• Network: ABC Family
  • Series Premiere Date: Jul 1, 2008
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5
Metascore
47

Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 15
  2. Negative: 6 out of 15
  1. 80
    Secret Life feels a lot more authentic than many teen dramas.
  2. 75
    The show, like the old "90210" and "The O.C.," looks to be--from its premiere, at any rate--a top-flight series about a group of high school students, most of whom I liked immediately.
  3. 70
    As entertainment, the pilot is a most impressive work of economic and focused storytelling.
  4. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    67
    Woodley's performance lifts a well-meaning, rather brave, but ramshackle show a notch. [8 Aug 2008, p.53]
  5. Shailene Woodley is terrific as the teen in question. Unfortunately, other parts of the show feel so contrived they border on soap opera parody.
  6. It's far more realistic in scope and situations than "Gossip Girl," but there's such an earnestness and one-dimensionality to the characters that they seem a lot less believable.
  7. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    50
    A good girl’s surprise pregnancy is a strong premise, but creator Brenda Hampton (7th Heaven) undercuts it by surrounding Amy with an uninspired ensemble of precociously cardboard classmates.
  8. It feels thin, mechanical and confused.
  9. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    40
    From the tramp to the Christians, everyone but Amy feels more like a type than a genuine character. Although a degree of shorthand is to be forgiven, these characters are caricatures at best as the series careens all over the place.
  10. ABC Family means well but could not have done worse. Secret Life doesn’t take the fun out of teenage pregnancy, it takes the fun out of television.
  11. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    30
    Campily depicting high school as a den of sluts and predators, Secret achieves the noble goal of making sex thoroughly unsexy.
  12. This new ABC Family effort from Brenda Hampton (“7th Heaven”) works feverishly to make an educational institution look like the equivalent of a Nevada brothel but succeeds mostly in transforming high school to high camp. Were these stereotypes any more simplistic, they’d need to come with their own parental warning label.
  13. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    30
    The pilot was so uneven that the whole affair nearly veers into "Reefer Madness" territory--the kind of over-the-top cautionary fable that subverts honorable intentions through hysteria or cliche. Despite its pedigree, Teenager doesn't appear to have ever stepped inside a high school, either.
  14. Reviewed by: Misha Davenport
    25
    It's a shallow portrait of youth, and I can't see how Hampton and her team of writers will be able to sustain things over the course of the series if this continues to be the focus.
  15. 20
    Nothing about it feels original or even especially timely, and it certainly doesn't reveal any great secrets about society.
User Score
5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 128 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 73
  2. Negative: 34 out of 73
  1. Mar 16, 2011
    2
    I try not to watch this show because I turned it on and counted over 50 times that they said "sex" "abstinence" or made some other blatant sexual reference in one episode "Ashley, are you going to have sex?" "I'm not going to have sex. And if i was going to have sex i wouldn't tell you about sex" "Sex is something you should talk about. sex...." blah blah blah. Oh please, realistic this show isn't Full Review »
  2. JenniferN
    Jan 4, 2010
    1
    OMG.... i just got out of high school about a year ago... this TV show is the most unrealistic TV show out there...... me and my boyfriend lived together for three years now and we dont talk about sex THAT much... i swear.. in this TV show..... you hear sex in every single scene. =.= LAME! Full Review »
  3. Feb 18, 2013
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Awful. Simply... awful. The actors are stiff, the plot is unbelievable and inaccurate, and the writers obviously know next to nothing about teenage life. Yes, teenagers have sex and talk about sex, but it's not nearly as prominent in teenage life as they make it out to be There is also the fact that the main character is supposed to be Sweet, Innocent, and Adorable, but she dresses like a slut, acts like a slut, and is completely unlikeable. Her boyfriend offers to marry her because she's pregnant even though it isn't his, but this DOESN'T HAPPEN in real life, especially to two freshman. There is so many more inaccuracies I could rant about, but I don't want to ruin more of this perfectly terrible show for whoever wants to watch it. Full Review »