The first season of The Secret Life Of the American Teenager, the latest show from 7th Heaven's creator Brenda Hampton, is now available on DVD. The ensemble drama seems to take its cue from the success of 2007's Oscar-winning film Juno: what happens when a high school girl becomes pregnant after an experience with casual sex? The problem is, no one involved with this show seems to have come up with an answer. Over the course of eleven episodes, not much happens as we track the soap opera lives of a handful of cliched teen characters and their one-dimensional parents.
The premise is simple: fifteen-year-old Amy Juergens (Shailene Woodley) returns from band camp expecting her first child after losing her virginity to percussionist Ricky Underwood (Daren Kagasoff). Ricky is a high-school playboy who has very little interest in taking responsibility for his actions. Unsure of whether to keep the baby or terminate the pregnancy, Amy informs her friends of her dilemma. These so-called friends proceed to spread the news like wildfire, until the only people in town who don't know are Amy's own parents. As Amy hems and haws about whether to let mom and dad know about her predicament, she develops a relationship with the school nerd Ben Boykewich (Ken Baumann). Ben quickly falls head over heels in love with her. Untroubled by the fact that Amy will be having a child, he wants to marry Amy and raise the child as his own.
Of course, Amy's parents eventually discover their daughter's "problem." They blame Ricky entirely, even though as far as we're told the sex was completely consensual. For some odd reason, the fact that Amy was irresponsible isn't really dealt with. Her parents are fairly consumed by their own problems anyway. They're separated, for reasons that aren't fully explained until very late in the season. Amy's father is having an affair with the mother of Amy's classmate Adrian, the school slut. Adrian, a scholarship-worthy student, is sleeping with Ricky (remember, he's the father of Amy's unborn). Then there's Grace, the requisite Christian extremist, who is trying to bond with Ricky because they both underwent psychiatric analysis in the past.