"The Secret Life of the American Teenager"
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185 out of 227 people found the following review useful:

Unrealistic, stereotypical

Author: shxpereantheatre from United States
16 March 2009

As a teenager--15 years old, in fact, the same as the main character--I have to say this is an awful, unrealistic, cardboard-cutout teenage drama program. While I understand the thinly veiled message of abstinence, it is not brought forth in a intelligent or believable manner. If we're old enough to have sex, I think we're old not to be pandered and talked down to, which seems to be the primary aim of the show. Amy, the main character, is a shallow, boring, sour character. The show's attempts to make her seem remotely geeky or normal at all tend to fall flat, and in general the plot and character development of all of the characters is very poor indeed. The script comes off cheesy and overdone, the acting is terrible, and it's really just a show of stereotypes, not interesting, complex people. Not real people. The dramatic story lines are not half as entertaining as they would be with real people, in real situations, with realistic reactions.

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134 out of 166 people found the following review useful:

Oh my goodness.

Author: Em G. from United States
1 September 2009

I am 15, going on 16 in a few weeks. Being around the same age bracket/grade as most of the characters in this show, I can honestly say it is really, really off. Even the most genuine characters are phony. There are plot holes all over the place, and most things are never explained. Remember Rumer Willis? Who, what, where, when, wtf? Amy's dynamic with everyone just sucks, especially with Ben. According to them, they were in love after like two minutes. (A side note, the world love is tossed around excessively on this show, along with sex, funeral, baby, etc.) If they are so madly in love, why do they seem to hate each other? Another thing that bugs me is how nonchalant the parents are about their young children having "serious' relationships. Just because you are a high schooler does not mean the only thing you think about is sex/omg I need a boyfriend! The whole show is going nowhere, but it has found its place in my TV schedule as comic relief. I'm in too deep now, but if I were you, I would avoid Secret Life at all costs.

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119 out of 148 people found the following review useful:

This show is horrible

Author: chumble_spuzz82 from United States
2 September 2009

Bad acting, terrible writing, absurd overuse of the word "sex", bogus plot lines, repetitive dialogue, insulting stereotypes.

Series creator Brenda Hampton (the lady who gave us 7th Heaven), seems to think all teenagers are sex obsessed maniacs, that everyone cheats on their spouse or significant other, and that your supposed "friends" couldn't keep a secret if their lives depended on it. If all that is her state of mind, she seriously needs to wake up.

Does Secret Life have any merits? Well, George is pretty funny with his often insensitive, but humorous lines. Ashley, the younger daughter seems to be one of the few with some intelligence. Ricky, the baby daddy of the show has his character flaws, but yet has often called out someone when they're in the wrong.

But these good moments do not out weigh the bad ones. Not by a long shot.

Avoid this stupid show.

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129 out of 181 people found the following review useful:

A must NOT see.

Author: DaisyDuke743 from United States
24 May 2009

This has to be the most degrading show on television. Not in a physical sense but in a mental sense. The female characters are beyond naive and ignorant and the male characters are down right jerks. As a female who not that long ago was a teen, I felt like I was hurting the human race by giving this ratings. What a way to put down American teens. This is NOT the secret life of the American teenager. What a way to generalize. The main character Amy is made out to be some innocent damsel in distress who gets pregnant her very first time with a guy. While yes you can get pregnant your first time. Most teens who have kids have had sex more then once. Most of them, though made stupid decisions also weren't as naive as Amy. It's insulting. Teens know how to get pregnant and they certainly know how NOT to get pregnant. It is a choice they're making. This show makes Amy out to be so innocent she didn't know she was having sex. What??? I can hear teens now using that excuse after seeing this. Why are guys always the jerks. They make it seem like all of the problems on the show are the fault of the male characters. The female characters eat up everything the male characters feed to them as if they are so easily coaxed and have no minds of their own. They make the male characters to be out only for themselves with nothing else on their minds but to coax these "innocent" females who don't know any better. Please, females aren't stupid. In this day and age, we're strong, intelligent beings. Men aren't the enemy and they aren't all out for themselves. Save your dignity and self respect by NOT watching this trash.

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63 out of 77 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely ridiculous

Author: anne_herbst from USA
7 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this show just because of a tiny little interest, and have been astounded on how ridiculous and nonrealistic it is.

Amy, the main character (a fifteen year old) is pregnant. In the wake of the popularity of "Juno", this show caught a wave because of its seclusive title and snapshot of its pregnant main character. The surrounding backstory with her family and friends includes the typical silly soap opera plots: everyone cheating/sleeping with each other, growing up, identities, blah blah blah. The Christian stereotype of the bouncy blonde cheerleader is especially reminiscent of "Saved!" characters.

