For those who don’t keep up with the show, it airs on the ABC Family Channel on Monday nights and chronicles the life of pregnant teen Amy Juergens, along with the lives of her family and friends.
Ricky, the father of Amy’s baby, was the victim of not only physical abuse, but sexual abuse from his father. The news comes out because Ricky’s father just got out of prison and wants to re-enter his son’s life and, get this, sell Amy and Ricky’s baby to somebody that wants a baby.
Ricky had the emotional scenes this episode as he almost tearfully tells Adrian and some others the truth about why his father went to prison.
You could tell that the molestation and physical abuse has tortured the boy. It helped shed light on why Ricky acts the way he acts.
In other scenes, Amy tells Ben, her boyfriend, that he can’t come with her to her ultrasound. Ben’s father gives his son some much-needed advice, telling him not to count on doing that kind of thing with Amy since she’s just a young teen like himself, he’s not the father of her baby, and frankly, she’s in a pretty tough situation.
Oh, and Amy learned the sex of the baby.
Things have started to get more than a little complicated for Amy. My hope is that teens watching the program will be able to see that and maybe think about just how complicated their own lives would become should they become pregnant or get get someone pregnant.
The biggest complication of them all is coming down the pike: Amy has to decide whether or not she’s going to give the baby up for adoption.
As the show progresses, it looks like viewers are going to be able to see how much angst this causes and what the implications are behind that decision.
This is my scheduled posting for the week and it is late because there has been so much going on this week. However, I did manage to see the latest episode of “Secret Life” on Monday and it was probably one of the better ones.
For those late the game, “Secret Life” is a television show airing on Monday evenings on the ABC Family Channel. It chronicles the life of a pregnant teenager named Amy Juergens, her family and friends.
In this week’s episode, Adrian’s father talks bluntly with her about Ricky. Adrian is the show’s “bad girl,” so to speak, but viewers have been able to see what her home life is like and exactly why she is the way she is. Ricky is the show’s “bad boy,” for lack of a better term. He’s the father of the Amy’s baby.
Adrian’s father, who just recently came into her life, is an assistant district attorney who wants to help his daughter get her life on track. She makes excellent grades but has been labeled the school slut for good reason.
Her father tells her that Ricky is just using her, having sex with her at night while taking Grace, a Christian girl, out on actual dates.
It’s the classic “hook-up” scenario that teens will tell you about if you ask them.
The show has been criticized for stereotyping the characters, and yet we know that so many teen girls are looking for love and settling for sex, then get hurt when the guy discards them and moves on.
I think the straight talk that Adrian’s dad gave her was this episode’s main message.
We’ll have to see if she takes his advice and leaves Ricky alone.
Meanwhile, Ricky is having lots of trouble of his own. His dad is back from prison and there’s some mystery about why he was in prison in the first place.
Even if the plot keeps twisting (this is TV, OK?), I still see the show as a good way for parents to open up some interesting (and hopefully meaningful) discussions about relationships and sex.
One thing I can say is that I was reminded once again that this is TV — entertainment with a capital E.
I kind of thought one of the scenes with the parents was a bit too much, considering that lots of teens watch the show. On the other hand, the way a teen’s parents function together — or don’t function together — certainly impacts the family dynamics. In that way, the scene was probably justified.
If you saw the episode, you’ll probably guess which scene I’m referring to.
Probably the biggest impact of this episode, in terms of realism, was the scene when Amy’s mother, portrayed by Molly Ringwald, told her daughter in no uncertain terms that she would have to get familiar with the idea that she would become a mother in just a few short months and HER ENTIRE LIFE AS SHE KNEW IT WOULD CHANGE FOREVER.
That is the best part of this new show, I think, getting that idea in teens’ brains: Babies change your life forever. Period.
The reality sank in for Amy immediately.
Guess what? She’s even more scared now than she was before … and rightfully so.
Here’s hoping that this show serves as a wakeup call for some teens.
Hey, and I’d love to know what you thought about this week’s episode. Don’t forgot to share your comments …
P.S., I almost forgot: What in the world is Grace, the show’s Christian girl thinking? She has proclaimed to her mother that she is now “in love” with bad boy Ricky, the father of Amy’s baby. I’m thinking that she is very naive and a lot like so many girls out there.
The show, which began July 2008, has been called realistic by some, downright campy by others.
Either way, the dramedy about a pregnant high school girl may be of interest to teens and their parents.
I enjoy the show because it brings up some interesting scenarios that today’s teens and their parents (myself included) can discuss in an informal setting.
The show airs on Mondays this season and I’ll likely blog about it each Tuesday. It would be great to get some feedback/comments from others who watch the show as the season continues.
The issues raised on the show hit home particularly in light of Staff Writer Susan Simpson’s story about teen pregnancy featured in today’s Oklahoman.
The story notes that Oklahoma’s teen birth rate is among the nation’s highest, according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disase Control and Prevention.
The story went on to quote Sharon Rodine, director of youth initiatives at the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, as saying that 2007 data for the state also shows an increase in teens giving birth.
Having said all that, I won’t comment on this week’s “Secret Life” season premiere because some folks might not realize that the new season has begun.
I’ll drop you a hint about the premiere’s focus, though: Something old, something new …
If it’s a TV show that has parents and teens talking on the subject, so be it.
“Hopefully the talk will lead to some positive discussions for some young people because we have been ignoring them for too long,” Rodine said.
Some critics have jabbed at the new ABC Family show “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” saying that it focuses on sex too much and that it plays a lot like a soap opera parody, but others, like Rodine and leaders with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, say it has folks talking and that’s worth a lot.
Rodine said it’s often hard to get people in Oklahoma to see how much teen pregnancy has become a concern.
“Between 2005 and 2006, and that’s the latest data we have, the births to teens in
“It’s an alarm bell going off because, in so many ways, we’ve become complacent.”
Rodine said it’s sometimes hard for people to relate to numbers so she found another way to describe the problem.
“How do we help the public understand what this means? To help put this in perspective I tell people that the number of teens giving birth in
“We need to say ‘diplomas before diapers’.”
With that said, here are some national statistics from the National Campaign to ponder:
– The teen pregnancy and birth rate has declined dramatically since the early 1990s (down 38 percent and 32 percent respectively), driven by decreased sexual activity and increases in contraceptive use. Even so, recent data shows that the declines in teen sex and improvements in contraceptive use have leveled off. And the teen birth rate is on the rise for the first time in 15 years.
The national spotlight is shining on Gloucester, Mass., but that’s not necessarily a good thing these days.
The most recent edition of TIME magazine includes a story about a so-called “baby pact” made between a group of girls at Gloucester High School.
The author of the story appeared on NBC’s TODAY Show this morning to discuss her interviews with school officials. She said they told her that several pregnant teen girls, out of a total 17 at the school, had confessed to making a pact that they would each get pregnant at about the same time and raise their babies together.
One girl apparently was impregnated by a 24-year-old homeless man, the TIME reporter said.
None of them, according to reports, is older than 16.
The blogosphere is abuzz with this latest bit of news, particularly since actress Jamie Lynn Spears, 17, reportedly had her baby on the same day that the world got wind of the so-called high school baby pact.
One interesting blog is Pregnant Pause, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy’s Web log.
What are your thoughts about the Gloucester baby pact?
– Carla Hinton