All parent member reviews for The Secret Life of the American Teenager

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Parents say

(out of 72 reviews)
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Adult Written byAndromeda July 21, 2009
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Terrible show with mixed messages, not good for anybody

To be honest, I have only seen a few episodes of this show because it's so unspeakably bad I have to leave the room rather to refrain from speaking my mind while my sister (a fan) watches the show. First, let me comment on the quality of the TV show. To say the acting is bad is a gross understatement. I can't even think of a comparison to how bad the acting is. It's just that bad. To be fair, any actor would have a hard time working with the inconsistent, unrealistic, practically nonsensical drivel that passes for dialog in this show. Watch one episode (without the kids) and ask yourself how many people actually talk like that? The story is contrived, predictable and uninspired. The character development is disgraceful. Just when you get to know a character, he or she says something completely out of character just to drive home some "point" or put someone in their place. Characters who at first were kind turn out to be just as mean and petty as everyone else. The two characters who use people the most both turn out to have unresolved "daddy issues." The writers treat the characters like they're all the same person raised in different circumstances. The writers must have absolutely no knowledge of biology, psychology, or basic human nature. This show is too bad even to laugh at. It's just that awful. Now on to the messages. Many people give this show credit for having dialog about sex. Having an honest, open, and complete dialog about sex is one thing. Filling dialog with people talking about sex is quite another. All anyone ever talks about is sex. Yes, teens will sometimes talk about sex, but not nearly to this extent, and not in this manner. The phony sex "dialog" is not my biggest complaint, however. The cruelty and immaturity of all the characters (including the adults) goes to Desperate Housewives levels. All they ever think about are their immediate needs and wants, unless they're having a conveniently placed worry about the future that's forgotten by the next scene. Worst of all, the show gives mixed messages. At the end of the show the actors say "It might seem like everyone is having sex, but they're not..." but EVERYONE ON THE SHOW IS DOING IT!!! That's as bad as if Michael Vick said "It's bad to hurt dogs" after each bloody dogfight. The hypocrisy is repulsive! The last statistic I read said that half of all teenagers have not had sex by the time they graduate high school. If this steaming pile of a show was an example, 95% of teens would be having sex, and having it in contrived, stupid circumstances. Finally, let me address the issue of teen pregnancy. Even though it's a subject in every episode, it's dealt with so superficially as to be practically useless. Maybe I missed too many episodes, but that girl had one easy pregnancy, and oh, how quickly her body returned to a size 0. How unfortunate that her baby only stops crying when Daddy is near. Could the writers not think of even one REAL health issue that afflicts babies? How unbelievably stupid! The bottom line is this show is absolutely awful in every respect. It's too inconsistent and hypocritical to be a positive influence, and it's too stupid and poorly made to be entertaining. If you want a good show about teen pregnancy, watch Juno. If you have extremely low standards and limit your activities to staring at glowing rectangles with moving images on them, watch Secret Life. No. Don't. Battlefield Earth is better than Secret Life of an American Teenager.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written bykrebsy1012 January 26, 2010
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

terrible for young teens

I'm nineteen and I completely fear for those who are in jr. high and even up to tenth grade who watch this and think that this is an acceptable way to behave and think. All it talks about is how every person wants to have sex always and how its completely normal for young teens to be having sex. Did they not learn from the one who had a baby that they are not ready for this? I first thought this would be positive and teach kids why not to engage in such activity but have instead been outraged.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written byjstanway July 13, 2009
AGE
17
QUALITY
 
I'm not a prude, but you've got to be kidding. I honestly cannot understand why ABC FAMILY would air this show. The YOUNG teens and adults ALL not only exhibit irresponsible sexual behavior, they talk about it ALL the time. Take Grace for example - who started out by proudly declaring her Christian values. She asks for birth control pills (just to have them) , her mother gets them for her (just in case), then she tells everyone in school. This season she not only has sex with her boyfriend Jack, but she declares it's the BEST experience of her life. Even her minister states sometimes sex before marriage is okay. The dialogue is unrealistic, sexually explicit and laughable. Here's the scary thing teenagers relate to these clean cut, nice looking, middle class youth which makes it a more dangerous program than Rock of Love.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Parent of a 15 year old Written bymichiganmom January 28, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Watch this show with your teens

