Discussing the Show and Writer
Did you know that the planned title of “Secret Life” was originally to be “The Sex Life of the American Teenager?” Imagine the things that would have popped up if you typed that in the search engines back then before the show became so popular. I wish I had $100 for every time someone says the word sex in every episode; I’d be rich. Now knowing what Brenda Hampton, the show’s writer and also of “7th Heaven” fame, intended to call this show, I understand why 90% of the show’s content is discussions about sex and people young and old having sex.
I am trying to read Mrs. Hampton; based on her development of the characters, conversations and situations in this show; to understand where she stands and whose side is she on. It almost feels as if she doesn’t know where she stands, she is just writing for the love of it, with no real purpose in mind. When I listen to some of the conversations between characters in this series, I don’t get what the message is. Is she trying to educate about sex? Is she offering advice about various situations and emotions teenager’s experience? Is she advising teens not to have sex now, but to wait? Or, is she saying it okay to have sex at their age? Brenda whose side are you on for goodness sake? What is your purpose? Are you trying to teach or just entertain?
Sometimes it feels like she is trying to teach just a smidge; but mostly she is writing to entertain; and to receive good ratings and critic reviews. In my heart I am very disappointed in the direction she chose to take with this show. My disappointment emerged when Grace and Alice lost their virginities so easily, after originally being so determined not to have sex before marriage or at least in High School. Did Brenda sell-out? I was trying to read up on her a little bit, understand her better, I really wanted to know if she is a Christian, but they don’t really go into any detail about her spiritual life in any of the bios I found.
Anyway, Secret Life was a show, I loved and admired very much. I feared for its security because I thought it would be a more teachable show with teachable dialogue mixed in with the entertainment factor. I thought it was a well rounded show with various representations of different teen perspectives on sex. Now I’m starting think the writer thinks that there is no such thing as a teen with integrity, that every teen thinks and talks about sex every moment they are awake; the bad girl; the Christian girl; the bad boy; the Christian boy; the smart girl; the naïve girl; the good boy; whoever; all of them are thinking and talking sex all the time. These characters are so one dimensional and they just fit into the box you’d expect them to; and she is swatting their virginities like flies, taking them down one by one.
As corrupt as I believe the world is, I don’t believe for a minute that real-life teens are that one dimensional and predictable. I believe they are teens out there with more integrity then depicted by “Secret Life’s” montage of characters; who are confident enough to stand in front the masses and say “Im’a be me, end of story.”
Discussing some of the Characters
Amy Juergens (portrayed by Shailene Woodley); she is one of those people who have sex for the first time and don’t make it out fully intact. She got pregnant by her High School’s infamous bad boy and player, even before she started her freshman year. At first, for me Amy was a hard character to take; she was grumpy and angry all the time, understandably, and always complaining. Now in Season Two, I’ve seen her growth, she has matured and accepted what is, as opposed to what could have or should have been. I like that she has yet to have Sex since her first and only time, which shows she has learnt from her bad judgment. Amy is a hard-worker and she is very fortunate. Not all girls who get pregnant at fifteen are this fortunate. She has a job she loves; a family who loves her and helps her through the journey she is on; and two guys who want to be a part of her son’s life, a rich “nice-guy” who loves her and her son’s “bad boy” father who really loves his son. I really don’t think this show fully reflects the rawness of the difficulty that goes in to being responsible for a child. They completely skipped the first months of sleepless nights. They really didn’t tell this story candidly, which is understandable, come on who wants to see all that, besides that’s what MTV’s “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” is for.
Anne accidentally got pregnant. Now the two are back together and have three children to raise. They are still divorced. George wants to get remarried now, but Anne wants to take her time before jumping into marriage again. She has forgiven George for his infidelity and moved forward with her life. Anne looks great and really seems to be in a better place this season. George is still trying to catch up with the new Anne. However, I really do believe they love each other, they just forgot that marriage doesn’t just happen on its own; you have to work to keep it hot, spicy and fresh.
Ashley Juergens (Portrayed by India Eisley); Ashley is a very intellectual girl. She seems to be lost and unhappy all the time. She seems as though she is trying to find her place in her new family dynamic. There is one thing I don’t get; she was the one who convinced Amy that she should keep her baby and that she is perfectly capable of being a teenage mother. Now it seems as though she has left Amy to do it with out her support. I just mean, as the sister who really wanted her nephew be a part of their family, she could be a little more loving and supportive to Amy. She doesn’t have to be Amy’s babysitter all the time, but the least she could do is stop treating her sister like someone she resents. Now in the final episodes Ashley, who once said she won’t have a boyfriend or sex in High School is now thinking of following in Grace, Ben, Ricky, Amy, Alice and Henry’s footsteps. That is very disappointing. At least, she is taking all precautions to insure she protects herself from pregnancy and disease, but no contraceptive could protect her from the spiritual weight of having sex before marriage.
