Tuesday, July 1

The Secret Life Of Evangelical Propaganda?

I had my suspicions--the 8 p.m. timeslot, a home network with "Family" in it's name, good-girl mom Molly Ringwald still dressed in pink in the promo trailers. I hoped it was coincidence, cleaned-up advertising for the dinnertime watchers. But we can hide behind hope no more.

It's true--The Secret Life of the American Teenager, premiering tonight on ABC Family, is coming at us straight outta the gates of prime-time Sunday school; otherwise known as Brenda Hampton's 7th Heaven.

I had little respect for 7th Heaven as a series . . . it served its own purposes, and therefore there was nothing stimulating about it. In its later seasons, it all but preached teen marriage and pregnancy before 19. Correction: It literally preached that, through a minister patriarch and his screechy wife. The theme song conjured images of Bible Belt children being forced to watch while their parents rallied against Democrats and birth control. (I now realize we were unknowingly picturing the kids from the polygamist cult.) In short, 7th Heaven seemed more an Evangelical political statement than a unique interpretation of growing up, and there was no subtlety in its deliverance; I mean, delivery!

I'll watch Secret Life tonight . . . it's the first major production to cash in on Juno and has at least made its protagonist a "band geek" and not a cheerleader. But do not fear, Pom Pom sect, you will be represented: by--try not to flinch--Grace (please), described on the show's website as a "super-Christian cheerleader."

Can't they put a little more effort into disguising it?

In other news:
FAUX-STUDENT BIRTHDAY: Happy birthday to Hilarie Burton, a.k.a. Miss Peyton Sawyer (One Tree Hill), who turns an un-high-schooly 26 today.
SOUNDTRACK: "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" by The Smiths.

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