The Secret Life
March 11, 2010
If the American teenager has a secret life, it’s a secret to me…and I am an American teenager. For those of you that have seen the show, you likely know what I’m talking about: The Secret Life of the American Teenager, whose second season will end later this month on ABC Family.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, let me try to give you a bit of an overview: The show started by following the pregnancy of fifteen-year-old Amy Juergens. Amy’s baby’s father Ricky is dating Adrian, who slept with Ben, who is Amy’s ex-boyfriend. Ben’s father is dating Betty, who used to be a prostitute who was friends-without-benefits with Tom, Grace’s brother. Highly religious Grace believes that having sex with her longtime boyfriend, Jack (who also slept with Adrian, but is now dating Amy’s best friend), killed her father, as her father died in a plane crash on the same night Grace slept with her boyfriend.
And that’s just a taste. The drama gets even more intricate.
The real question, however, is this: Do adults really think this is how American teens live? While the show is the most hilarious hour of my week, I can’t help but wonder if this is how adults see us. And if this is how teens are represented, how can we ever expect to be taken seriously when it comes to making decisions about sex and our futures?