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Secret Life of the American Teenager


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#1

GeoBQn

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Posted Jun 13, 2008 @ 12:56 AM

Brenda "Cookies" Hampton's new series gets its own thread so we no longer have to talk about it in the 7th Heaven thread! In what is sure to be a touching series, a quirky high school girl gets pregnant and has a lot of growing up to do (Juno? Never heard of it.) It will premiere on ABC Family on July 1 at 8/7c. The trailer can be seen on the ABC Family site.

At the dawn of a new snarkalicious show, there are so many questions. Will viewers feel old with Molly Ringwald playing the girl's mother? Will it continue Hampton's grand tradition of telling teens that sex is evil? Can we get Sarah M to come out of her 7th Heaven-proof padded cell to recap this? Discuss!
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#2

Readster

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Posted Jun 13, 2008 @ 9:22 AM

Originally, Hampton was trying to pitch this series a while ago. However, the difference was, originally it was about several teen age girls having sex and what comes about it. Example: Pregnancy, STD, social shunting, ect. No network wanted it, then she redid it into this. Thanks to the success of Juno (not to mention an Oscar for best script). They decided to green light it and sadly Molly Ringwald and John Schnieder decided this was for them. Now, Brenda wants to stretch the pregnancy over several seasons because "there are so many great stories to tell." Basically, a season would be a month or a month and a half and then another season would be the same time frame. They would mean stretching the series to 5 years, which of course how will they explain how the "kids" would age then. The "pregnant teen" is 17 in real life. You look different from 17 to 22.
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#3

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Posted Jun 13, 2008 @ 9:22 AM

Originally, Hampton was trying to pitch this series a while ago. However, the difference was, originally it was about several teen age girls having sex and what comes about it. Example: Pregnancy, STD, social shunting, ect. No network wanted it, then she redid it into this. Thanks to the success of Juno (not to mention an Oscar for best script). They decided to green light it and sadly Molly Ringwald and John Schnieder decided this was for them. Now, Brenda wants to stretch the pregnancy over several seasons because "there are so many great stories to tell." Basically, a season would be a month or a month and a half and then another season would be the same time frame. They would mean stretching the series to 5 years, which of course how will they explain how the "kids" would age then. The "pregnant teen" is 17 in real life. You look different from 17 to 22.
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#4

Last Time Lord

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Posted Jun 13, 2008 @ 12:54 PM

Interesting idea, and balls-y on ABC Family's part.

I know who it's by, and yet I think it looks rather interesting.

I must be a glutton for punishment.
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#5

CookieChica

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Posted Jun 18, 2008 @ 11:29 AM

According to Zap2It's TV Gal -

I also want to let you know that I watched The Secret Life of an American Teenager (premiering on July 1) which is from 7th Heaven creator Brenda Hampton. And I canít wait to tell you more about the series because I was positively mesmerized by how the spirit of the Camden Clan is alive and well on this show (right down to some bad child acting and stilted awkward dialogue). Iíll have more on this series as we get closer to the premiere


Is it wrong that that's what makes me sort of want to watch it? That, and the fact that one of Pregger's "high school" friends in the promos looks damn near 40.
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#6

veritykindle85

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Posted Jun 18, 2008 @ 12:02 PM

Whee! Good to hear the Hampton hasn't suddenly come down with a case of talent. The commercials have been pretty painful (the lead actress gives some particularly awful deliveries), so I'm glad they're apparently representative of the whole.

And, yeah, I now have a strange urge to watch, too.
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#7

remotewizard

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Posted Jun 23, 2008 @ 3:25 PM

I haven't seen anything on the series other than the print ad campaign (and my own knowledge of 7th Heaven), but Matt Roush reviewed the series (or at least the Pilot) in TV Guide. Some excerpts:

A good girl's surprise pregnancy is a strong premise, but it's undercut by an ensemble of cardboard classmates.

There's plenty of clumsy exposition giving stats about sexually active teens, but little dramatically to make it compelling. Even the callow drummer who deflowered Amy at summer band camp is given a facile psychological explanation for his actions.


Source: TV Guide, June 30-July 13 2008 (pg 44)
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#8

CantThinkUpName

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Posted Jun 23, 2008 @ 6:30 PM

*slams head against wall*

Why does she still get to work? What's her creepy obsession with teen pregnancy? Why will my self-loathing force me to return to the Hampton fold?

*slams head against wall*

That, and the fact that one of Pregger's "high school" friends in the promos looks damn near 40.

Same casting director as 7th Heaven? The ages of characters were all screwy. The 50 year old "young, hot" teacher. The 30+ Jeremy London as 22-ish year old perpetual sadsack Chandler.

Edited by CantThinkUpName, Jun 23, 2008 @ 6:37 PM.

