Media Analysis on a Drama Series
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Media Analysis on a Drama Series

The Secret Life of an American Teenager

Media Analysis on a Drama Series
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The one-hour episode of a television drama I analyzed was The Secret Of The American Teenager. This show is about teen pregnancy in American society. A band geek, Amy, finds out that she is pregnant after a one-night stand with the school’s bad boy, Ricky. This complicates many of their friendships and relationships among their family and friends. I analyzed the Pilot Episode. The pilot episode was pretty dramatic compared to the other shows I’ve seen because it's so closely related to reality. Outside of reality shows like Teen Mom and Sixteen and Pregnant, I believe this also contributes to the percentage decrease in teen pregnancy among a mass audience.

In the Pilot episode, Amy runs into her bathroom take a pregnancy test and finds out that it is positive. She does not tell her family that she is pregnant, but tells her big mouth friends who told the whole school. Ricky later finds out that she is pregnant from word of mouth.He is very flabbergasted and denies that he had any intentions / encounters with Amy during band camp. The pilot episode then introduced another character, Ben. Ben is an awkward rich boy who wants to be Amy’s love interest and willing to be the father of the child. Ben really feels that Ricky is financially and emotionally immature for a son. Soon Ricky’s girlfriend, Adrian, founds out and destroys his property.

The members of society are naive American teenagers. These teenagers are eager to have sex and soon learn that there are consequences to their actions. This applies to almost all teenagers. Teens are at the age where they want to experiment and too immature to know there are consequences. There is such thing as Teen Pregnancy and it is prevalent in American society. This show depicts this stereotype. Another stereotype I notice was Teen Bands. In American society, “everything happens in Band Camp.” I heard this saying from a lot of my band friends and movies like American Pie. Amy was in band camp when she had the one-night stand with Ricky.

Another stereotype that I notice in this episode is that good girls love bad boys. Amy is such a good girl, but she became lovestruck over Ricky. Ricky is known as being a bad boy and sleeping with every girl. However, Amy doesn't see that. The lesson that was not shown was Abstinence among teens. Honestly, a mass audience would not be entertained. Subjects like this keeps the audience interested. For myself, my intention was just to watch the pilot episode, but there were so much reality dramatized that I wanted to keep watching it. This show depicts the stereotypical American family: stay-at-home mom, workaholic dad, two good children. This stereotype was tested once she revealed to her family that she was pregnant.

The “picture” of reality presented in the show is the life of an average American teenager. This picture was distorted with teen pregnancy. The cultivation theory argues that this abnormality can destroy the image of the American teen. Pregnancies among teens are known to cause trouble among families. It can end relationships and distort the family image. Also, the teen will be forced into adulthood at a much younger age.

In The Secret Life Of The American Teenager, the pilot episode did have one significant event of the mean world syndrome. Ricky’s girlfriend, Adrian, found out that Ricky got Amy pregnant so she broke Ricky’s house window. Adrian’s anger and betrayal led her to demonstrate the mean world syndrome. This is also an example of hypodermic needle model. Her reaction came from a message. Messages cause the receiver to do certain things.

There was no physical violence, but there were emotional and verbal violence. Emotional, verbal, and psychological violence involves manipulation to control an individual. This can be embarrassment, swearing, intimidation, accusing of things they have not done, such as flirting with someone else and stopping them from seeing their friends and family. This also happened a lot in the pilot episode. Amy was intimidated with Adrian. Amy’s friends embarrassed her by telling the whole school that she was pregnant.

The Secret Life of The American Teenager depicts teen pregnancy. The purpose of the show is to gate-keep the reality of teen pregnancy and be careful with your decisions. The mass media function that is focused highly is agenda setting. The pilot episode alone called attention to teens who had the idea to engage in sexual behavior. Shows like these give mass audience the idea that this is a real issue. This episode also depicts many stereotypes among teens which is pretty extraordinary because even though it is dramatized, there is still truth to teen behavior.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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