A guilty pleasure? So bad it's good? Or just plain bad? A review of 'The Secret Life of the American Teenager'
There are guilty pleasures. And there are TV shows that are so bad they are good.
But 7th Heaven was in a class all by itself.
The long-running series was a unique fusion of bad acting, awkward dialogue, clunky social message of the week plot lines, and surprising guest stars (Lenny Clarke, Bo Derek, Ernest Borgnine).
And, admit, you couldn't stop watching the show either. I mean I even watch the second final season of the show. It had an undeniable mesmerizing charm.
Well the good news is the spirit of 7th Heaven is alive and well in The Secret Life of the American Teenager (premiering next Tuesday, July 1 at 8 p.m. on ABC Family), the new series from 7th Heaven executive producer Brenda Hampton.
Of course, that's the bad news too.
Shailene Woodley stars as Amy, a teen, who, after a one night stand, discovers that she is pregnant. In the pilot, Amy tries to figure out how to break this news to her parents (Molly Ringwald and Mark Derwin).
It's positively wonderful to see Molly Ringwald again. Growing up I wanted to be her. I wanted to have Jake wish me a happy birthday and give Judd Nelson my earring. If you promise not to tell anyone, I will tell you that I even dyed my hair red in an effort to fully become Molly. There's something quite satisfying and delightful about seeing her play the mother of a teenager since she is one of pop-culture's most iconic teenager.
Amy has two best friends, Lauren (Camille Winbush, who was fabulous on The Bernie Mac Show) and Madison (Renee Olstead, who you may recognize as the daughter from Still Standing). This entire storyline has potential.
Once we meet the rest of the students at Amy's school, that's when the series goes to heck in a 7th Heaven handbasket. Out of high school stereotypes 101, we have good girl Grace (Megan Park), high school football hero Jack (Greg Finley), vixen Adrian (Francia Raisa) and very bad boy Ricky (Daren Kagasoff). All clearly attended the 7th Heaven school of acting and within five minutes you'll be able to connect the dots on what is going to happen next.
Hampton is exploring important themes about the decision to wait to have sex, the consequences of unprotected sex, and the struggle to get through your high school years. But she does it in a naïve, frustrating and unrealistic way. It would be so much more satisfying if the kids on The Secret Life acted even remotely like real teens. Two and a half stars
After you've watched the show, let me know what you think.
The Amy Awards
Don't forget today is the last day to vote in the 2008 Amy Awards. You have until today, June 27 at 5 p.m. EST to cast your vote.
Should I get out of the Fearless Prediction Business?
Seriously, could I have been more wrong about who I thought The Mole was? Let's review the facts, shall we. Two weeks ago, I fearlessly predict that Bobby or Victoria could be the Mole and then, in short order, they were both eliminated from the show.
I'm still thinking Clay or Mark could be the Mole but I so wouldn't take that bet to Vegas. I've also started to come to terms with the fact that if I weren't still curious about who the Mole may or may not be, I would probably stop watching the show. The belabored editing drives me batty. I'm fairly convinced that there's really only 20 minutes of show there. And I thought the way the series treated Craig's hypothermia was ridiculous and in such poor taste. The show is all about created drama when there's actual real drama, they shouldn't treat it like it's part of the game .
Also I am wondering if anyone will take my business that Paul is the new Boston Rob. I'm rooting for him and I'm with everyone who thinks Nicole can't leave the game fast enough. I will be so disappointed/proud if Paul turns out to be the Mole.
What do you think about The Mole? Talk about it below.
Paula vs. Mary
I was talking to a friend of mine recently about So You Think You Can Dance and she declared that she actually mutes her TV during Mary Murphy's comments and then declared "Paula Abdul is a saint compared to her."
And I have to say, I kind of agree. I'm so distracted by all the bizarre noises Mary makes. And her references to being on the "hot tamale train" may be even more annoying than Randy Jackson placing every contestant into his dawg pound. What's most aggravating is that she does have insightful comments to make but they seem to get lost in all her vocal histrionics.
Of course, other than that, I remain completely in love with the show and all about Twitch.
Quote of the Week
"She is one of the angriest, most controlling, most toxic women I've ever encountered and I work for a female assassin." Horst Vanderhof (Dave Foley) to Marshall about Mary on In Plain Sight.
That's all for today. I'm back on Monday with the results of the 2008 Amy Awards (whoo-hoo!) and to once again open up the debate -- do the Emmys matter? Have a question? Seen a familiar face? Want to nominate a quote of the week or a topic for discussion? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org