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#9

Readster

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Posted Jun 23, 2008 @ 11:41 PM

You know I'm waiting for the day Family Guy makes fun of Brenda Hampton's TV shows or 7th Heaven all together. You know it's going to happen before too long. Glad to hear everyone is saying this just bad TV and that means it'll last at least 3 seasons.
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#10

veritykindle85

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Posted Jun 24, 2008 @ 2:27 AM

Same casting director as 7th Heaven? The ages of characters were all screwy. The 50 year old "young, hot" teacher. The 30+ Jeremy London as 22-ish year old perpetual sadsack Chandler.


And let's not forget the superhot, early twenty-something Venus (AKA Martin's potential molester, with whom he bonded over the trauma of having a father fighting in Iraq, the country, over in the Middle East, where there's a war) as played by 34-year-old Martha Plimpton! Yes, these casting directors do a bang-up job.

I have to say, it's deeply refreshing to see so many negative reviews already. 7th Heaven was treated with kid gloves by most critics; even Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly gave it a freaking B- in its penultimate (SHOULD HAVE BEEN ultimate) season, while Matt Roush seemed to regard it -- at least prior to the unholy resurrection -- as a show that had its uses, even if it was essentially dreck. So this response is quite heartening.

Edited by veritykindle85, Jun 24, 2008 @ 2:30 AM.

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#11

kellykapowski

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Posted Jun 26, 2008 @ 4:09 PM

I saw some discussion about this on the Smallville board since John Schneider is in it..is anyone else excited? I think it'll be good, obviously similar to 7th Heaven but i think without a lot of the cheesiness. I also just really want to watch and see how Molly Ringwald does in it..
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#12

AimingforYoko

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Posted Jun 26, 2008 @ 4:13 PM

The snark on Brenda Hampton's Juno rip-off has already begun here.
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#13

GeoBQn

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Posted Jun 26, 2008 @ 10:32 PM

Super Special Sneak Peak. I don't know why I'm surprised to be underwhelmed. I think I was expecting something atrocious, not something . . . meh. The posts on the ABC Family blog for the show from girls who can't wait to see the show because they are, themselves, pregnant 16-year-olds make me sad.
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#14

Last Time Lord

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Posted Jun 27, 2008 @ 12:10 AM

The posts on the ABC Family blog for the show from girls who can't wait to see the show because they are, themselves, pregnant 16-year-olds make me sad.


That's nothing compared to the gems I found on the forum for the show. It's more scary than sad, IMO.

As for the clip, I like the friends, and laughed when the girl ignored the boy who tried to introduce himself to her -- I somehow doubt that's the reaction they're going for, though.
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#15

BKs Nimo

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Posted Jun 27, 2008 @ 7:08 PM

That's nothing compared to the gems I found on the forum for the show. It's more scary than sad, IMO.

You can say that again. SMH.

I'm looking forward to this show, for a few reasons. I like Molly Ringwald, and honestly, it's odd seeing her in this role and thinking about her role in For Keeps? Plus, I'm interested in the scare tactics the writers will try and use, and of course, the snark factor.

Edited by BKs Nimo, Jun 27, 2008 @ 7:08 PM.

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#16

Mwcdeb8r

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Posted Jun 28, 2008 @ 6:32 AM

The posts on the ABC Family blog for the show from girls who can't wait to see the show because they are, themselves, pregnant 16-year-olds make me sad.


Really? I guess that shouldn't surprise me- with pregnancy pacts and abstistence-only education being taught in schools. I hate to say this, but I'm glad I went to high school during a time when they taught about safe sex. Enough of my political rantings...

I thought this show looked interesting, until I found out it was about teenage pregnancy. Then I found out it was a Brenda Hampton show and I think it's probably enough for me to give it a pass......
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#17

CantThinkUpName

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Posted Jun 28, 2008 @ 10:23 AM

That's nothing compared to the gems I found on the forum for the show. It's more scary than sad, IMO.

Every once in awhile I'll try to go to the forum our of morbid curiosity and I really can't read it for that long without getting so disgusted I have to shut it down.

It's one thing to rail against society and its failings. It's one thing to have an abstract idea of how stupid people are or how bad it is out there. But when you actually come face to face with actual evidence and that evidence not just proves how correct your cynicism is but that you even might be underestimating how terrible it actually is; that's when you have to close out the forum and cower in fear.
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#18

Last Time Lord

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Posted Jun 28, 2008 @ 10:43 AM

There is one thought I had in my head about the clip, and if true, really disgusts me: Were they actualy setting up a love triangle involving a pregnant girl?

I'm hoping the show puts equal focus on not only the girl, but the boy that got her pregnant, too.

