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The Secret Life Of The American Teenager

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Here’s the scoop on this addictive show: After losing her virginity to Ricky Underwood at band camp, Amy Juergens discovers that she's pregnant. As Amy deals with her family life and struggles to come to terms with her pregnancy, she turns to her friends, Lauren and Madison, for comfort. Meanwhile, Grace Bowman, the most popular girl at school, promises her parents she won’t have sex until she’s married.


Basically, The Secret Life Of The American Teenager deals with the consequences of a teenage girl's unexpected pregnancy. It addresses the various ways that teens think about and cope with sex (including abstinence and promiscuity), pregnancy and parenthood. The themes that this show explores can be controversial, but they provide a good foundation for discussing them you’re your parents and friends.




The Cast

  • Shailene Woodley plays Amy Juergens, a 16-year-old sophomore in high school who plays the French horn. At a summer band camp, Amy has a one-night-stand with Ricky and gets pregnant. After returning to school, she starts dating Ben Boykewich.
  • Molly Ringwald plays Anne Juergens, Amy’s mom. She’s supportive of Amy but feels Amy needs to understand the responsibility of teen parenthood and should not rely on her parents to raise her baby for her.
  • Mark Derwin plays George Juergens, Amy’s dad. He owns a furniture store.
  • India Eisley plays Ashley Juergens, Amy's 14-year-old sister. Ashley is sarcastic, dresses in a vintage style, cares little about what others think of her, has no friends and is a bit of a know-it-all. Ashley speaks in a monotone. She’s the first in the family to learn of Amy's pregnancy and supports her sister, convincing Amy to keep the baby. Eventually, Ashley gets to name her newborn nephew (she picks the name John). And, after seeing her sister go through childbirth, Ashley vows to delay having sex.
  • Kenny Baumann plays Ben Boykewich, a kind-hearted 16 year-old sophomore who plays the cymbals in the school band. He is also Amy’s devoted boyfriend who plans to marry Amy and help her raise her baby.
  • Daren Kagasoff plays Ricky Underwood, a 17-year-old junior with a troubled past and emotional issues who has the reputation of the school "bad boy." He is also the father of Amy's baby.
  • Francia Raisa plays Adrian Lee, a 16-year-old majorette with a reputation for being easy.
  • Megan Park plays Grace Bowman, a perky and sweet 16-year-old sophomore. Grace is Grant High's head cheerleader who pledges to wait to have sex again until marriage.
  • Greg Finley II plays Jack Pappas, a 17-year-old junior on the football team who’s crazy about Grace.
  • Jorge Pallo plays Marc Molina, the new guidance counselor at Ulysses Grant High School.



Messages

The Secret Life Of The American Teenager revolves around issues of teen sex, pregnancy and parenthood, which are complicated and controversial. It does so in a heartfelt, thoughtful way, introducing a variety of perspectives about teen sexual behavior and looking at how teens' choices impact both themselves and others.




Role Models

The characters in the show are very realistic and all of them have problems and make bad choices from time to time, just like real teens. The good thing is that the show explores the consequences of making those bad decisions, and overall most of the characters mean well more than they don't.


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