Tuesday, August 5, 2008


My wife has found a new guilty pleasure. The Secret Life of the American Teenager is a new drama on ABC that, according to TV.com "centers on the topic of teen pregnancy. Good-girl band geek Amy discovers that she is pregnant after losing her virginity to Ricky at band camp. Christian cheerleader Grace, however, has promised abstinence to her parents. As their secrets start to spread, everyone is affected by the news. "

Again, it is Katie's guilty pleasure, not mine. However, the other evening I overheard some of the dialogue and wanted to share. Two teenagers, presumably a couple, are preparing to go to Church with the boyfriend's parents. The girl (not the pregnant one) is trying to convince her boyfriend to well, engage in behavior that the pastor would not approve of!

Girl: We'll just go to confession afterwards.

Boy: I'm Protestant - we don't have confession.

Girl: You don't? Well, what do you have?

Boy: Umm.... Guilt... Shame... Regret... Yeah, we have

Katie is having a tough time getting a read on the show as a whole. At times there seems to be a strong moral message about the consequences of teen pregnancy, but at others, the writers seem to be mocking that same morality.

One thing is clear, the message this program is sending is not the same one delivered by celebrities such as Jamie Lynn Spears! It co-stars Molly Ringwald as the mom of the teen mom-to-be. Seeing her face gave me quite some pause. When I was growing up, topic of teen pregnancy was the fodder of "after school specials," not prime time entertainment. While I agree that the message is an important one, I wonder whether its intended audience really understands?

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