Secret Life: The stupid makes my head hurt.

by d

Subterfuge reviews the ongoing saga of teen pregnancies that is ABC Family‘s The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Season 3, episode 7, “New York, New York.”

WHY, Secret Life, WHY are you doing this to me? Why am I still watching!? Because every episode ends with a question I want answered. So I sit through the rest of the garbage, get pissed, and am tantalized by the next tiny piece of the puzzle.

I’m going to TRY to see the season through. No promises. (If you would like to volunteer to blog about Secret Life for us, please, please speak up.)

Whew. Ok. Items of Note for this episode…

Adrian will cut off her nose to spite her ex-boyfriend

Attention, everyone! Attention! Yes, I’m having a baby. And I don’t care who knows about it or what you have to say about it. Oh, and it’s Ben’s.

WOAH. Where the hell did that come from? Adrian just up and announces her pregnancy to a crowded hallway. My jaw dropped. Why would she do that? Worse, why would she implicate Ben?

Check out that smile. What word best describes that smile? Smug. I rewound. I missed something initially. Before her little announcement, Adrian looks up. She spots someone or something. Ricky and Ben are walking into the frame. Out comes the shocker! Close up to Ben’s horrified, dumbfounded face. (He disappears into a girls restroom. I don’t think the continuency-checkers caught that.) Ricky cuts strange-right.  And there’s Adrian, smug as all hell.

She was doing that to screw with Ricky. That is the only reason I can think of, she has no reason to be lashing out at Ben. This was a power play. And it’s a stupid one.

Adrian is not as happy about this as she says–over, and over again

To Grace: Well, get used to it. Cuz I’m having a baby and I’m happy about it.

To Henry and Allison: I’m sure you guys already know. And, if you didn’t… I’m pregnant. And I’m ok with that. So. Talk about me all you want.

Adrian really wants everyone to know what’s happening, that she’s ok with it, and that they are free to talk about it. But if she were really ok with all that, why bother making an announcement at all?

I’ve just had a horrible thought. What if she wants this baby so she’ll have someone to love/who loves her unconditionally? Her father has epically failed in that department, but her mother’s been pretty great.

Amy IS human! Yay!

I don’t like Amy Juergens. I haven’t had much opportunity to talk about that, as her character’s been pretty absent. I really don’t like her. I think she’s self-involved and self-centered. I don’t think she’s really bonded with her son AS her son. But she’s always throwing out, “I’m a WOMAN! I’m a MOTHER!” like that’s her Get To Do Whatever I Want Card. And she’s not above being bribed for affection. Yeah, I don’t like her.

But, she actually shows some genuine humanity in this episode. Really, I’m more impressed with the actress than the character.

Ben and his father fly to New York to visit Amy at her band camp. Ben is a giant ball sack, and will not call her to tell her that he’s knocked up another girl. His father’s great–get on a plane to NY or I’m putting you on a plane to boot camp. Mr. Boykewich (boyk-evitch) is very supportive. He spends the travel time walking Ben through what to say and how to say it.

Of course, Ben blurts out in the first minute that Adrian is pregnant with his baby.

Amy is upset, she cries, she leaves. A very good performance, overall. I totally believed that she was a young woman being given such news.

Ben is an utter moron.

“Amy, I don’t wanna marry Adrian.” (Because babies and marriage are synonymous, always.) “I’m not going to marry Adrian.”

“She’s actually having the baby?!” (I know, right?! Even Amy knows this is bull!)

“She is actually having my baby. But–that doesn’t have to change anything between us.”

Amy is clearly appalled.

Then she gets in a cab and leaves.

Side note: That’s a terrible imitation of New York

That’s not what it looks like, that’s the crappiest fake subway entrance I’ve ever seen, and the whole cab thing is ridiculous.

Amy’s in New York City for a month. She should have, and be using, a Metro Card. It’s not so hot in May/June that she would want to avoid the oven the stations become. YOU DO NOT NEED A CAB, GIRLIE.

Then, and this is what really kills me, during her conversation with Ben, the cab waits at the curb, and revs its engine just in time for her to climb back in and drive off.

If you ever needed a sign that this show is complete fantasy, that was it.

Ricky is the most mature and human person on the whole sense-forsaken show

Lets recap who Ricky is. He’s the guy who got Amy pregnant be seducing her and overestimating how much she knew. He has a screwed up family situation involving abuse, drugs, and jail. He’s been in the foster system for the last few years. He’s a manslut as a means of coping with all of this.

But, since he learned he was going to be a father, he has seriously stepped up. He’s got a job, a place of his own, and he’s still in Band, which means he’s getting decent grades at school. Though he’s still sleeping around, he refused to enter a serious relationship with Adrian because he doesn’t trust himself to maintain it. He always puts his son first, no matter what.

In fact, when the other characters are acting like assholes, he’s the one who speaks sense.

Lets get the poor boy some redemption already. And someone sign the actor up for an off-season movie, he’s good.

Love makes fools of us all

I would much rather be talking about this, instead of the stupidity going on elsewhere.

Ashley is Amy’s little sister. I’ve spoken before about how I think she’s one of the smarter characters…except when it comes to Ricky. When Amy and Ricky were still unable to find common ground, he ended up talking to Ashley instead. They’ve become friends. And now they’re acknowledging that there’s something more there. Ricky refuses to get into that, because it will cause trouble. Ashley’s a-swoon, and wants to try, or something. She’s a freshman, this is her first lourve, give her time.

Here’s what I want to talk about. Is it ever ok to hook up with someone your friend or sister has been with? In this case, it’s begging for trouble. But is there a situation where it might be ok? Say, the one night stand without strings? Or is it just better to steer clear no matter what?

Ok, I’m less pissy now. Moving on.

3 Comments to “Secret Life: The stupid makes my head hurt.”

  1. I vote that they rename this show. How does calling it The Young and the Hopeless sound? Just a thought.

    This is total fantasy. :p The entire reason that this show exists seems to be to reiterate how stupid teenagers can be and to subtly say to the masses that there is never a good reason to have an abortion and you should always take responsibility for your own slutty actions and keep the baby and raise it. Whether you want to or not. Whether it ruins your life or not.

    Oh, and while guys are generally stupid when it comes to their penises, its okay because they’re guys. Boys will be boys~!

    I also find it interesting that Ricky is Ashley’s first love. Kids are starting younger, way younger, these days, how is he her first love? :p But, whatever, I suppose its cute….even though its really just gearing up for some major trouble with her.

    This is why I can’t bring myself to honestly watch this show. :p

    • How about The Not-So-Secret Cuz Everyone Knows Life of the American Teenager?

      For all that the show wants to be realistic, their depiction of love is ridiculous. Ben and Amy are together because Ben fell in crush with her at first sight, and she likes having someone who loves her. Ashley’s infatuated, but it’s not LOVE. Hell, when her mother asked her about it, neither tried to make a distinction. That’s dangerous. Girls are always being shown images of True Love, Love At First Sight, Love Against All Odds, Knights In Shining Armor–but rarely are they shown when it’s just kinda nice, and not enough for forever. Adult shows are more likely to show a relationship not working out due to realistic factors. Teens fall hard and stay there. That happens in the real world, but if TV never shows SOMEONE maturing out of it, how are they supposed to get perspective?

      • Somehow, I don’t really think that this show is REALLY for what its marketing says it is. Its to keep kids in an endless circle of problems without giving them any REAL solutions or realistic perspective, because they’re kids and they deserve to all know that they will be PUNISHED for making mistakes. Hm…do you think that was too harsh of me?

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