I watch this show with my daughter, who is a sophomore in HS. While some of the dialogue is weak, and I don't like the way the counselors (they're on the third one now) and some of the Christians are portayed on the show, it provokes some interesting conversations with my daughter. I remember being her age, all those years ago, and most of what we talked about and thought about was sex. Not much has changed in a lot of ways. I did think the last show about masturbation was over the top, and so did my daughter. But if parents think this show is giving kids ideas that they wouldn't have otherwise, wake up. Kids my daughter knows were having sex, including oral sex, in 8th grade; by their sophomore year many have had multiple partners, and are also drinking and smoking weed. And these are the "good" kids from middle-class intact families. I think this show pretty realistically portrays how teens act and talk, and it's a good conversation starter. We talk about what kids she knows are like which characters, what does she think of the choice a character made, etc.
Adult Written bysteveneve April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

NOT for Tweens!

I watched the first episode with my 13yo daughter. Teen sex is all the show is about. The main character, a young 15yo who gets pregnant after the first time she "thinks she did it" is well acted.You feel sorry for her and feel how scared this young girl is. But other than that the show suffers from a lack of creativity or realism. The creators chose to take an easy way out by stereotyping the Christian girl - a Susie-Sunshine fanatic, "promise ring" and all. They missed the opportunity to show the real aspect of church youth groups which are often a place where teens have their values supported, where they talk about all the issues they are faced with (including sex, drugs, relationships etc..) and are taught about giving back and doing service for others less fortunate. The Guidance Counselor is made out to be someone who is annoyed by these kids rather than as someone they could look up to and really go to for guidance. It's just another show that assaults morality and portrays sex to young teens as no big deal and what it's all about. After the first half of the show my daughter looked at me and said, "This is so stupid...no one at school talks about sex like this all the time. It's not what we talk about in front of our lockers...we talk about what tests we have and what homework we have." The show made her uncomfortable and when I asked if she wanted to watch the next episode (we had them on the DVR) she said no.I personally don't feel this is a show for anyone younger than 16yo, but even for them it's a time waster. If you want your older teen to watch a good show that portrays teens realistically, have them watch Friday Night Lights instead!
Parent of a 13 year old Written byLoury June 7, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
My daughter likes this show and I have watched it with her but every season after the first 2 episodes we lose interest, and thank goodness. I feel uncomfortable watching it with her. Its not sending a message that having sex to young is bad, its sending the message that you should have sex, babies, oral sex.. Sheesh! I'm disappointed in the makers of this show.. it has turned into a Rated R for T.V, and on ABC Family too?
Adult Written byPolka Dot January 4, 2010
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Ridiculous

This show is plain ridiculous. I have counted the word sex used in one show at least 50 times. Not to mention oral sex, masturbation. The kids and parents constantly discuss who is having sex with who. My kids unfortanetely love this show. I am banning it from my housel.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written bymrs.mcdnld22 April 11, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Not how teen pregnancy really is

So unrealistic, I was pregnant in highschool and it was nothing like this show made it out to be....happy, happy....cute little babies. On the other hand maybe thats how it is when u have rich parents
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written byjtjslg February 21, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Don't invite sex into your home

Completely inappropritate storylines for children that would be awake to watch this show. There is no purpose in exposure to these topics. Over time, a person, will become numb to the offense and not even notice that sex was mentioned over and over. When did engaging, or even disussing, sex become a middle school/high school appropriate issue?
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 7, 12, and 12 year old Written bymichelle06111980 January 30, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Perfect for older teenagers, but not for tweens or young teens!

