ABC FAMILY SHOWS I'VE WATCHED, RANKED
It's only a guilty pleasure if you feel guilt, or pleasure
- •The secret life of the American teenagerNever have I ever heard the word "sex" uttered more in 47 minutes of content. This includes middle school sex ed and the gynecologist's office. Best episodes include when a character is punished for losing her virginity with the death of her dad and when that same character teaches her friends about masturbation, which they have never heard of, instantly love, but quickly forget about because the show cannot progress without someone new getting pregnant.
- •Pretty little liarsThe show that inspired me to go into clinical psychology. The media tries to tell you that high schoolers today are facing so much more than we did, but until you watch this show you cannot truly realize the amount of murder, psychological torture and familial estrangement today's 16-year-olds face. I am consistently impressed by the outfits these girls put together when everything, specifically their chances of ever graduating high school, seems to be catastrophically falling apart.
- •GreekActually not that bad; could be considered on par with a CW show on a good day. Paved the way for actors' stints in the Hot Tub Time Machine franchise and Chasing Life, see below.
- •Chasing lifePretty sure this show was conceptualized on a Pinterest idea board called "carpe diem." Has fun tropes like sassy grandma and brooding younger sister with unnaturally colored hair. Start watching for the same establishing shot of Boston in every episode, keep watching for the healthiest looking cancer patients you've ever seen.
- •BunheadsThe Amy Sherman-Palladino name carries you far, in my eyes, even as far as a kitschy California town called Paradise that houses a dance studio of mostly annoying teenage girls. But where Kelly Bishop leads, I will follow.
- •TwistedThree childhood best friends become enemies when one of them strangles his aunt with a jump rope and has to go to jail. When he comes back to high school, kids call him "socio," short for sociopath, because they're conscientious enough not to call him "psycho." Unfortunately for the character, Denise Richards plays his mom and her Botox renders her unable to display any sympathy for her son's plight. This whole thing happened to me and my childhood best friends, so this show was a little boring.
- •Kyle XYThe punchline of every belly button-related joke I tell (more than you would think #womenofacertainage). Was an early adopter of the ABC Family logo "a new kind of family," which paved the way for groups of six 16-year-old friends to have two babies between them.
- •10 things I hate about youLacks young Joseph Gordon-Levitt, young Heath Ledger. Contains a longer story arc (alas, a longer story arc lacking young Joseph Gordon-Levitt and young Heath Ledger). I couldn't tell you one plot point of this series, but don't let that dissuade you, because I can't even do that on ABC Family shows I currently watch.
- •HugeI seem to have occupied the brain space I devoted to this show with other things, but would be open to a reboot, maybe with a crossover episode with Orange is the New Black.