'Secret Life of the American Teenager' recap: Saved by the bell-y

Secretlifeamericanteen_lThis week some characters lost their virginities (Henry, you dog!), some got even creepier (Ben), and some walked to class with a marching band playing behind ‘em (Amy). But one thing they’ve all got in common: After next week’s season finale of Secret Life of the American Teenager, they’ll all be MIA until January (sorry guys, I mistyped last week). Indeed, with the season 1 clock ticking loudly, there was a lot of action unfolding, starting with Amy returning to her judgmental public school instead of going to the cross town Montessori for pregnant gals. (Newsflash Mr. Juergens: EVERY high school is a "slut school," it’s called hormones!) As per usual, the poor passive girl let others make her decisions for her, while she nervously stood back and bit her lip.

Amy should know that her pregnancy — although it caused Ben to suffer a beat down at the hands of some 35-year-old blonde guy — is really old news. Old boring news compared to best frenemy Lauren making out with Ricky behind her back, Adrian’s father resurfacing, and Jack perfecting his bowl cut. Even Grace was almost interesting this episode. Or maybe that’s just because my memories are tainted by the un-Christian cheerleader she played (alongside cast members from my beloved Degrassi) in Charlie Bartlett, the most recent flick to make it off my Netflix Queue.

addCredit(“Secret Life of the American Teenager: Michael Ansell”)

The Secret Life parents had a turn in the spotlight this week as well. At first I thought that the show’s writers had never met teenagers, but as we see more of the over-21 crowd, themore it kinda feels like they’ve never hung out with adults either. Mr. Juergens is watching the girls while the Mrs. is away andrunning into Duckie Jake Ryan Bendersomeone from her past. And while his militant "father knows best" attitude isunbearable, so is Mark Derwin’s awful acting in the role. It’s getting to the point whereGrace’s dad is almost bearable in comparison. And Adrian’s father completed the Bad Dad trifecta, coming to visit his estranged daughter that he banishedonly last episode, and suddenly yelling at her to come and be a part ofhis family. (Not to play psychiatrist for the Secret Life writing staff, but I sense an undercurrent of daddy issues.)

Anyhow, while there’s no doubt this week’s hour was one of the season’s most entertaining, it again pushed the outer limits of realism. First of all, no matter howsupportive your parent is — and no parent is that supportive ofhis or her child’s sex life — what teenage girl would casually call her father to confess thatshe made out with someone, let alone reveal that it was with her best friend’s baby daddy? You know, that same best friend that she’s been forbidden from hanging out with? Because said best friend is pregnant by the guy youmade out with? That convo would’ve been a stretch for even Grace; for Lauren, it was just insane. And how about Grace’s mom referring to Mr. Juergens as her ex? Were we supposed to think she was drunk?

And I can’t complete this recap without talking about the ridiculoussex-ish scenes we witnessed. Every time Adrian and Ricky got into asquabble, he would make a half-hearted attempt to grab her and make out.Teenagers are horny, okay, but are any of them so jaded about sex that they need to use arguing as a method of foreplay? And inreal life, Henry and Alice — especially Alice — wouldn’t be bummedout that they slept together and didn’t love each other. They would beOVERJOYED that they had a best friend who they knew was safe andtrustworthy, and would always be around to casually perform sexualexperiments with. DUH!!

Sure, we all have questions about what Ricky will end up doing withthe baby, and we’re all waiting patiently to see Ben go bonkers and runaway with Amy’s infant in a backpack or something. But I know whateveryone’s thinking: does Sarah Palin allows her kids to watch Secret Life? What will the season 1 cliffhanger(s) involve? Anyone care to make a guess? Sound off in the comments section below!

Comments (69 total) Add your comment
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  • majigail

    Ok… I Am Woman, played by a tuba? Walking to class? if you want to talk about unrealistic…

  • Kristin

    I just loved, loved, loved the timeliness of Grace’s mother saying something along the lines of “Why do you want Amy parading her mistake around school?”

  • stajbar

    And how about Grace’s mom referring to Mr. Juergens as her ex? Were we supposed to think she was drunk? This statment shows you have not watched every show. When Amy’s mom ran into the “kid Dr.” she was mad that she got a new partner who happened to be he husbands ex-wife’s new husband. Personaly I like Ben, and his dad is great.

  • Anonymous

    the sarah palin comment was beyond rude and inappropriate for a recap.

  • debba

    I think the Sarah Palin comment was spot on! This show is beyond ridiculous – it’s like Reefer Madness for the oversexed teenager. My family – teenaged girls, and hubby – love this show because it’s so random you never know what will happen next.

  • Emily

    Ok, the Sarah Palin comment was hysterical. Get a sense of humor already.
    Oh, and this show is awful. Truly, deeply awful.

  • elizabeth

    i wish ricky could change n would end up with amy n truly loving the baby but in the other hand amy deserves better like ben

  • KO

    Seriously, what is it going to take to get a GREEK popwatch again?

  • cta

    It’s been mentioned in many episodes over the season that Mr. Juergen’s used to be married to Grace’s mom. If you’re going to write about a show, you should probably WATCH it.

  • anne

    This is truly awful but SO watchable. I actually like the stories but the acting and the writing either has groaning and cringing or guffawing with glee. What I would like to see is Brenda Hampton hiring a whole new writing staff before season 2.0 starts.

  • jillian

    greek? please? so much better…

  • Geo

    How can you not love this show? It’s the guiltiest of guilty pleasures. My teenage kids and I watch it together and howl at the stupidity of the characters, the awful writing, the beyond bad acting. You gotta love a show where the smartest, most believable character has Down’s Syndrome.

  • Jackie

    The biggest shocker had to be Henry & Alice having sex! their expressions on their faces were priceless. I thought she cant be with Jack but enough though that wasn’t true they still broke up. Damn Bully, hitting Ben like that.Im glad Amy didnt go to ‘Slut School’ either and that support at school was so nice. When Adrian went to open the door, I thought ‘you might wanna cover up’ no matter who it is. I had to lol during her dad and her mom’s arguments in Spanish, that’s the typical way it goes. Ricky’s therapist is Lauren’s dad was quite a surprise. Lauren & Madison not wanting to share the makeout incident to Amy is so wrong but looks like she finds out next time. Who knew Mrs. Bowman cheated on George in the past? that was kinda corny with Amy’s mom to go help the grandma who took the wrong flight due to her illness and Ashley calling Amy a slut for the ”2 1/2 mins” it took for the pregnancy. ” Someone goes too far” is it Ricky & Grace? who finally revealed their feelings to us?

  • Anonymous

    i like that lauren’s dad is ricky’s shrink.
    because god forbid someone in this town not be pointlessly connected to someone else…

  • Lisa

    Whoops, looks like some of you misunderstood – I meant that for Grace’s mom to publicly announce that Mr. Juergens is her “ex” she must be drunk, because she wouldn’t be airing her dirty laundry unless she had been hitting the bottle. Hard. That’s all. :)

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