I have a bone to pick with The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
Sure, it may be old news, but for some reason I keep on tuning in every week. I think part of me hopes that every week, it will get better, but nope. Nope, actually, just about every week my friends and I end up yelling about it even more, and my rants drift onto twitter and most likely annoy all of my friends and whoever else follows me.
This show is not realistic in the least. I don't even see a lot of familiar stereotypes that have been applied to the characters—except for the whole teens just want to have sex sex sex all the time thing. But here's what I get out of the current storylines (and yes, I know I tend to get repetitive and incoherent in my ranting—you don't have to read it, I just had to get it out, haha):
Amy's pregnancy: Talk about glorifying pregnancy! Tonight's episode starts off with Amy being "sick." I put this in quotations because she's of course not really sick, but just upset over her recent breakup with Ben. No, of course it's not the pregnancy that could cause her to be sick—there's no morning sickness, no hormonal craziness. (Though, okay, her hormones do go a little nuts at the end. For the first time since she got preggers. What?) No, pregnancy isn't difficult in itself—it's just deciding on whether or not to keep the baby, and who's going to act as father.
And don't even get me started about the whole adoption thing. I was very happy to see that Amy was ready to give the kid up for adoption—to a gay couple no less! She's fifteen and doesn't have the time or the maturity to raise a kid. (I mean, her own parents are having serious problems right now. Keeping the kid in that household? Not a good idea.) Oh, but wait, Ricky decides he loves Amy and wants to help raise the kid.
Wait. What? Ricky? Dude who just wanted to get laid with Adrian and Grace? Suddenly his dad comes back and terrorizes everyone and he has a heart? He has no job, he just recently decided that he ~*loves*~ Amy. And you know what? He's a high schooler, too. He doesn't know if he'll be a good dad. And chances are, he's not mature enough for it, either.
What I don't get is that these kids are obviously not mature enough to raise a kid—yet you can tell the show is going to let them keep the baby anyway. Teenagers should not be parents. They still have to grow up, they still have mistakes to learn from. They know the people that they were giving the kid to—so let the couple adopt the baby. Chances are it will have a much more stable home. Because what's all that stable about living in a house with a fifteen year old mother, a thirteen year old rebel, and divorced parents that argue all the time but for some reason are still living under the same roof?
Amy's love saga: Amy and Ben got married with fake IDs. Ben insists that Amy's baby is his kid, not Ricky's, because he's willing to take responsibility. They break up. And now Amy is thinking she should be with Ricky because he's the father and wants to take responsibility now. And she doesn't know who to choose because she wants to choose the person she'll be with for the rest of her life.
Holllllld up. You're fifteen. You're talking about marriage? You're talking about being with one person forever? You're fifteen. What about high school? College? (I vaguely remember her wanting to go to Juilliard.) Just because you love somebody now does not mean you will be with them forever.
I know Amy's pregnant, but why do they have to be so serious all the time? I mean, really. She may be pregnant, but she's still a teenager, meaning she still should be going to the movies or gossiping with friends or stressing out over homework! Not over who she's going to be spending forever with. The parents on that show bicker like teenagers and the teenagers sound like dang forty year olds.
Grace: Ah, the Christian do-gooder who wants to be a virgin but thinks sex is glorious and can't wait to have sex with The One. She got birth control tonight. And now she's like, "I want to keep it as a reminder that I want to wait until marriage to have sex!" Okay, really? Really? This girl just confuses the hell out of me.
Also, boys do not care if a girl is on birth control or not. Why the hell did she get a million phone calls after she announced it to the school? Whatever.
Adrian: At first, I thought Adrian was a pretty realistic character. She's independent, okay with sex, sure of herself. Until we realize that's all she cares about. Tonight, her step-brother (...yeah) comes over with flowers and the offer to take her to dinner and a movie, and she's confused over this. "What? I thought you just wanted to have sex with me! I don't know what to do! Oh my gosh! Sex!" I thought she was smart and independent, but no, she's just the stereotypical female asserting her sexual independence by doing it with pretty much everybody.
My friend Lyndsey pointed also out something today. We've got the teenagers wanting to get married. We've got the teenagers wanting to have sex with everybody. But what about the couple who are in a committed relationship—for more than a week, thanks—and then decide to have sex? Oh yeah, that was the asian couple. They did it and then didn't like it so broke up. Yeah. Thanks for that. Sex will also ruin relationships.
Yeah. See. I have no problem with waiting until marriage, with falling in love in high school. But teenage pregnancy is not okay—and though this show tries to send that message out at the end of every show with their little PSA saying, "talk to your kids about sex," every show is basically saying the same thing: pregnancy is easy, it's the boy problems that suck; sex at fifteen is okay, so long as it's with the one you're going to be with for the rest of your life. But let's be real: you don't know what the rest of your life will be like. So just take it slow, okay? Wear a condom, don't rush into things, don't get freaking married at fifteen. Okay? Please?
I don't know why I watch this show. I can't even be that coherent with my arguments against it. Which means I should just give up and not watch it. Ahhhhhh!