Over at the new Big Hollywood blog, I've got a post up (my first, in fact) about the second-season premiere of the ABC Family show The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which is about a high school girl who gets knocked up. A snippet:
Apart from the vaguely titallating premise and promise of the show's title, the thing is safe as milk. Skim milk. Soy milk. Possibly powdered milk. The Secret Life, arguably Hollywood's most naked bid at the jailbait market since Saved By The Bell went into permanent summer recess sometime before Dustin Diamond entered a long-delayed puberty, thus exemplifies the worst tradition of after-school special.
It's preachy beyond belief and, for all the bad stuff that's supposed to happen to the characters, it plays out in a world that is about as menacing and gritty as the dancing gangs in West Side Story. Give me Rock and Roll High School any day, the 1979 flick that ends with the blowing up of Vince Lombardi High, as great a Sophoclean catharsis as has been recorded in a movie featuring Clint Howard.
The Secret Life also represents a ubiquitous Hollywood tendency that all libertarians and even conservatives should reject out of hand: That television and other forms need to be instructive to youth and other idiot members of society who apparently take their moral cues from the small and large screens.