it's alright for girls that young to be misled into thinking that sex will get you a boyfriend, help you become more popular, or make you feel better about yourself. Also, getting married in high school is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. Marriage should happen when a couple is mature enough to take their relationship to the next level, not because of a pregnancy.
2. The characters are "in love" within days of dating
I'm sorry, but what kind of expectations is this going to give teenage girls? That boys are supposed to throw out the L word seconds after becoming boyfriend and girlfriend? That's not how life works out. I know, I know... when I was a teenager I swore up and down that I was "in love" with my boyfriend, but boy was I wrong. Love takes time and I think it's beyond stupid to set up a plot about teenagers falling in love, when in reality, all they're doing is having sex. Love and sex are not synonymous for teenagers.
3. Parents seem to have no authority on this show
I see the characters disrespect their parents in such absurd ways. This sets forth ideas into young girls heads that it's ok to sneak behind your parents backs, lie to them, and throw away any kind of morals they've ever taught you. I mean, for God's sake, Amy's parents let her 14 year-old little sister take a semester off of school to drive across the country with a boy she barely knew. Wtf, who does that? Also, what parent is okay with their 17 year old openly talking about sex? I know mine weren't--and still aren't.
4. Oh, and the acting is terrible.
This seems a little crazy for me to devote an entire blog post to how ridiculous a TV show is, but it genuinely makes me mad. Millions of little girls watch this show every Monday night and can't help but take away ideas from it, whether they intend to or not. The show encourages salacious behavior. I'm sure ABC Family believes that it's better to educate viewers about sex instead of assuming they just don't do it, but they're not realizing the impact they have on viewers. High school is portrayed in such harebrained way on this show; believe it or not, teenagers have more to worry about than sex and relationships.
If I could rewrite the show, I would make it more like 7th Heaven. The Camden kids actually got in trouble for things, sex wasn't really talked about and when it happened, it was shed in a light that made it look bad (sensible, right?), and the takeaway from the show was that family comes first.
End of rant.