Archive | March, 2010

Secret Life Close Up: Amy

5 Mar

Amy Jurgens (Shailene Woodley)

Well, it was over a month ago when I posted the last on The Secret Life of the American Teenager and I admit, I took a break from the show.  I can only take so much stupidity at a time before I get annoyed, but I always come back so I can shake my head and wonder if this is what teenagers are really like–or if this is how conservative TV execs want us to think teenagers are like.

This time, I’m going to focus on Amy Juergens (Shailene Woodley), the female protagonist who became pregnant after her first sexual encounter.  Many people have complained about the portrayal of pregnant women on Glee–that they are narcissistic, manipulative, and crazy bitches.  They order there significant others around, lie to them, and degrade them.  While pregnant women on Glee are pretty horrific, personally, I find Amy to be more obnoxious than any of them.  However, that’s probably because Amy does much of the same but without being “punished” for her behavior.

Unlike Quinn (Dianna Agron) on Glee, Amy’s parents are incredibly supportive (if equally slow on the uptake).  When Amy’s pregnancy is finally revealed, there is a blow up, but a fairly minor one, as her parents let her continue to live at home.  Compared to many pregnant teenagers, Amy gets off easy in the parental department.  Even her “annoying” sister (India Eisley) turns it around and supports her, but how does Amy repay them?  She plays the “poor pregnant teenager” card non-stop without accepting that she got herself into this situation.  Case in point: when Amy’s son’s nursery takes over her sister’s room, her parents turn the garage into a suite for Ashley.  Amy’s response is to stomp around saying how she’s being punished for having a child.  If not getting a new room (and not having to share a room with your baby) is a “punishment for getting pregnant”–I think most pregnant girls would sign up for that.

For a teenage mom, Amy is living a pretty blessed life.  Two fellow classmates help get her a job at the church’s nursery, and she gets free daycare for her son by working there.  Did she have to search or look for a job?  Did she have to struggle to find day care services?  Does she even really have to worry about money?  No, no and no.  Her parents didn’t even ask or force her to get the job, only encourage her to take it as free child care is hard to find.  Other than the basic maternal aspects of having a child (feeding, diaper changing, etc), Amy has very little responsibility for her or her son’s lives.  Yet, she is completely ungrateful for what she has and takes everything out on her family, friends, and boyfriends.  Even her baby daddy tows the line, but it doesn’t seem to be good enough for her.

To be honest, I do enjoy most things about The Secret Life of the American Teenager.  Yes, it’s very conservative in its sexual politics, and the story lines are clichéd, but I still find most of the characters endearing (if stupid).  However, it’s biggest (and most unforgivable) downfall is Amy.