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Guilty pleasures, thankfully, come in many forms throughout life. Some are a bit more deserving of the title than others, but they all exist for us to take full advantage of when we need them the most. So rest easy, as for the next 24 weeks, ABC Family has your guilty fix with the Monday night return of “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”

Now, if you’ll remember, we left off with Ashley — finally (we hope) realizing why it is that she and Ricky can’t have sex. Why it took so long, who knows? Ratings I’m sure, but their lack of sexual interaction just wasn’t fair in her eyes. She, a high school freshman desperate in her search to better understand life through sex, couldn’t do it with the boy who was not only the father of her sister’s kid, but a righteously cool, street-savvy 17-year-old to boot.

As for the budding young queen bee herself, Amy, and her on-again-off-again bad-boy crush Ricky, we last saw them and their born-out-of-wedlock son John sitting down to a nicely arranged dinner as the prodigal happy young couple that they are. Reaching (still), in their own way, to find some foundation and stability in the hot mess that their lives have become since that fateful night at band camp so many episodes ago.

Hopefully we’ve seen the end of the utter torment that Amy shamefully put Ben through. At the end of last season it appeared to have finally clicked in Ben’s meager brain that Amy has no interest in being with “a good guy.” This, of course, will be the beginning of the end for poor, hapless young Ben.

Enter Adrian, who became pregnant with Ben’s baby toward the end of last season, and has but one objective in her young, warped life: to get her own way, regardless of who might be in her way. While also having her own on-again-off-again friends-with-benefits relationship with Ricky, Adrian, the black-hearted, conscious-free beast of a woman takes more from the dating styles of the praying mantis than to human beings. Sadly, it will only be a matter of time before she devours our innocent and naïve little Ben.

Leading the pack among the supporting cast is the Christian-when-convenient Grace and her legion of meat-headed boys of high school in tow. Jack, her ex-boyfriend, will arguably continue to pretend to share the same interests of Grace in the hopes of wooing her back into the bedroom, while her and Grant move ever so much closer to cementing their own desires between the sheets with one another.

If you are wondering where the parents are during all of this, they are simply too busy in their own lusting to worry about the amateur and nearly laughable promiscuous actions of their children. These are grown men and women who have mastered the art of lying, cheating and stealing. As each plot twists in this saga, the parents placidly ask, “How could this have happened to us,” all the while sneaking into the shadows of their own deceit and debauchery when the coast is clear.

Whatever the original intent of the show was obviously shifted somewhere along the way into the near orgy that it is now. Hoping to educate, or at least ignite conversations between real life parents and their children on the perils and pleasures of sex, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” has found a way to instead show that talk is cheap and sex is what all the “cool” kids are doing.

As their own characters have shown us, good, sound advice falls on deaf ears. For those of us on the opposite end of the remote, some solace can be had in that it isn’t our lives, and they aren’t our children. For this fact alone is what brings their audience back each week, as rubber necking a train wreck is what Americans do best.

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