The Secret Life Of The American Teenager Blows My Mind With Its Badness

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.

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    • Nora

      Seriously, the worst show on TV. My sister’s obsessed and I just don’t get why. It’s so unrealistic and not even in a fun drama way. Sex has never been so boring.

    • Kim Brown

      I love this show so much. I’m so happy that it’s back on.

    • Talia

      Thank you! I remember seeing the first episode and thinking “Ha this is going to be cancelled in a week” but for some ungodly reason it has continued. Nora I totally agree with you they have some how found a way to make sex unbearably boring.

    • orange tang

      I actually love this show! I am really glad it’s on, at first I didn’t care for it, I ended up watching all the seasons and was shocked with how much drama there is. I missed this season’s first episode but a co-worker at DISH filled me in with all the juicy details. After work, I am going home and watching it on my computer using DISH Online. I like how I can instantly catch up all from my computer. I am really pulling for Amy and Ricky.

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