i think this is totally inappropriate for tweens and early teens! I think it is fine for the older teenage crowds. I have a 12 yearold and caught her watching this and feel it sends messages at too early of an age. While these may be issues that go on in a highschool, I dont feel junior high kids need to be exposed.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written byasmit4 January 5, 2010
AGE
15
QUALITY
 
I'm 30, married and have no children yet. I grew up watching 7th Heaven, Dawson's Creek and the original 90210. As a result I've never really stopped liking teen dramas. I watch Greek, 90210, Melrose Place, Make it or Break it, and Secret Life. The most recent episode-January 4, 2010- was perhaps the most pervasive when it comes to discussion of sex on any television show geared toward teens that I've ever seen. Having said that- I think this show is a good show for parents and teens to watch together. Is it uncomfortable to have a discussion on oral sex, masturbation? Of course! But teens in high school need to learn the facts from YOU- the parent! This show is a great sounding board to discuss the tough topics that most parents just avoid. The reality is that- whatever you think about your child- you are probably wrong. Many straight A students, choir girls, readers at church, leaders of volunteer organizations...you name it- MANY are having sex. By the time your high schooler graduates HS, 7/10 will have had sex, by college graduation it's over 90%. If you don't do the talking, who will? I don't recommend it for tweens or even young teens but by high school the topics of this show will and are playing out in your kid's life/circle of friends- whether you choose to accept it or not. Take the initiative and have an open conversation. Your point of view as a parent matters- share it with your kids no matter how hard or uncomfortable it is. Teens aren't dumb- if you haven't discussed the topics above- trust me- your kids KNOW they exist and will probably be taking part eventually in their lifetime- perhaps sooner than you think.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written bypurplemomma April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Unbelievable ABC Family!

My husband & I have 2 children ages 11 & 14. We watched this alone to preview it and we were appauled at what we saw. ABC Family should be ashamed for airing this. Do they not realize that really young children will see this? My 11 year old watched it at a friends house without knowing that the entire show would revolve around sex. I was just sick that she saw it. Although sex may be an issue for high school students this was so overboard and unrealistic. Preteens are not ready to hear about getting laid and oral sex! The sarcasim with Christianity was upseating also. I hope this show does not make it.
Parent of a 14 and 17 year old Written byGeorgia Wilson March 28, 2015
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
Adult Written bycommonsensegal September 25, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Let's fall in love!

The show addresses teen pregnancy, sex, abstinence, homosexuality, and promiscuity. It shows the consequences of the actions the people in the show make. I am not against homosexuality. Abstinence is the best choice for all or most children and teens.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byangry-mom September 5, 2013
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Not for teens!!!

This show is extremely focused around teenagers in high school having sex. The producers are not capturing the essence of reality and this show is not showing teens the true struggle of being a teen mom. There are no known struggles about caring for a child and having to live life daily. The fact of the matter is that whether or not sex is being talked about in a good or bad way, it is still being talked about. Young teens are very influenced by their surroundings and for the teens who watch this show religiously, they are being brainwashed with the idea of underage sex. This is not a family show so I am confused why it is even aired on ABC family! Do not let your children watch this show! The media is exposing teens to things that they do not need to be aware of at age 15. Its for the best that this series is off the air.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written byjh67 August 1, 2013
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Depicts young teenage girls as gullible sex objects

