I have to admit that I am not enjoying this season as much as I have the past seasons. That is not to say I can drag myself way from the screen when it's airing, but it's darker. The kids have all been through so much and its dragging them down.
They are not down as in depressed, but really losing the sweetness that was underlying in to many of them. In tonights episode, after Amy goes to New York City just before the end of the school year to attend a prestigious musical program, the entire school has determined she is pregnant again. And they are all talking. "All" includes teachers, as well. Its no wonder they all gossip like crazy - even the damned gym coach thinks its his place to discuss the personal lives of students with other students.
The two characters most changed this season are Ben and Ashley. Ben, faced with the pregnancy of Adrian after a one-night stand has become a complete stooge. For a guy who was stupid enough to fall in love with a girl (Amy) just from looking at her, before even knowing she was pregnant with someone else's baby, he is completely unprepared to deal with his own situation. He says inane things like "what am I going to do with a baby?" Mind you, he says this to Ricky, of all people. Ricky who has stepped up to the plate for his own child in a what that would be enviable of any character on television. Watching Ben become such a pathetic wretch is difficult because I never liked him to start. They basically took the one quality he had and squashed it.
Ashley was the spunky girl with undeniable truth on her side. Once she decided she liked the father of her sister's baby (Ricky), she started to lie to the people with whom she had always been very true. Her father for instance. Thankfully, he called her on it and she is doing a little better with him, but still hiding the feelings she has for Ricky, which will only cause everyone pain in the long run.
Now that Adrian is pregnant and wanting to have an abortion (tonights episode ended with she and her mom leaving for the clinic), I am really hoping Brenda Hampton has the balls to let her have the abortion. If not, its not only setting a very bad example for very young girls who find themselves in the position to make a life-changing decision, one that is a valid choice. I really hope religion doesn't come into play to the point that all girls are lead to believe they, too, will have supportive friends and families should they decide to have a baby. I think one family in the hood is a stretch, but neighbors? Talk about setting unrealistic expectations!