I am most frustrated with Amy's character. She is clueless, foolish, and naive, with no distinct other personality traits. She accidentally slept with someone, oh no, here comes baby. She thinks it'll go away if she forgets about it (how can anyone be that stupid?). And when the poor sap Ben comes along, groveling at her feet, she seemingly has no interest, even when he rushes the "i love you's." He finds out she lied to him, is having some other dude's baby, and what does he do? Of course, he proposes to her! How romantic, and he even says he'll pretend the baby's his! This show unfailingly portrays teenagers as foolish and aimless, with half baked goals and impulsive decisions. Amy expects her mother to take care of her baby, doesn't think she needs to get a job, and thinks she'll live happily ever after with her non- baby daddy. Of course its that easy, just pop out a child, you're mother will take care of it, you don't need a job either! I am sad for the audience of this show, if young girls watch this and take it to heart, what kind of message are they taking away? It takes no steps to give any teenagers credit. All of the characters combined have an IQ of 40.

This show should not be as popular as it is. This is sad, America.

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81 out of 114 people found the following review useful:

Inaccurate and Ridiculous

Author: Stephanie Rose from United States
1 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is an embarrassingly bad show that supposedly depicts the "secret life" of teenagers. It's attempting to capitalize on the subject from "Juno" only in a clumsy and completely un-entertaining way.

First of all, as a 26 year old woman, I can't relate my teens to any of these characters. Amy as the main character is the most unreasonable and unbelievable. Yes, teenagers have sex. And yes, some get pregnant. I'll even give in that a 15-16 year old might make many mistakes such as "pretending it's not happening" or continuing to date a guy even though she's starting to show.

However this Amy is not likable, has no personality, and is poorly developed as a character by the writers.

The episode that ended it for me was the 4th, where parents laughed over the young Christian girl defending herself against two men trying to abduct her, and she was the one punished for being out, rather than her parents being grateful that she was strong enough to defend against two predatory men. Only furthering the complete fallacy of what would REALLY happen in EVERY scenario this show presents. Not to mention, said girls parents making remarks against Amy and her pregnancy completely breaking doctor/patient confidentiality.

The show is gross. I can handle a show about teenagers having sex (because, lets be honest, many are) - but this is not only vanilla coated to try it's best to be "family friendly", making it all that much more inaccurate in every sense - dialogue, storyline, character development, etc.

Definitely one to skip.

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71 out of 95 people found the following review useful:

Not worth it

Author: Cassiopea_Fay from Canada
1 December 2009

The whole plot line is nothing but sex. Sex sex sex. From all walks of life; whether it is the meek girl who was taken advantage of, the player, the wannabe-player, the bad girl, the girl who wants to save it till marriage, the boyfriend who wants to pressure her to give in...

Seriously, there does not seem to be at least one sentence where the characters are not talking about intercourse. ALL of the characters.

It's nothing but stereotypes, and really bad dialogue. And unrealistic in regards to what life as a teen really is like. If it is suppose to be a satire, or a spoof of some sort...doesn't seem to be doing a great job.

And for one thing, the adults themselves appear to be brainless. If a principle KNEW that a boy wanted to join the band just because he wanted to pick up girls....wouldn't it be refused overall? The kid even asked for a condom!

And I tire of the stereotypical portrayal of girls who do want to wait till marriage. Not all of them are girly, pushy, over religious and braggy about their chastity. But yet will eventually will always "give in" to their apparent urges.

And not all teenage boys are crazy horny 24/7 with bad intentions on their minds.

The whole sex theme and teen pregnancy is getting old - especially if it isn't done well and creatively.

It gives a whole general bad impression on American society, as if all teens are really like this.

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63 out of 83 people found the following review useful:

Without a doubt the worst thing on TV

Author: theaternerd from United States
15 February 2009

I'm sorry, but how much money did ABC Family have to pay the New York Post to call the show "beautifully written" when it truly is anything but. Brenda Hampton has no sense of what a teenager really acts like, all she seems to go on is stereotypes from other shows/movies. Grace is the overachiever who wants to go to med school: of course she's pretty and blonde. Adrian is Hispanic/Latina, of course she's the school hussy, and of course she has a mother who is never around. Jack is on the football team, so of course he'd be dating Grace. Amy is such a waste of a character. No teen is that naive, unless they have some sort of metal disability, and no: I am not dogging on the mentally disabled. Ricky is actually the only character that I could possibly see as a real teen. Ashley's personality doesn't fit the girl playing her, at all. Is she monotone, or is that her voice for the character? She's a very pretty girl and I do hope she can shed this image of Ashley.

