THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER “One Foot Out The Door” Season 4 Episode 4 – Oh ye gallant men, putting up with we feckless females! In The Secret Life of the American Teenager, a show which I would hazard to guess has a predominantly female, preteen audience, the women are shown as neurotic desperate dependants whinging and plotting whilst the men hopelessly struggle to maintain some equilibrium of happiness. It’s frustrating and insulting and stupid.

Adrian’s dawning realization that Ben, now a bona fide jackass, no longer wants to be with her leads her to the conclusion that he can, somehow, be roped in to staying with her-forget loving her-if she spreads her legs and gets ploughed like a vegetable patch. It’s like the suffrage movement never happened, like the Women’s Rights movement were all a hoax. This is a 19th century show in a 21st century setting. It’s insipid to the point of misogyny. Not that such a plot cannot happen – it can. Glee did it with Terri Schuester and although she was the weakest link in that show’s first season, Will’s discovery of her scheming almost made the whole thing worth it. But it is a testimony to how bad this show is that they would use every single story arc in one episode to show the reluctant nobility of the male characters as they deal with the fickle females.

Amy turned into a shrew as she dragged her son and Ricky to the hospital, certain that John has an ear infection. Ricky turned into the voice of reason, pleading with her to calm down, but every time he did she shut him off with harpy fury. Ben’s father has to deal with unreciprocated love, as in he no longer loves his wife and is staying with her simply out of a sense of duty. The scene where she promises to consummate their relationship all night long was played for comedic effect-without a hint of irony-as he reluctantly downs a glass of wine, as if he’s just been ordered to strangle a freakin’ kitten.

Grace had to deal with the fact that her pile of ex’s is a growing one and for every guy she sleeps with then dumps, she harbours regret, and for every guy she’s with at present she longs for a lifelong relationship. It’s a sort of psychological struggle which could have been fascinating, but turned out to be a rehash of the same plot for the last four weeks.

The main problem with this show, and this episode highlighted it perfectly, is that no matter how hard some of the actors try (Shailene Woodley is clearly too good for her role) the characters written on the page are unlikable beings. It’s worse than being boring. I don’t care about any of these characters. They’re all so dumb and self-serving and needy.

I actually dislike writing negative reviews because, believe it or not, every time I watch an episode of television I want to be blown away. Of course that rarely happens, but I want to at the very least be involved in some way. In the end, I did not care for this episode.

What did you think? Sound off in the comments below.

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