Edited by Last Time Lord, Jun 28, 2008 @ 10:51 AM.

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#19

CookieChica

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Posted Jun 28, 2008 @ 11:52 AM

So, I was reading the character descriptions on ABC Family and while most of them are pretty ridiculous, this one takes the cake...

Adrian, the school's resident bad girl, often hangs around Ricky when she's not sauntering through the hallways twirling her baton.

Because that's what the bad girls at my high school did - they twirled baton.
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#20

hlisy

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Posted Jun 28, 2008 @ 2:56 PM

Adrian, the school's resident bad girl, often hangs around Ricky when she's not sauntering through the hallways twirling her baton.

Because that's what the bad girls at my high school did - they twirled baton.



My school was so crowded she would've knocked out 1/4 of the student body.

Can I just say I feel old when I see these actors and actresses I watched as children now playing parents of teenagers?
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#21

GeoBQn

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Posted Jun 28, 2008 @ 8:35 PM

Adrian's profile also says she is a delinquent because "her seldom-home flight attendant mom leaves her plenty of room to break the rules." Does Brenda Hampton have a vendetta against flight attendants? I'm half expecting Amy to be drunk on half a beer the night she gets pregnant. We should have a contest to see how many 7th Heaven elements recur in this series. As for the ABCFamily Forums, I'm waiting for one of them to spell "Yale" with a 6.

I might as well use the time to vent about the character Grace taking an abstinence pledge because she is a Christian and that's appearantly what they do. Evangelical Christians do not own abstinence (or morality, for that matter.) There are probably a lot of Christian denominations and religions that also emphasize abstinence without making a production out of it, and even athiests and agnostics who are abstinent (by choice, even!) There are plenty of secular reasons for abstaining, yet on TV it's always linked to Christianity.
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#22

CantThinkUpName

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Posted Jun 29, 2008 @ 3:58 AM

Review from TV Gal.

Some highlights from the opening

There are guilty pleasures. And there are TV shows that are so bad they are good.

But 7th Heaven was in a class all by itself.

...

Well the good news is the spirit of 7th Heaven is alive and well in The Secret Life of the American Teenager

So-so true. I don't think any of us can explain what the hell happened in those final seasons but it was neither good, nor bad but some place where the two met like when time and space enter infinity.

But the good news, my fellow 7th Heaven-ites, we're back in business.

Edited by CantThinkUpName, Jun 29, 2008 @ 3:59 AM.

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#23

Ilikerobots

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Posted Jun 30, 2008 @ 11:15 AM

The original title of this series was "The Secret Sex Life of the American Teenager."
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#24

pilotchasea

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Posted Jun 30, 2008 @ 11:40 AM

The original title of this series was "The Secret Sex Life of the American Teenager."


Do you suppose that was too racy for Brenda or ABC family?

I really want to believe those posts on the ABC Family forum aren't real. Someone mentioned their brother's girlfriend is pregnant...at age 12.
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#25

CookieChica

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Posted Jun 30, 2008 @ 12:36 PM

The original title of this series was "The Secret Sex Life of the American Teenager."

Do you suppose that was too racy for Brenda or ABC family?


Well, I heard it was also originally developed for FOX, so that title sounds up their alley.

I just think ABC Family felt like it was an inaccurate title. Knowing Brenda, the title of this show should be "Two Really Bad People Have Premarital Sex and Suffer Major Consequences While Lots of Other People Talk About It Without Ever Saying the Word Sex".
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#26

Last Time Lord

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Posted Jun 30, 2008 @ 4:28 PM

I'm glad they changed the title. The original sounds way too preachy.
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#27

CantThinkUpName

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Posted Jun 30, 2008 @ 4:45 PM

Chocolate Cakes And The American Teenager?
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#28

GeoBQn

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Posted Jun 30, 2008 @ 5:27 PM

To me the title sounds like it would be a nature documentary on PBS sponsored by Mutual of Omaha. I was talking to my dad (who is well aware of my 7th Heaven hatred) about this show, and he said rather dejectedly, "Am I going to be hearing detailed updates on this show every week?" Yes. Yes he is. And since no one has done it yet, I'm going to have to go for the obvious.

"This one time, at band camp . . ."
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#29

Readster

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Posted Jun 30, 2008 @ 6:42 PM

Well, I heard it was also originally developed for FOX, so that title sounds up their alley.


The title might have been but originally Fox apparently said the concept was too: "Stupid!" I'm not kidding that was the rumor a few years ago. It's all Juno's fault. Why good movies have to convince cable networks to green light shitty TV shows from preachy and insane producers, I will never know.
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#30

Last Time Lord

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Posted Jun 30, 2008 @ 8:54 PM

I wonder if she considered HBO at all?
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