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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

ABC Family and "The Secret Life of the American Teenager"

I have to admit, I groaned both audibly and inwardly last night when my wife asked me to record (sorry... we still have redneck TiVo... also known as VCR) a new show debuting on ABC Family last night called "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." Mostly I groaned because the majority of the shows on ABC Family are sappy and not very interesting (in my opinion)(and I really don't like ABC Family... there's nothing much family orientated about ABC Family). But this show in particular is getting some buzz this morning on the Internet among Christian circles. Mostly because of several main characters being "Christians."

I have not had a chance to watch the first episode myself. But I plan to (maybe before I publish this post). Maybe even this afternoon. [Edit: I have watched it now, as I finalize this post for publishing.] But I did notice that Walt Mueller posted some really great thoughts this morning about the show. (You can find those HERE.) If there is something going on in culture (movies, TV, music, video games, etc), Walt is an expert. I read what he writes and it's right on target.

He says: "So do we watch next Tuesday at 8pm (the airtime for this new show)? Or do we find a good book and lay in the hammock? It all depends on who else will be watching. If it catches on with the kids – and I think it’s destined to do just that – then we should be watching too. Then, we need to do some talking as this is one show that will help open doors for discussion on a variety of real-life issues, each of which the Scriptures speak to in liberating and life-giving ways."

I will take a look at it and potentially spend some time watching it over the next couple of weeks and months... not for its incredible plot-line (as my guess is that since it's from the creators of Seventh Heaven, that it will follow in their ultra-sappy, ultra-predictable plot development) or it's believable characters (because they are almost always one dimensional and stereotypical). But because it seems poised to follow in the path of "Seventh Heaven," "Gilmore [Edit: My bad on the spelling... I often forget that there are multiple spellings of Gilmour/Gilmore and I chose incorrectly... My bad.) Girls" and "One Tree Hill" in their attempt to reflect teen culture, especially among teen girls.

So, my advice to you is that maybe you should take in an episode if you have any kind of connection with students... especially if you have students in your house... as chances are, they are watching it or have friends who are watching it.

Once I've taken a look for myself, I will post some more thoughts about it. [Edit: I have watched it now. There is a great deal of "sex" talk in this TV show... more than is comfortable for a casual viewer. And I was somewhat surprised to see a warning at the beginning about offensive content. But I do think it's unrealistic in many cases.]

But please note... I am in no way endorsing this TV show. If your student isn't watching this show, don't encourage them to. I am simply commenting on what is happening in student culture and encouraging parents to be aware of what their students may be watching.


Jim

1 comment:

  1. For the record, your good buddy and aspiring English professor is Gilmour. The WB television series is Gilmore Girls. And, because I hear the freshmen I've taught in the back of my head, the Adam Sandler movie is Happy Gilmore. On the other hand, Pink Floyd's ax man is in fact David Gilmour.

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