I must admit that my lovely wife and I are secretly addicted to The Secret Life of the American Teenager. We love every minute of this breakthrough drama about a 14 year old girl who becomes pregnant and has to deal with ALL the consequences. The show is at once hopeful and heartbreaking, tragic and inspiring, funny and sad.
It's easy to fall hopelessly in love with Amy Juergens (played beautifully by Shailene Woodley, pictured to the right), the 14 year old who makes a terrible mistake one night while away at band camp. Through much of the first season Amy kept the secret from her parents and most of her friends and even her new boyfriend Ben (played with a deft romantic touch by Kenny Baumann) who is NOT the father of the baby.
And all America has fallen in love with Amy and Ben and Ricky (the baby's father) and the extremely large cast who cover the very real issues of sex and pregnancy and growing up without ever sugarcoating or holding back on any issue.
As you might suspect, writer and producer Brenda Hampton's Secret Life is a very, very liberal Hollywood values show. Sex is dealt with openly and honestly. The show is a weekly one hour commercial for sex education and then tops that off by providing a great deal of sex education right in the show.
Abortion was covered logically and dispassionately as a real option to be considered by any young girl who finds herself in this situation. Amy, for several weeks, considers having an abortion and visits an abortion clinic. She almost goes ahead with the abortion.
But the "pro-life" position was also handled fairly through a strong Christian character, Grace (played by the very beautiful Megan Park). Grace, who wore a "chastity ring" until recently, is terribly tempted to have sex and is having great difficulty reconciling her emotions, not to mention her hormones, with her Christian teachings. No subject is taboo on this show.
Most importantly the show empowers young women. Amy stays in High School and works to graduate and go on to college. It certainly doesn't romanticize pregnancy, but it never condemns it, nor does it ever condemn Amy who faces some of life's toughest decisions with a realistic mixture of fear, ignorance, bravery and hope. Amy is the hero of her own life.
Even though the show on cable (ABC Family), it has a huge audience (3 million viewers plus) and often actually out performs major network shows in the ratings.
However, back in the real world, the cable and network news today covered with occasional irrational glee, the breakup of 18 year old unmarried Bristol Palin and the father of her baby, Levi Johnston. MSNBC has, frankly, been disgusting in their coverage of a young lady whose only claim to fame is to be the daughter of Alaska Governor and former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
But what is truly pathetic is the left wing and progressive blogosphere's treatment of Bristol which has been sexist, vitriolic, hate filled and often just grossly pornographic. It is simply hard to even imagine this much hatred. And it's tough to read this much filth.
When they aren't portraying her as a slut who was begging to be used and abused by a variety of men, they portray her as mindless bimbo completely incapable of controlling her urges and sexual libido. And I'm cleaning most of this up. Every foul word to describe women and every gross misogynistic term used to degrade women can be found on The Daily Kos, The Huffington Post and other bastions of supposed liberal thought.
So as liberal Hollywood producer Brenda Hampton works to bring America into the 21st Century of enlightenment about teenage pregnancy and the innate worth of every woman, the so-called progressive left does their damnedest to treat women much worse than the most horrific fundamentalist Muslim Taliban society or extreme, backwards, fundamentalist Christian sect.
Amy Juergens, American Hero. Brstol Palin, American Whore and Slut.
It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.