The Secret Life of the American Teenager | Teen Ink

The Secret Life of the American Teenager

August 4, 2009
By Prosaic-Scriptor BRONZE, Davis, California
Prosaic-Scriptor BRONZE, Davis, California
4 articles 0 photos 24 comments

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.

on Jun. 23 2010 at 9:29 am
soletmar BRONZE, Dobbs Ferry, New York
3 articles 24 photos 65 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you wanna be a dancer dance/ In you wanna be a miner mine/ If you wanna dress like somebody else/ Fine fine fine/ Cause what the hell is wrong with expressing yourself/ And trying to be free?"
Draco: "You know they don't have dances at pigfarts."

i know!!! i loved the ten things i hate about you!! and the ending was just... well not an ending.

lszyman96 said...
on Jun. 17 2010 at 11:24 am
lszyman96, Romeoville, Illinois
0 articles 0 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
" stay golden ponyboy"
-the outsiders

yes! i watchd it at first and i thought it was okay...but then it started to just get stupid and drag!

Priya21 BRONZE said...
on Jun. 7 2010 at 4:27 pm
Priya21 BRONZE, Marietta, Georgia
3 articles 0 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Be who YOU want to be, not what people tell you to be." -Me

Although you may believe that Secret Life portrays things that make us look bad does not make the show bad. The actors are great, because they are definitely not like that in reality. Plus, this show shows us and everyone else what IS actually going on in our generation. Yes, it may not be with all of us, but the rate has skyrocketed since our parents were kids. Watching Amy talk to parents about her relationships and sex is inspiring. Teens, including us, should be able to express those kind of things with our own flesh and blood. Plus, there is a Grace, a Ricky, an Adrian, an Amy, a Ben, etc. at every school in every state. You know it, I know it, and it's time for everyone to just accept it.

on Jun. 4 2010 at 7:46 am
twilight_teen14 GOLD, Moline, Illinois
13 articles 0 photos 44 comments

Favorite Quote:
"And then we continued blissfully into this small, but perfect piece of our forever...." -Bella Cullen- Breaking Dawn.
"Gandhi said that whatever you do in life will be insignificant. But it's very important that you do it."
“Everyone’s stars, don’t get your hopes up, learn the ropes and climb the ladder and know in the end, that just being here is the best and it only gets better.”

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!

on Jun. 3 2010 at 8:08 pm
prettygirl19 BRONZE, Sardis, Mississippi
1 article 0 photos 9 comments
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, something about the show makes me want to stay updated on the lives of the characters. It's really weird.

on May. 29 2010 at 5:09 pm
EccePuellaScriptis112, Raleigh, North Carolina
0 articles 0 photos 30 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Love - it is not the book itself, but the binding. It can rip us apart or hold us together.”
-Deb Caletti

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!

Inertia SILVER said...
on May. 16 2010 at 7:04 pm
Inertia SILVER, Winnetka, Illinois
6 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Calm down, grab a brush and own your life"

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.

on Apr. 29 2010 at 12:25 am
Prosaic-Scriptor BRONZE, Davis, California
4 articles 0 photos 24 comments
Thanks for reading & commenting even though you think otherwise, ButtercupBby.

on Apr. 29 2010 at 12:24 am
Prosaic-Scriptor BRONZE, Davis, California
4 articles 0 photos 24 comments
Glad you enjoyed it!

on Apr. 29 2010 at 12:23 am
Prosaic-Scriptor BRONZE, Davis, California
4 articles 0 photos 24 comments
Thank you, magic-esi, for your kind words! I'm flattered that you liked it so much!

Valery5 said...
on Apr. 26 2010 at 11:59 am
Valery5, Riverside, California
0 articles 0 photos 74 comments

Favorite Quote:
"What's bad for your heart is good for your art."

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.

fun size said...
on 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!

fun size said...
on 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!

on Apr. 1 2010 at 7:20 pm
magic-esi PLATINUM, Hyde Park, New York
27 articles 0 photos 231 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one."
"Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light."

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 of your writing!

on Mar. 25 2010 at 7:14 pm
-alice- PLATINUM, Colorado Springs, Colorado
21 articles 0 photos 81 comments

Favorite Quote:
I care very little if I am judged by you or any other human court; indeed I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. -1 Corinthians 4:3-4

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. :)

on Mar. 23 2010 at 9:35 am
ButtercupBby BRONZE, Conyers, Georgia
3 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
when i look up at the stars i hope to be one day

i love the show, no matter what anybody thinks and my friends that watch it like it also. So what if the girl gets pregnant . Its NOT all about sex , apparently you didnt watch the whole thing. i been watching since the 1st season and i still love the show, the acting is not bad. SO WHAT if they talk to their parents about their sex life, thats no big deal, maybe their parents are the biggest influence in their lives.

on Mar. 12 2010 at 4:05 am
delilahsky PLATINUM, Arlington, Massachusetts
28 articles 3 photos 65 comments

Favorite Quote:
Just because her eyes don't tear doesn't mean her heart doesn't cry. And just because she comes off strong, doesn't mean there's nothing wrong

-Author Unknown

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.


on Mar. 10 2010 at 12:32 pm
BasketballChick5, San Diego, California
0 articles 1 photo 114 comments

Favorite Quote:
:)Just Do It:) <3

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!

on Mar. 9 2010 at 10:46 pm
Prosaic-Scriptor BRONZE, Davis, California
4 articles 0 photos 24 comments
Thanks for the feedback!

on Mar. 9 2010 at 9:35 pm
BasketballChick5, San Diego, California
0 articles 1 photo 114 comments

Favorite Quote:
:)Just Do It:) <3

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~