Tuesday, September 2, 2008

TSLOTAT: Episode 6: "Love for Sale"

Hey, extensive fanbase. Where do you wanna go? That's right. To the Jawsome Olde Tyme Revue. And boy oh boy, are we gonna have big fun today. We're gonna have so much fun, we'll forget about how miserable we are, and how much life sucks, and how we're all just gonna grow old and die some day. Right now I'm going to revue The Secret Life of the American Teenager episode 6: "Love for Sale," from writer Brenda Hampton and director Keith Truesdell. Hope you ENJOY IT!

Amy Jergens is sitting in the dark and freaks out Molly Ringwald after a long, tense coffee-brewing scene. Then she tells her she's pregnant. Molly Ringwald has a hard time understanding this, so the scene goes on about eight times longer than it needs to. Eventually it sinks in, Amy goes on to say that she wants to abort it, and everyone cries. Settle in, folks! This is going to be a fun episode.

After the opening titles, we hear Amy playing the theme song from the Berenstain Bears cartoon on her French horn. But after the "we live in a split-level tree" part, she changes to "Rock-a-Bye Baby."

Molly Ringwald doesn't want Amy to get an abortion. She's also mad at Ashley because Ashley knew that Amy was pregnant and didn't tell her. Ashley replies, "I guess I also should have told you that your marriage was in trouble." ZING! Then she gets all emo, and Molly Ringwald sits on the floor with her back against the wall, indicating sadness.

Amy's dad calls her and she cries some more. She tries to tell him that she's pregnant, but for some reason Molly Ringwald steals the phone and tells him first. He looks at the phone in confusion and immediately hangs up. He panicked! Molly Ringwald refuses to give Amy her phone back.

Amy and Ashley aren't at school, so Ricky is going around asking people about Amy's whereabouts. (Nobody cares about Ashley's whereabouts.) Adrian tells him not to interfere with Amy's abortion, which she says she thinks he would do because he's trying to convince everyone he's a Christian now, and Ricky takes this to mean that she's jealous of both Amy and Grace. I have no idea what the truth is because this has become so convoluted I don't really know what's going on anymore.

Ricky tells Grace not to worry about Amy's baby because even if it is his, she's taking care of it. Grace is like, "Oh, no! I will not let anything bad happen to your baby," and runs off to buy some explosives.

The school is going crazy with rumors and speculation because Amy's not there, so Madison and Lauren are trying to get in touch with her. Amy's phone doesn't work because Molly Ringwald has it, so they call Ashley, who is very cross about being interrupted in the middle of making a peanut butter and jelly sammich, so she tells them to fuck off for having told everybody about Amy being pregnant. Madison is mortified and decides she has to go over to Amy's house.

When Amy finds out that Ashley still has her cell phone, she commandeers it to call Adrian, because if anyone would know where to get a good abortion, it's her. Adrian's going to give her a ride to her favorite clinic (where everybody knows her name), and Ben wants to come along to talk her out of it. Adrian agrees to this because Ben offers her $250. She's half undressed before she realizes he only wants transportation.

Ben's dad, the Sausage King, comes to see Amy's dad at wherever he is. He thinks that Amy and Ben getting married and having a kid at age fifteen is a great idea. Meanwhile, Molly Ringwald is finding out that Ricky is the actual father. She calls Amy's dad and tells him that, and he says to the Sausage King, "It's not even your son's baby!" The Sausage King shrugs and is like, "Could be!" This guy rocks.

Amy sneaks out of her house by climbing out the window. In Adrian's car, Ben acts like a dick and tries to talk her out of the abortion. What a dick. But Amy's just like, "DRIVE!"

At the Jergens house, Amy's parents are arguing, as usual. Madison shows up and Amy's dad tells her that Amy has an infectious disease, which I guess is technically true. Then he shoves her out the door. Amy's dad has little patience for Madison, and I approve of that. Despite their disagreements, Amy's parents' mutual desire to murder Ricky brings them closer together.

At the abortion clinic, Grace and Ricky show up and try to make a scene. Adrian and Grace start getting all chicken-necky, but they all get kicked out before we get an actual catfight. Watch for a delightful cameo by Carl Winslow as a security guard! Ben gets called in to see Amy, who cries and asks to borrow his phone so she can talk to her mom.

Amy's dad is talking to Ashley about Ricky and his girlfriend, who is a total slut. Then he finds out that the slut in question is the daughter of the slut that he's having an affair with, so he leaves.

Somehow, even though Ricky was united with Grace against Adrian at the abortion clinic in the last scene they were in, now he's talking to Adrian at her place and Grace is at school. Did we skip a few scenes? Well, however it happened, Adrian tells Ricky that she sees through his "nice guy" ruse, and that because he's not a nice guy and she's not a nice girl, he belongs with her. Ricky grabs her and is like "You think I don't know that? Gimme some sugar, baby."

Well, apparently Amy didn't get the abortion, because everyone seems to have moved on from that. Pretty anticlimactic. But it's hardly surprising. Even putting aside the show's whole Christian agenda, if she'd aborted it, the show would have been over. Oh well.

Wait a minute, there are still like five minutes left in this turkey? What the hell. Let's see... Jack completely rescinds the awesome scene from the previous episode when he told Grace to shut up. Now, for no apparent reason, he's completely changed his tune and wants to get back together with her. Meanwhile, Ben talks to counselor Mark Molina in another one of those pointless recap scenes that always bring everything to a grinding halt. Fortunately the Sausage King swoops in to save the day and take Ben to get some pizza and mercifully bring the scene to a close.

Molly Ringwald tells Amy a shocking revelation: "I was pregnant." What?! No! But what she means is, she got knocked up at a young age too. She eloped with Amy's dad six months before Amy was born. The unspoken message is, "you'd better not abort this thing, because you owe your very existence to my not having aborted my thing. Bitch."

Final thoughts: Worst. Episode. Ever. (So far.) It pissed me off so much I couldn't even think of a way to incorporate the title of the episode into the last sentence of the recap.

Okay, putting aside that the conclusion to the abortion thing was a foregone conclusion, even if we hadn't known that she wouldn't do it, the execution was terrible. Ben tries to talk her out of it, but she says that it's her decision and she's decided to go through with it, so "DRIVE!" And then the next time we see her, she's in the clinic, waiting for a doctor (I guess), except now she's inexplicably changed her mind and decided not to go through with it. What changed her mind? Who knows! We only know she decided against it because we see her later and she hasn't done it. What the fuck, man? I mean, I know this is a bad show, but this has gone beyond the normal cheesy melodrama to just completely incompetent storytelling! And then after that total anticlimax, you still have to sit through three long, talky, excruciatingly dull scenes in a row. Suck it, Brenda Hampton!

Ben and Grace are more annoying than ever, Jack has reverted to his old pussy self, and the Asians aren't even in the episode at all, but Mark Molina is. The only good parts are Ashley and Amy's dad being mean to Madison and the apparent return to form of both Adrian and Ricky at the end (though I'm ambivalent about this if it means even more scenes of them making out followed by Adrian asking Ricky not to leave and then Ricky leaving anyway and Adrian being sad).

At least the next episode can't be any worse... can it?

On the next TSLOTAT: I don't remember! I'll be as surprised you are!

Quotes
  • "Jesus is my counselor." -- Grace
  • "I knew that French horn would come to no good. That's too big an instrument for a girl!" -- Amy's dad
  • "I was pregnant." -- Amy's mom

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