The only reason why ABC Family picked up this show is because all the ten year old girls are watching it. And can we be serious for a second? Why do you think this airs on ABC Family and not ABC or the CW? Everyone tries to pinpoint "Oh this is a family show, this is great for ABC Family!" Not really, if Secret Life had good writing, then maybe another network would have picked it up. Brenda Hampton sold the show to ABC Family because they're so desperate for ratings they'll pick up anything that they hope will make them money. Oh and another thing, the Network acts as if Secret Life is some record breaking hit for TV. It really isn't. The pilot averaged 1.2 million viewers. That's hardly anything to the big Networks like Fox or NBC. Hell, even The CW has better ratings! The reruns of Gilmore Girls get just as good ratings from my last comparison, and that is a show that's syndicated. As a future screenwriter for TV, it pains me to know this trash is airing...

Brenda Hampton really needs to just... stop.

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39 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

Worst Teen Show

Author: Kamran-15 from Canada
21 February 2010

This is, without a doubt, the worst teen-drama I have ever watched. I've seen every episode thus far (Season 2, Episode 19), so I'm not jumping the gun; I have a keen understanding of the characters and the story.

The writing is demented. Brenda Hampton has a deluded sense of reality- this is the only explanation for the superficial, melodramatic, and overly dramatized "secret life of the American teenager".

The characters are one-dimensional, and, every single one of them, including the boys, girls, mothers, fathers, mentally challenged individuals, teachers, and counselors are the exact same, they ALL only ever think and speak about sex. I think the writers have some sort of game going on to see who can write the script with the highest number of times "sex" appears in the dialogue. That is certainly not all that people think about, it's not even all that teens think about. There are other aspects to people's lives which are not considered in this thoughtless program.

"Secret Life Of the American Teenager" - This doesn't make any sense. The only secret is Amy's pregnancy. This secret doesn't even last long. Apart from that, the show does not focus on any secret aspects of teenage hood. In reality, teenagers have many secrets and troubles; drinking, drugs, gf/bf problems, abusive parents, social problems, academic problems, issues about popularity, bullies, colleges, etc...yet the ONLY focus of this show is sex. And the teens in this show don't really even have any secrets...they're constantly talking to their parents. Their parents talk to each other. Their parents talk to their friends etc...it doesn't make any sense. Parents are not that involved in their child's life, let alone their sex life. You'd think a show with the title "The Secret Life Of The American Teenager" would recognize that. Not only that, the parents are just as bad as the children. Just as shallow, just as thoughtless, and gossip just as much.

Moreover, the writing is extremely repetitive. In the dialogues, the characters constantly repeat words or phrases. They try to express themselves and reveal some kind of realized truth about themselves or their friends but it's just some whacked out pseudo-philosophy from a sex-deprived zealot named Brenda Hampton...it's pretentious and downright insulting.

I sure hope 16 year old's today (I'm 21 now) do not emulate the characters of this show, and I hope the show doesn't fill their impressionable minds with superficial, unrealistic bullshit. It's shows like this that could, if not properly moderated, brainwash the younger generations by making them more self-conscious and more concerned about sex. If you're going to let television raise your teens for you, be careful. One dimensional shows will rear one dimensional teens.

I highly recommend the Degrassi series to anyone who would like to watch a worthy teen-drama (The original series in particular)

The ONLY redeeming quality of this television show are the beautiful actresses (Francia Raisa and the woman who plays her mother in particular). They are the reason I decided to watch the show, and are the only reason I continue. They are also the reason I'm giving this show a "2" and not a "1"

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49 out of 65 people found the following review useful:

The oversimplified and unrealistic life of an American Teenager

Author: gorunhills from United States
6 September 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wow. This show was pretty bad. I was hoping the show would dig deep and find true secrets and struggles teens go through, but it was just so bland, predictable, and unrealistic! First of all, that is not how teens talk! It felt very scripted the whole time and didn't reflect how teenagers truly interact. In the 1st episode when Amy's friends find out she is pregnant, the pauses in their conversation and reactions are not how people would react. once they find out, they kind of carry on as if the news wasn't a HUGE shock to them.

Secondly, Ben and Amy's relationship is so....just...things don't work like that. He claims he loves her and barely knows her and shes totally fine with it. I find that HIGHLY creepy and obsessive. When 15 year olds claim they "love" each other, they're just saying it because they think its the thing to do.

Lastly, I really hate how they never let you figure things out. The script just goes and and tells you what happened. It would've been much more interesting if you had to figure out and got subtle clues that Ricky was sexually abused as a kid, but in the 1st episode, they just go out and say it. Instead of thinking and being engaged with the show, you are just spoon fed interesting information.

The show is okay, just not something I would follow. Maybe id watch another episode if i was really bored on a rainy day with nothing else on.

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