The new season of The Secret Life Of The American Teenager premiered last night on ABC Family. In semi-related news my brain retired after having to watch it in its entirety.
When this show first premiered back in 2008, I watched it out of intrigue. Who were these teenagers and how did they have so many secrets? After watching the series premiere, it was clear that this would not be a weekly must-see drama for me, but rather a weekly must-see train wreck of comedic delights. Throughout the first season I found myself saying, “really?!”, “that makes no sense” and “gee, teen pregnancy sure looks easy!”
Then the second season premiered and it was no longer so bad that it was good. It was just so bad. So bad, it bordered on the corners of offensive and illogical. I turned it off and never looked back until last night. In the years since I stopped watching the show, not much has happened. In fact so little has happened in seasons 2-4, that I felt completely caught up within the first five minutes.
That’s mostly because nothing happens on this show. Just like in season one, it’s about 90% recap and rehashing of the previous episode and 10% new drama. It’s an almost impossible show to recap because it just recaps itself throughout the entire hour.
A typical scene goes like this:
Person 1: I can’t believe what happened at that party.
Person 2: Are you talking about when Adrian hooked up with Henry or when Grace kissed Jack.
Person 1: No, I’m talking about when Madison cheated with Lauren‘s boyfriend.
Person 2: Oh, right. What a crazy party. Adrian hooked up with Henry, Grace kissed Jack and Madison cheated with Lauren’s boyfriend.
Person 1: Yes, exactly. Henry hooked up with Adrian, Jack kissed Grace and Madison cheated with Lauren’s boyfriend.
Person 2: Cannot believe Henry, Jack and Madison all hooked up with people they shouldn’t have hooked up with at that party.
Person 1: Yes it’s hard to believe Henry, Jack and Madison all hooked up with people they shouldn’t have at that party.
Person 2: Hold on, that’s Lauren calling. (Picks up phone). Did you hear what happened last night at the party? No. Let me tell you. Madison hooked up with your boyfriend, Adrian hooked up with Henry and Jack kissed Grace.
Was that hard to read? Now imagine watching that on television for an hour. It’s the only show where I’ve ever felt like the commercials are a relief.
Forget the ridiculous plot and the horrible messages (Amy’s dad jokes that Amy doesn’t need to go to college because her 18-year-old fiance is already going), the show’s dialogue is painful to listen to for more than 30 seconds.
I know I must have watched horrible shows in my teenage years and I know that The O.C was nowhere near as good as I thought it was when I watched it (and when I yelled at my family to shut up when it was on). But I have to believe my teenage shows of choice were better written than this. Because teenagers, for all their eye-rolling and nonstop-texting, deserve better than this.
After all, they’re people too.