Secret Life introduces various points of view about teenage sexual behavior and its consequences by showing how different (albeit still fairly stereotypical) teens develop their own thoughts and feelings about sex, relationships, and growing up. It also looks at how the choices they make affect not only them but everyone around them. The fact that this family drama introduces its various (and often controversial) story lines from an upper-middle-class perspective means that viewers don't get much of the real-world grittiness you might expect when dealing with these issues. Although that's not exactly realistic, it does mean that the show's themes are presented in a relatively wholesome, heartfelt context that's both entertaining and non-threatening.
That said, despite good performances by notable actors Molly Ringwald and John Schneider, the show's dialogue often seems over-manufactured. There also are frequently moments that feel didactic, especially when parents and mentors offer contrived thoughts and advice about teens and premarital sex. But Secret Life does a good job of highlighting the pressure that many of today's teens experience while living in a society that seems to glorify sexual behavior. It also provides a foundation that parents can use to start and/or continue conversations with teens about sex, pregnancy, and parenthood. Although the subject matter isn't age-appropriate for young kids, parents may want to watch with older tweens who are preparing to enter junior or senior high school and talk to them about some of these issues.
Say goodbye to Amy, Ricky and the rest of the gang. According to Deadline.com, ABC Family canceled "The Secret Life Of The American Teenager," announcing that the current fifth season will be the show's last.
The ABC Family series centered on a group of teenagers, portrayed Shailene Woodley, Daren Kagasoff, Megan Park and more, who attempt to pursue their hopes and dreams only to be met with roadblocks like teen pregnancy.
Woodley is perhaps the best known of the "Secret Life" crew after starring in 2011's "The Descendents" and earning a Golden Globe nomination for her performance.
"I was naturally born an optimist, I love life, even when things are not going so great. But for some reason, I guess I can tap into my dark alter-ego emotional side very easily [laughs] and play these characters on the screen," Woodley told HuffPost of her roles in both "The Descendents" and "Secret Life."
Are you surprised "Secret Life" was canceled? Sound off in the comments.
There will be a Christmas episode of "Secret Life" airing Monday, November 19 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC Family. The second and final half of Season 5 will premiere in Spring 2013.
2012 Renewal Index: Canceled, Safe and on the Bubble Shows