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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Teens > GREEK – Chapter Two + The Secret Life of the American Teenager – Season One (ABC/Disney DVDs)

GRΣΣK – Chapter Two + The Secret Life of the American Teenager – Season One (ABC/Disney DVDs)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Episodes: C+



Teen drama is nothing new to television and in the same vein Greek and The Secret Life of the American Teenager are nothing new to television either.  Both series appear on ABC Family and are about as deep as everything else that appears on that network (you can decide what that means).  This reviewer was not impressed with Greek: Chapter One and Chapter Two is simply more of the same unentertaining, pseudo-college antics.  Greek attempts to be a ‘family friendly’ version of Animal House and once again fails to bring anything new to the party in its sophomore year.  There are moments here and there of quality television, but overall is disappointing.  The Secret Life of the American Teenager is a fairly new series that premiered in July of 2008 and differs from Greek as it embraces a dramatic storyline as opposed to Greek’s campy college comedy.  The Secret Life of the American Teenager stars 17 year old Shailene Woodley as 15 year old Amy Boykewich; a naïve pregnant teen just beginning to understand what life is all about.  The series also stars Molly Ringwald (Pretty in Pink) as Amy’s mother, Anne, who herself hasn’t quite figured out what she wants from life; having children early in life and being unhappy in her marriage.


The Secret Life of the American Teenager chronicles the life of Amy and her friends as they go through the hardships of teen life at Grant High School.  There is not much more to it than that.  With Season 1 being 11 episodes long, the story of the ridiculously dramatic teens slowly evolves to explain where each character is coming from and how they are all involved (overly involved) in each others’ lives.  The series is well acted, but the scripts, whereas occasionally realistic, are more so overdone.


To read more about GRΣΣK – Chapter One please follow the link below:





The technical features on these two television series are nowhere near as dramatic as the storylines.  The picture on both sets is presented in a 1.78 X 1 Anamorphic Widescreen that has bright colors, solid blacks, and an overall crisp image.  The only complaint as far as the picture is that there is on occasion is some apparent grain and brief light/dark issues.  The sound is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound that mostly comes from the front, as neither series has much action and is primarily dialogue based.  The sound is adequate for what both series require.


The extras on both series are not very impressive, either being too sparse or too boring.  Greek offers up a total of four special features including Bloopers, Flashback Episode: “And so it Begins,” a Music Video – Natural Disaster by The Plain White T’s, and some not so exhilarating Audio Commentaries.  The Secret Life of the American Teenager has even less special features than Greek only offering one featurette entitled On Set with the Cast, which gives a simple look behind the scenes of the new drama series.  Overall, both these ABC Family series fail to impress with their lackluster special features.


I heavily criticized Greek last season for being like a ‘bad straight to DVD American Pie sequel’ and not much has changed.  The series is a light and airy, teen comedy that is uninspiring in every way (including laughs).  The Secret Life of the American Teenager is slightly better with its solid cast and a more in depth storylines, but still has many shortcomings as it just ends up being drab.  Both series seemingly have a good following with high ratings, but with the television scene being over saturated with other teen dramas like 90210 they better watch out or these players may just lose their pledge pins.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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