I am a 19-yr old college student. I am writing here to express how much I hate this show that my 15-yr old sister is seemingly addicted to. Entertaining to the educated, but a threat and needless to say garbage to the youth. Poor plot construction (it basically just revolves around sex and friendships ruined because of this). I say this because it patronizes the vulnerable minds of today's youth to engage in unhealthy relationships, as if to say that it's ok to break friendships in exchange for sex, to be more popular, to get ahead in the "game." This is demoralizing and a corrupting our values. There are shows like Teen Mom which I think is okay. It shows kids the responsibility/struggles that teen moms face after having kids. You gain something out of it. It adds value. It helps kids today realize that it's okay to have sex but you know, there are consequences. In this show, girls are seen as nothing but a bunch of gullible sexual objects, being passed around from guy to guy--no direction in life. Girls cheat from each other and break friendships. It glamorizes teen girls and makes them seem "cool" among their peers. Reminds me of the young, stubborn and rebellious girls in the Maury show who don't even know the man who fathered her kid. Entertaining, sure. But who really wants to be THAT girl? When it's the vulnerable kid next door, your younger sister, or your own daughter, do you really want her to watch this or would you rather guide her to the right direction and not commit the same mistakes others did? Do you really want that little girl grow up and have ambitions and a good head over her shoulders, but rather a sl*t who sleeps with anyone and has no self-respect. Wake up, America. You all are smarter than that.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent Written byLoveCzar June 27, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Great show for older teens and young adults, not for younger kids.

The Secret Life of the American Teenager is a very true-to-life show about a teen girl, Amy Juergens, getting pregnant. Although being pregnant as a teen is most of the time, not a great thing, it does have multiple positive messages, like Amy having to make up her mind on who she really loves and the fact that BOTH Ben and Ricky help her out during her pregnancy and when the baby is born. Because this show is focused on sex and teenage pregnancy, there is a lot of talk about sex, birth control, condoms, and pregnancy tests. Also, one parent, comes out as being gay and one student in high school loves talking about and having sex. There is mild language such as bi***, s**t, w***e, c**p, d**n and h**l.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written byTacoSpartan June 4, 2013
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Good Riddance

I’m flippin’ pleased as punch that the crap shoot of a show that is supposed to teach about teen pregnancy, but actually WORKS AGAINST SAID MESSAGE, “The Secret Life Of An American Teenager” is over and done. I’m completely dumbfounded as to why anyone would watch this train-wreck. Not only is sex the ONLY thing these characters think about and talk about, the characters themselves are absolutely ATROCIOUS. They’re selfish, cruel, HORRIBLE daughters/sons/parents. Their so-called love stories are never the least bit genuine, and the main character Amy is honestly worse than Bella Swan. I’M NOT JOKING. This girl is horrible. She’s an absolute horror to watch and honestly, I just wish the end of the show features her dead and alone. But no, she ends up getting what she wants, after cheating, lying, being rude and hateful, and a horrible parent. And this show has a horrible message and that “prevent teen pregnancy thing” just goes down the drain. What does this show ACTUALLY teach? ~Being pregnant makes guys want you. ~Not having sex will RUIN even the best relationships. ~Having sex with a guy will make them fall in love with you. ~Being an absolutely horrible daughter to your parents is OK. Even if they just want the best for you. ~Everybody’s a cheater. Not having willpower is ace. ~Divorce is easy! Marriage isn’t that big of a deal! Just watch an episode and see this horrible crap. Not only will you be rich if you had 5 dollars for each time the characters say, “sex, babies, pregnancy, marriage”, you’ll just see how awful these characters are.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Parent of a 12 year old Written bykate6935 May 15, 2013
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Terrible for teens. Sends a terrible message to teenagers

I have a 12 yr old daughter and I even allow her to watch some R movies with me. After seeing this show several times, I will not allow her to watch it again. The word sex is used about 50 times in each episode. Go ahead parents, take a look. Can believe ABC calls this a family show. Shame on ABC.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written byAeolusX July 25, 2012
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Good Show, Honest Review!!

This show really tells teens what the message is about regarding teen pregnancy and being abstinent to it. I, myself, got touched and got emotional about the whole story and ive only been watching for a little while. This show can explain the struggles and hardships that teens may encounter if ever they end up getting pregnant or is having a baby. Please dont consider other reviews as to being bad and not kids appropriate and just watch it and see for yourselves if it fits your own thinking and if you agree or not. But i really do recommend this show for a good example and detailed explanation towards the subject.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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