Home > Apologia, Christianity, Media > The Secret Life of the American Teenager

The Secret Life of the American Teenager

Well, it’s a new show on ABC Family.  They’ve done it again.  Family.  I’m pretty sure that my parents wouldn’t want me watching this show, just based off of the pilot episode.  I just got done watching it, and I’m confused a bit.  I wish I had started counting the word “sex” at the beginning of the episode.  It talked a lot about sex.  Some good, some not so good. 

So I’m a bit confused as to the direction this show is going to go. LOGO In short, the main character, Amy, is a fourteen year old girl who is in band at school, has sex at band camp with an older, more popular guy, and winds up pregnant.  She comes from a two parent family with a younger sister who is “goth” and dresses like a __________________.  (Pick your own degrading female description)  There is also Grace who is a fifteen year old Christian who wears a “promise ring” signifying her promise to remain pure.  Her boyfriend is Jack, who like Grace, claims to be a Christian but is having a harder time with purity.  There are a few other characters here and there, and each of them said the word, “sex” at least once.  I know I’m judging off the pilot episode, but it seems to me the pilot episode sets the framework for what the entire show will spin around.  

One of my problems in deciphering this show is the way they treat Grace.  She’s considered “hott”.  She’s a head cheerleader and a spunky personality to match.  But, at the same time, they seem to make her anFamilyairhead in the show, as well as Jack, who is the popular football player.  The name of Jesus Christ is used in the show, speaking of how Grace and Jack can persevere in abstinence with his help.  But, the show gives it a bit of a cheesy feel it seems.  Like all shows, the Christian aspect is almost taken to the extreme.  (Kind of reminds me of that blockbuster hit, “Saved!” starring Mandy Moore which made me want to throw up.)  At the same time, there are some quality aspects to the show regarding Christianity.  The family has parents who seem to be attentive to Grace.  She also has a brother who has downs syndrome, and the family shows a lot of love and compassion toward him.  

Overall, I’m a bit puzzled, left wanting more with this show, to see what direction it is going to take.  I fear to know the answer, but the truth is, we probably can guess its not always going to present Grace and Jack in a positive light.  Episode two has already aired, and both episodes can be seen on ABC Family’s website.  I do not at all condone this show for entertainment value, but instead I wanted parents and youth workers to know what was out there.  For the sake of apologetics, when I found out the show featured an evangelical Christian, I couldn’t pass up the chance for to see a culture’s critique on Christianity.  

Has anyone else seen this show, and if so, give me your thoughts?

Finally, there has been some recent spike in views on my blog, which definitely excites me.  Outside of my normal friends who read my blog, there has been some traffic coming from search engines.  I’d love for people who read just to poke their head in and make themselves known and let me read up on your interests.

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  1. July 10, 2008 at 9:46 am

    hey man.

    some co-workers were talking about the show yesterday at lunch. i haven’t seen it. i too was skeptical about it when i heard them (co-workers) mentioning the fact that it has Christians on it. surprisingly they said it portrayed Christians in a positive light.

    it will be interesting to see how it plays out. i remember when 7th Heaven first came out. they promoted themselves as show with Christian undertones (or maybe overtones-i get those mixed up). they even sent my dad (a pastor) the pilot show to see if he would show it in church. but several seasons into the show, it’s not very Christian anymore.

    i wonder if the show you mentioned will follow the same lines.

  2. July 10, 2008 at 10:22 am

    I watched episode 2 last night, and it still portrays Christians in somewhat of a positive light, but it still irritates me how much sex is in the show. Everyone has sex in the show.

  3. magee
    August 5, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    I just watched the first episode and I am very interested to see where it goes from here. I do think they mention sex too much but think about the average 15 year old, it is most of what they think and talk about all day long. Maybe they are trying to reel them in to teach them the life lessons. I do notice how they portray grace but I am hoping that this is also a way of showing young girls that they can be happy living for Christ and not for their friends. Most 15 year old girls desire to be thought of as hot and when they see all the boys looking at the good Christian girl as hot, they will want to be like her. Sure being hot is a bad reason for becoming a Christian but it doesn’t matter how we get them to Jesus, he can help them once they are here!!

  4. Cara
    September 10, 2008 at 9:01 am

    At first we thought this show would help our teens to see the consequences of bad choices and the turmoil it causes. But the more we have watched it, almost every conversation revolves around sex and masturbation even! I think even if the message is to show the negative effects of these things, dwelling on it so much can only cause desire to stir in their own lives. It’s almost like it says in Romans that the more he realized what he should not do, the more he had a desire to do it, and sin came alive in him. I know for myself, it was torturous for me to have those things being fed into my mind that much and caused alot of mental battling which I just do not need! I am against it and my teens are mad and think I am unreasonable. I dont care and I even am blocking the channel from our Dish so that it wont be an issue anymore.

  5. Matt
    June 6, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    i think the show after watching one the episodes totally degrades Christianity. The girl grace seems to be a big flirt and shows no sign of the Spirit in her.. its like a mask that she wears. Makes Christianity just look like an attention getter and not the one true God. I sometimes wish we had more persecution here so that we could become strong and the real Christians could arise, but at the same time i guess not….but idk, i only watched like 3 episodes…and couldn’t finish any of them

  6. January 4, 2010 at 2:01 am

    I just happened upon this blog when i was seriously stirred to research this show and biblical perspectives on it. I am still going to have to go back and watch a couple of episodes of this show in order to be able to accurately appraise it but i feel as if Cara hits the nail on the head. Sin operates it power upon the soul through the law and the only thing abc can offer teens is a form of law. I will drop back by to follow up more fully.

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