Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Secret Life of the American Teenager

First off, wow, what a horrible name! :)

Has anybody else been following this show on ABC Family? I don't have cable, but they stream the video online the day after it's been shown on TV, so I've been eagerly watching it whenever I get a chance.

You've gotta hand it to Brenda Hampton (creator of the show), after skirting around abortion and whitewashing a lot of issues on Seventh Heaven, she's actually diving into some serious issues that are hard to mention and discuss, especially when the adults in the picture are very rarely moral authorities to guide the kids.

The abortion episode ("Love for Sale") was... frustrating. Decent, but frustrating. First off, most clinics would NOT allow such a scene to be had in the lobby room. It was built up during the episode to be some big, scary thing (complete with Amy- the 15 and pregnant main character- crying when she was "rescued" off the exam table- why wasn't there a doctor or nurse with her?!) when in reality, I feel like a 15 year old giving birth is a much bigger, much scarier thing.

The preview before that episode had Molly Ringwald (Amy's mom) "confessing" to having been in a similar situation. I was really hoping she would 'fess up to having an abortion! The fact that her marriage is falling apart because she married her baby's dad due to being pregnant so young is interesting, though....

Ultimately, for TV, the episode was somewhat supportive of Amy's choice (she ended up deciding against abortion at the clinic). But the drama that was happening around her while she was changing her mind- and the show's insistence that she give up her baby for adoption- is a bit maddening. At an abortion clinic, there would have been counseling to make sure she wanted to have the abortion, and discuss adoption or parenting if not. Now, how many OB/GYNS are going to have counselors on sight to make sure giving birth is something you want to do?

There's so much more I want to say about the show, but two quicks things: one- it's great that they're working with The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy but- I'm frustrated with the details. Most teen pregnancies do not involve 2 teenagers. Often, the male in the situation is at least 5 years older, often in their twenties. But a show about predatory men and victimized girls- that'd be a bit hard to make a romantic-funny-family sitcom about, no?

1 comment:

Rains said...

Nice show for all time. All characters play their role very well & now I Download The Secret Life of the American Teenagers online with all episodes. Really its an fantastic show!!!