Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Keep The Secret Life A Secret

So. my regular readers know that I watch too much popular television and I am a glutton for the latest teen movies.

But, I think I've just watched the WORST television show on adolescent sexuality that I've ever seen. Broadcast for the first time on the ABC Family Network, the "Secret Life of the American Teen" has every bad stereotype of teenagers dealing with their sexuality that I think I have ever seen in a single hour. Every one of the boys is obsessed with having sexual intercourse. The boy with the multiple partners is the victim of repeated and implied violent incest by a father. The girls are either portrayed as sluts, down to revealing clothes and too much eye make up, or as clean scrubbed virtuous innocents, including the heroine who gets pregnant after one night at band camp which sounds almost like a rape situation. The possibility of abortion is dismissed out of hand. The portrayal of the one explicitly Christian family, with the girl with the purity ring, was beyond offensive, as this beautiful blond in the tight cheerleader outfit throws her legs around her suffering boyfriend and tells him they will need to wait until she finishes medical school. The attitude of the other students towards this Christian girl is offensive beyond reality.

And the adults? Well, the dad gives a stern lecture to his girls that says they should wait until they have been married two years before they have sex. The guidance counselor is laughable, agreeing to rearrange a male student's schedule so that he has a better chance of meeting a girl to have sex with. The therapist, who makes no head way with promiscuous boy, indicates he has been seeing him for years.

Oh, and then there's the wise Asian girl who spouts statistics on teen sex, as if she just finished reading the latest report from the CDC.

And Molly Ringwald plays the mom of the pregnant girl. It's time to go back to 16 Candles and the Breakfast Club. At least those tried to be honest with teenagers.

Which after all is what our teenagers need from adults. This series is written by the woman who wrote "Seventh Heaven." I shudder to think what the minister in this series is going to be like.


Unknown said...

I'm very glad you wrote such an honest review of the show. I am actually an 18 year old Christian girl who happened to stumble upon this television show. I was outraged when I saw how the show stereotyped Christian teens to be freaks of nature.

It's really upsetting to see how the world views Christians but in some aspect I understand why. However, I really am angered that the producer and director even dared to write something so superficial and shallow as this show.

Someone should protest haha

but again thank you for your review I really appreciate it: )

God Bless

Kayla said...

thank you so much Debra! I have been trying to describe the asian girl's character but couldn't find the right words. PLus the things you said in your entry made a lot of sense and it was a refreshing thing to read.

I quoted you, if you don't mind.