ABC Family's new series, the ambitiously-titled The Secret Life of the American Teenager, premieres tonight, and the critics are none too excited about it. The Boston Globe's Joanna Weiss breaks down the show—about a 15-year-old who gets pregnant the first time she has sex—into its cliché character archetypes, which include the chaste cheerleader and her dutiful Christian boyfriend who, while tempted, must wait.
The New York Times' Alessandra Stanley gripes that the program doesn't just distill the nuances of such a complicated issue but also that it's just boring TV. Stanley, though, manages to overlook the most crucial detail about the series, that it is the latest effort from vehemently pious family fabulist Brenda Hampton, who gave us the long-running and unbelievably obtuse and wicked 7th Heaven series. While some might check this new show out for the Molly Ringwald factor (she plays Mom!) I don't imagine that it will succeed on the network where naughtier (and most likely smarter) fare like Greek has flourished. But then again, who knows what the kids want these days.