Secret Life of the American Teenager: Volume 4
by Laura Tucker
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My 17-year-old son has a way of telling me he likes TV series that he becomes addicted to, and that’s by telling me repeatedly “I hate this.” He did that watching Make It Or Break It, which I was surprised he liked, being that it was about a group of young female gymnasts (then again, maybe that’s why he likes it). Yet, he watched the whole season in a matter of a few days, getting so tied into the storyline. He’s now watched the Volume 4 DVD set of Secret Life of an American Teenager, and as much as he “hated” Make It Or Break It, I think “hates” this one more.
This volume picks up half way through the second season. The first season revolved around Amy’s (Shailene Woodley) pregnancy at 15, leaving the second season for her to cope with being a young mother and no longer being with baby John’s father, Ricky (Daren Kagasoff). Not that there isn’t any more pregnancies, though, as her mother, Anne (Molly Ringwald) has just had a baby of her own very unexpectedly, as the writers tried to work in Ringwald’s expanding size, since she was expecting twins. Before the end of the season there’s another possible pregnancy as well.
As a parent, that’s what bothers me some. I realize some kids are going to have sex at an early age like that, but the hopping in and out of each other’s beds, and that it was painting a picture that that’s what your average American teenager does, bothers me. I know reading this my son will be rolling his eyes at me, but I just don’t think kids are ready for the emotions that come along with that. I know they think they are, but they aren’t.
However, for my son, what he said he liked best about Secret Life of the American Teenager was that he could connect to it, and he saw similarities to his own life. While that definitely puts a little bit of a scare into me, as he refused to give me examples, I do appreciate that they have things out there kids can connect to like that. If they’re going to enter into serious relationships before they’re ready, it’s good they can then reflect back on certain episodes of a favorite series when things don’t go well, in order to find some peace with what happened and realize they aren’t alone.
What this series would be good for would be opening the lines of communication within a family, and not just where sex is concerned, but relationships and other general things kids go through. Not that they’re the only ones with relationship struggles, as the adults in Secret Life have their share of that as well. And that’s just another whole ballgame altogether.
Secret Life of the American Teenager: Volume 4 is now available on DVD
Laura Tucker is the webmaster of Reality Shack and its accompanying Reality Shack Blog, provides reviews at Viewpoints, and provides entertainment news pieces at Gather. She is also an Instructor and 2nd dan black belt in tae kwon do with South Elgin Martial Arts. Laura can be reached at LauraBelle@realityshack.com.
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