1. “The Secret Life of The American Teenager”
To catch you up: Amy was just a shy french horn player excited to start high school until, this one time at band camp (I swear to god), she hooked up with the local bad boy and got pregnant. Since starting her freshman year with a positive pregnancy test she’s been engaged twice and has started a kind of mini-teen mom epedemic amoung her classmates.
WTF Moment: Religious high schooler Grace finally decides to lose her virginity, only to learn as she was angering god with her sexcapades her father was hurtling to his death on a plane crash.
To catch you up: Michelle is a dancer in Vegas who has a creepy stalker, but he’s played by Cameron from” Ferris Bueller” so he’s endearing instead of threatening. He proposes, and a combination of needing change and booze leads Michelle to accept. She moves in with him and his mother, who conveniently owns a dance studio. Unfortunately, Cameron dies in the first episode. But Michelle stays and becomes a dance teacher slash resident cool big sister.
WTF Moment: Michelle, thinking, she’s grabbing a hair spray can backstage during The Nutcracker, accidently maces all the dancers in the face, then herself. This raises a number of questions. Why was she spraying hair spray directly at their faces? Why was her first instinct when she heard their cries of pain to spray it directly into her face? Wouldn’t carrying a can of hair spray and a can of mace be a little cumbersome?
5. “Switched at Birth”
To catch you up: A simple science class blood test (?) reveals that high schooler Bay can’t be her parent’s child. They take her back to the hospital only to find she was switched at birth with a girl named Daphne, who became deaf at age three. Daphne and her adopted mother move into Bay’s family’s guest house, so everyone is in close quarters as they deal with their raging emotions about the switch.
WFT Moment: Bay decides to enter a program that allows hearing kids with deaf parents or siblings (or biological daughters of adoptive parents?) to attend an all deaf high school. The hearing kids are bullied and ostracized, and to combat the hate Bay creates a sign saying “We hear and we’re here.”
7. “The Lying Game”
To catch you up: Sutton and Emma are twins who were seperated at birth, with Sutton getting a nice rich family and Emma ending up in foster care (think “It Takes Two”). Emma poses as Sutton so Sutton can track down their mother, or is she? This show is super confusing.
WTF moment: So Sutton’s adoptive father, is really Sutton and Emma’s biological father, and their biological mother went to school with Sutton’s adoptive mother, who’s name is Annie but now goes by Rebecca.
9. “Teen Wolf”
To catch you up: Scott becomes a werewolf! Scott befriends other werewolves! And, twist, dates a werewolf hunter! And everything is going fine until a giant lizard shows up to ruin everything.
WTF Moment: Since it is a fantasy show things like scaly mutant monsters of rage have to be accepted, but there’s still plenty of crazy in Scott’s high school existence, like a bunch of teenagers casually going to a rave on a school night.
11. “The Carrie Diaries”
To catch you up: Carrie Bradshaw, the character that introduced suburban housewives to the cosmo and the vibrator, is a teenager. Also, it’s the ’80s, so there’s a lot of crimped hair and neon.
The WTF moment: High school junior Carrie takes a boring internship in NYC and almost immediately meets up with a magazine editor who simply must photograph her bag, invites her to a swanky party, and gives her a stylish dress to wear. Anyone who’s seen “The Devil Wears Prada” knows this is nuts.