It seems like just yesterday that The Secret Life of the American Teenager premiered. Pundits thought it would not stand a chance against the more glamorous teen shows. A little over a year later, the show about the pregnant teenager has become ABC Family’s biggest hit. The third season premieres Monday, June 22. Now that Amy has given birth, every character will face new challenges. Daren Kagasoff (Ricky) and Megan Park (Grace) gave us a preview.
What is going to happen this season?
Park: There is a lot of drama this season. In the first episode, there’s a very tragic death of a main character. You see everybody dealing with that throughout the entire season. You see Amy taking the baby home for the first time, my character wondering whether to take the next step with her boyfriend.
Kagasoff: You’re going to see all the characters developing. The first season got all of the characters names out there, what they’re about. This next season, they get more into it.
Now that Ricky’s embracing fatherhood, is he going to become romantically involved with Amy?
Kagasoff: I know people would like that, but I don’t know. Ricky’s promiscuous.
Grace is one of the few Christian teens on television. Do you feel an added responsibility with this character since she’s one of the only representations of this large segment of American society in mainstream entertainment?
Park: It’s definitely an honor to play a character who has a lot of respect for herself and wants to do the right thing and make decisions that are not only good for her but good for her religion. I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and say that because of my character they got a promise ring and felt empowered to choose to wait. If nothing else, it shows people that Christian teens can be just like normal teens. I think it’s educational in a cool way for kids.
Why do you think the show has become such a huge hit with teens?
Park: It’s very real. We don’t sugarcoat anything. There’s a character that everybody can relate to. It really shows the consequences of your actions as a teenager. There’s something for everybody. There’s family drama.
Why do all the characters on Secret Life talk so much about sex?
Park: I think a lot of teens are obsessed with talking about it. My character is very open with her parents about it. I’ve heard a lot of parents say that watching this show with their kids has opened the door to conversations.
Kagasoff: It definitely goes to our heads, but good for them.
Park: It’s a different show. It’s a different audience. We have great fans. It works, obviously, because people are tuning in.
Season Two has just been released on DVD. Are there any special features?
Kagasoff: It goes behind the scenes. You get to check out out trailers, get to see what it’s like in the make-up trailer. We spill some juicy personal business, which is exciting.
Park: We show the fans what our daily life is life. We talk about getting the part, and how we all met. We open up about the real life of the Secret Life cast.
Do you hang out together when you aren’t working? What do you do for fun?
Kagasoff: We’re all real close. We have such a great bond on set and off set. We go to the movies. We go to dinner. But we’ve all been so busy with the show. We’re usually just running lines and working.