I was looking through the TV listings on Monday when I came across strange programing for the ABC Family channel. They had the “700 Club” on between a show that glorifies teen pregnancy.
At 10 was an episode of the show “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” which is a show about the life of a 16 year old girl dealing with an unexpected pregnancy.
At 11 PM was the “700 Club” (I hope I don’t need to explain what that is)
Then at 12 am was another episode “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”
This was funny for a couple of reasons.
ABC Family was established in 1977, as the Christian Broadcast Network, part of televangelist Pat Robertson’s ministry and was sold in 1998 to FOX. Under terms of the sale to FOX and to future owners like ABC, who bought the channel in 2001, the channel is required to have “Family” in the name and is required to air the “700 Club” twice a day.
“The Secret Life of the American Teenager” focuses on the relationships between families and friends and how they deal with the unexpected teenage pregnancy of character Amy Juergens, who is portrayed by Shailene Woodley. In the second season, Amy Juergens must deal with juggling motherhood and high school, while her family and friends experience relationship challenges of their own.
The Secret Life is one of the biggest hits on the channel.
The “problem” is that Secret Life deals more with the social struggle of teen pregnancy and glossing over the economic struggle. The show takes on a 7th Heaven tone to teen mothers. The girl never has to worry about paying the bills and someone is always there to watch the baby. It is basically a soap opera and offers nothing of real substance and for teens and pre-teens to see it without guidance from parents or other adults, they may get a false idea about what life really is like to be a teen mother.
Just seemed goofy ironic that the show bookends a religious show that bad mouths TV shows that glorify teen motherhood.