Thursday, February 11, 2010

“Sex,” 52 times!


Have you seen the new teen drama on ABC called “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”? It’s attracting quite a throng of teenaged fans – my 16-year-old daughter, included. “Critics are raving about it!” screams the 20-second promo. My teenager makes sure she DVRs it every Monday night, just in case she has too much homework to watch it live.

I had never seen “Secret Life,” but assumed it was about all the normal teen-angst stuff: boys, school, bitchy girls, fashion trends, anxiety over college, that kind of thing. So one night after my daughters were in bed, I decided to watch one of the DVR’d shows.

OH. MY. GAWD!!!

The lead actress is this 16-year-old girl-next-door (with a WEIRD sister) who had a baby with a guy at her school, who happens to now be in love with some other girl who hates the baby momma and creates all kinds of drama.

It's like “Juno” meets “Dallas.”

Then you have all these subplots involving other teenagers who are all trying to get laid in one form or another. It’s a stupid and ridiculous storyline, if you ask me.

Which has me wondering . . . are the writers in Hollywood on strike again? Because I think they replaced REAL writers -- you know, people with an imagination and a gifted facility for words -- with unimaginative idiots who know only three words: sex, condoms and masturbation. Because that’s really all these teen stars ever talk about.

It’s an hour-long show, and when you subtract commercials, there’s probably about 45 minutes of the actual program. Just for grins, I thought I’d count the number of times the word “sex” came up.

Ready for this? I kid you not, the word “sex” was mentioned 52 times in 45 minutes! For all you math dunces, like me, it means that more than once every minute, someone on that show squeezes sex into the conversation somehow.

I mean, really! Is that even remotely realistic? I wonder, when my teenaged daughter is watching this, does she think this is NORMAL? How many times do YOU use the word "sex" in a normal conversation on any given day? Yeah, I know. "Sex sells!" But this is overkill. And believe me, it makes for a VERY BORING hour.

Let me tell you, if this is even the slightest bit representative of what is really going out there in Teen Land, I think we parents should give some serious consideration to sending our teens off to that nice little resort where Tiger Woods has been spending much of his time lately, trying to recover from his own addiction to . . . . SEX!!

There. I said it. Seven times.



7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The mother of a 9 year old boy, sex is the one subject I'm not ready to deal with yet.....and it's everywhere! Malls are off limits because you have to walk past a Victoria's Secret window with 10 foot tall Amazonian models in lingerie....the checkout line a the supermarket requires me literally turning my kid around so he won't read the tabloid covers (that are usually about sex, infedility or addicition).....we have to be careful what we put on the ipod, what we listen to in the car. TV and movies.....well, all I can say is thank God for Common Sense Media and TIVO, which is mostly full of AFV and Star Wars Clone Wars episodes. Popular "culture" is about nothing more than bringing everyone down to the basest level, and making a killing in the process.

Lynn said...

Anonymous,

I hear you, loud and clear. Guess what? Despite what all the Left Loonies tell you, you shouldn't have to "deal with" the subject of sex yet with your 9-year-old son. My rule of thumb is: If they still believe in Santa, how could they possibly understand the intercourse-penis-in-the-vagina discussion? Furthermore, why would you want to expose them to this reality yet? Our children are innocent FOR SUCH A SHORT TIME. We need to respect their right to have this beautiful space around them. There's PLENTY of time to learn about sex and all that it entails. You're right, we are surrounded by the invasion of pop culture and it is very difficult to shield our kids from this crap. Just because sex sells doesn't mean we have to sell it to our young children. They don't have any spending power, anyway! I strongly suspect that the people behind shows like the one I talked about in this blog don't have children of their own. If they do, how could they possibly work on a show that is borderline child pornography (these teens are "supposedly" under 18 in this show) and then go home and sing lullabyes to their sweet sons and daughters? It defies all logic to me.

Jouda Mann said...

What a minute, Do I see a thread about teens and sex, and how television relates to them?
First Lynn, I have to tell you that MY Lynn, who is almost 30 and has almost no drama in her life, is absolutely enthralled by this show, and streams it on hulu.com every week. Like you, I can't be bothered with it, and I'm WAY beyond the teen angst in my life.
As to how it affects teens in their normal life, I'm not really sure. I'm sure my teens (two of them now, the youngest just turned 13) have a lot less pressure to engage in such things as those depicted in this series, living with their mother in rural Texas, than yours does living in N California. On the other hand, I realize I might be fooling myself, since I also know that TX ranks pretty high on the list of states with teen pregnancy epidemics. Frankly, I'd rather not know for right now. Let's not talk about it.
On the other subject, define "dealing with it", when telling your 9-year-old about sex. I, for one, remember playing with my sisters dolls in an illicit manner when I was very young, and even though I didn't exactly know what I was doing or what it meant, I knew it was "naughty". My father had a very good rule. A good parent will be able to tell when their child is asking a serious question, and if they are of a mature enough mind to ask a serious question about sex, then they are of a mature enough mind to know the answer. Of course, you don't have to tell them specifics, but there's nothing bad about telling them that grownups share "special hugs". On that subject, I am very adamant: some things are for grownups, and some are for children. Grownups usually don't want to do the things children do, and children are not to do the things that grownups do. Since this is a grownup activity, it's not for you to know, beyond "special hugs". If you want to know more, wait till 6th grade, and take the special health class. If you have questions beyond that, we'll talk about it, but it's still a grownup activity.
As to being surrounded by pop culture, I don't really think we're any more surrounded by it than when Elvis was shaking his junk on stage in the 50's. In my house, it's not about selling with sex. There are some things that ladies do, and some that they don't. This is no more a matter of discussion than things that grownups do.
On a sad note, isn't it depressing to see that Molly Ringwald still can't act, 25 years later?

Lynn said...

Jouda,

Welcome back! Where you been? Have you been cheating on me with other bloggers? LOL!

Tell your wife, Lynn, -- GREAT name, by the way! -- that if she needs a good dose of teenaged angst smothered in sexual undertones, watch, "Vampire Diaries." Lots of teenagers, lots of drama, a little bit of sex, a LOT of blood, but at least it has a decent plot. TV like it should be.

HeyJoe said...

Our 14-yr old has been watching this. Perhaps it's time to have a little chat.

Lynn said...

Joe,

I think that would be a very wise move on your part. Unless you're ready to be a grandpa anytime soon.

也許 said...
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