Benjamin “Ben” Boykevich (Portrayed by Kenny Baumann); Ben is a very “nice guy” who is son of a wealthy meat company owner known as “The Sausage King.” Ben is a sweet and decent guy, the kind we are probably talking about when we say “nice guys finish last.” Personally, I think last is the best place to finish, because we often remember our last whatever, better than we remember our first. So go “nice guys.” Ben loves and has always loved Amy with all his heart, but his adolescent need to feed his lustful desires has cost him his relationship with her. Ben made a serious mistake; while in emotional confusion about his first love Amy; he had sex for first time with Adrian. She is a drop dead gorgeous Latina girl who loves sex and pursued him out of spite for Amy and Ricky. Ben really didn’t stand a chance. Only God could’ve helped a teenage boy who desires to have sex out of that one. That mistake will cost him a lot of grief. I’m routing for you Ben.
Ricky Underwood (portrayed by Daren Kagasoff); first I want to start off by saying Daren is a phenomenal actor; when he talks I feel compelled to listen; and when he feels; I feel; I love when actors do that for me. I feel satisfied with what I am watching. Ricky is a very smart guy; he is kind and has a good heart. He is Amy’s son biological father. He loves his son but had a bad break with his biological parents, they were both drug addicts and his father sexual abused him as a child. Considering those factors, I think he has done alright for himself. He’s not on drugs or on the streets. He’s not a thief or a dishonest person. He is in therapy trying to deal with his struggles. Ricky is highly sexually active and the closest thing he had to a normal relationship was the one he had with Adrian. Neither of them had sex exclusively with one another, until coming on to the end of season two. In the same episode Adrian had sex with Ben and subsequent to when Ricky kissed Amy and discovered there is nothing there; he told Adrian he loved her via text message. While she was busy having sex to spite him because she thought Amy and Ricky were having sex. What is a relationship without trust? These two don’t understand what love truly is. Ricky has really decent Foster Parents and was blessed immensely in that capacity. Actually if he is able to use his God-eyes, he’d see how fortunate he is despite what happened in his past.
Adrian Lee (portray by Francia Raisa); Adrian is a model student who is also known as the “school slut.” She is a straight-A student and a majorette. Did I also mention she is drop dead gorgeous? She is very sexually active; and is in a sexual relationship with Ricky. She believes she loves him and would like to marry him someday, even though he believes he is not the marrying kind. However, she has not remained faithful to him or him to her. She made the mistake of having sex with Ben for revenge and out of spite for Ricky and Amy for having a baby together and as she thought, having sex with each other. She was warned by family and friends not to do that. Now there is a possibility she may be pregnant with Ben’s baby, which will change everything. I honestly think that added a nice twist to season two’s season finale for entertainment purposes but also if told right, it could also provide teachable content for season three. I would like Adrian to see this pregnancy through because so far none of these characters are ever really held accountable for their actions, especially not Adrian. She often gets exactly what she wants and how she wants it. Adrian was warned and she did what she wanted to do anyway. Now she needs to endure the consequences of her actions and her stubbornness.
Grace Bowman (portrayed by Megan Park); Grace disappointed me the most. I mean yes, she is the dumbest and most naive character in the series, but she at least had her integrity. Then she gave it away and apparently liked it alot (I mean she had sex for first time with Jack); her father died that same night and she has never been the same since. My skin cringes when she or Jack professed to be Christians. Personally, I believe there is more to being a Christian than going to church or growing up in a Christian household. It’s the way you live your life. Not doing your own thing but letting the word of God guide you. I really appreciate this character least of all; she and jack give teen Christians a bad name. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Christians are without sin, I’m just saying all and all, we still are suppose to live our lives like Jesus to the best of our abilities.
Jack Pappas (Portrayed by Greg Finley II); honestly Jack’s a good guy, but he is kind of boring, He really doesn’t add much to the show if you ask me. He thinks being a Pastor’s kid and going to church makes him a Christian, but his life style sings a different tune. Nevertheless, Jack is a decent guy, who’d make his wife a very happy woman someday. Jack had some sexual involvement with Adrian early on in season one, which caused problems between him and Grace for a while.
Madison Cooperstein and Lauren Treacy (portrayed by Renee Olstead and Camille Winbush); these two are Amy’s best friends; they are not the greatest friends in the world, but hey, good friends are hard to find. They aren’t Amy’s frenemies either; they are just teenagers with big mouths, and probably the kind of friends who are in your life for a season. Madison is now dating Jack and providing him with oral sex. On another note, Renee Olstead of “Still Standing” fame and the young actress who portrays Madison, has a beautiful, sweet, jazzy singing voice, as displayed in this season’s season finale, at Leo and Betty’s wedding. You go girl.
Alice Valko and Henry Miller (portrayed by Amy Rider and Allen Evangelista); Alice and Henry are Ben’s best friends. Alice seemed like such an intelligent, confident powerhouse in season one, a girl bent on not having sex, at least in high school. I don’t know what happened, halfway through season one she made a drastic switch on me. She did have sex afterall with her boyfriend, from since the beginning of the show, Henry. I was shock by it, it just happened too unexpectedly for me. I still can’t wrap my head around it. Since Alice had sex with Henry she has turned into a sex-crazed airhead. Henry is Ben best friend and Alice’s boyfriend. Allen doesn’t really have much to do in the series right now, just look like a sexually active bobble head.
Whew; I am finally done. Now calculate $100 times the amount of times I said sex in this very long write-up and gimme my money; or should i pay you for read this only thing. Hhhmmmm, i’ll think about it. Wanna discuss? Let’s.
Holla at me (comment) with your thoughts on my short little write-up here.