As ridiculous and silly as this ABC Family series has become, I still can’t help being addicted. The Secret Life of the American Teenager continues to define the phrase “teen soap opera” to the nth degree with plots, characters, and twists that feel more and more like some convoluted tragicomedy.
Sex, pregnancy, secrets, lies, and betrayals are on full display in this fifth volume of the series (which is technically the first half of season three). The series definitely likes to have one character pregnant each season and this one is no different with vixen Adrian (Francia Raisa) carrying Ben’s baby. But wait. Isn’t Ben (Ken Baumann) pining after Amy (Shailene Woodley) the girl who was impregnated by the sleazy Ricky (Daren Kagasoff) at band camp? Why yes, he is.
I will admit that as the series progresses the characters slowly become more and more irritating to listen to. Grace (Megan Park) and Ben are especially annoying this season, and Amy’s sister Ashley (India Eisely) is in the running for the title as well. As always, the parents act more like kids than the kids do for the majority of the episodes. One silver lining is the absence of Amy for several episodes when she gets a chance to go to New York.
I guess I would say the most rational character on the series is Leo (Steve Shirripa), Ben’s dad (if you se the whole marrying Betty the Hooker (Jennifer Coolidge) thing to the side). At least his arguments have some semblance of logic involved in them. Still waiting for one of the teen characters to make any sense.
It almost feels like the show repeats the same storyline every season but with different characters. I’m not saying this is bad; I enjoy the series. But I think it’s time to get out of the “who’s pregnant by whom” cycle and move forward with other issues that teens have.
Is this show realistic? Absolutely not. Do we all know people who are like characters on this show? More than likely. Will you yell at your TV over the stupid things these characters do and say? Absolutely.
The Secret Life of the American Teenager is a show that is better to watch in one big chunk than in week-to-week doses. I’ve tried it both ways and it is considerably more tolerable (believe it or not) to watch one after the other. I think it’s because after a while it all melds together and you forget at times how silly it is (these may be brief moments, but they may happen).
Volume Five’s special features include several interviews with the cast and director Anson Williams (he played Potsie on Happy Days). The interviews are pretty bland and don’t really offer any insight into the series or its characters. I did like the Anson Williams interview.
If you’re ready for another roller coaster ride of teenage insanity, hop on board The Secret Life of the American Teenager: Volume Five. It will definitely have your head spinning by the mid-season finale!
The Secret Life of the American Teenager: Volume Five is available NOW on DVD!
Can’t wait for the next set of all new episodes? The Secret Life of the American Teenager premieres Monday, March 28, 2011 at 8/7c before an all new Make It or Break It only on ABC Family!
What do you think of the series? Do you think it depicts real life, or is it just a silly teen drama (which is what I think)? Leave a comment and let us know!