Daren Kagasoff is an American actor best known for playing Ricky Underwood on The Secret Life of the American Teenager television series and has also made many film appearances.
Elise and Barry Kagasoff raised 35-year-old Jonathan in Encino, California, along with Justin as his older brother and Natalie as his younger sibling.
The Secret Life of the American Teenager
Daren Kagasoff made his Hollywood debut when 7th Heaven creator Brenda Hampton personally selected him to portray Ricky Underwood on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, earning five Teen Choice Award nominations and winning one Male Choice TV Summer Star trophy in 2009.
The drama, which ran for five seasons, centers around Amy Juergens (Shailene Woodley), who becomes pregnant after having sexual contact with Ricky Underwood at band camp. Her decision has far-reaching ramifications for herself and everyone around her; specifically her best friends Lauren and Madison.
Though its dialogue may often seem over-manufactured and didactic, Teen Mom does provide a platform for parents and adults working with teenagers – be they parents, teachers, mentors or otherwise – to start conversations about sex and pregnancy with their teen. Furthermore, it serves as an excellent resource for professionals working directly with adolescents such as teachers.
Many viewers of the show find Ricky Underwood to be one of its most memorable characters, particularly due to his portrayal as an immature teenager who struggles to find himself while also dealing with pressure from peers to become “better.” It can be uncomfortable viewing his behavior but this character portrayal is spot-on in terms of its depiction as someone searching for themselves in an increasingly demanding society.
In Season Three, Ricky and Amy become closer when he moves in with Amy at her apartment above the butcher shop and Grace and Jack fall for him too. Meanwhile Adrian Lee (known as “bad girl”) develops an attraction to Amy who she feels jealously towards since Ricky has an inexplicable sex obsession with Amy which leads her to try driving Amy to an abortion clinic but fails to do so successfully.
The Secret Life of the American Teenager opened to mixed reviews from critics but proved immensely popular with female and teenage viewers alike. Its premiere broke a record for highest-rated debut of an ABC Family original program (beating Kyle XY with 2.82 million viewers) while its finale scored high among adults 18-49 demographic.
Ouija boards have long been a beloved component of American culture. Their purpose? Communicating with spirit guides and otherworldly entities.
It first saw market in the 1890s as a means of connecting to dead loved ones or finding love, and became immensely popular. An entire subculture formed around it; even a film was made on it!
As the board became more widely used, stories of murder and spirit possession began surfacing as people believed that they were being guided by spirits themselves. Some were comical while others seemed more serious.
In some instances, board games were used as an excuse for crime and as an avenue out of court proceedings. Numerous infamous murderers and thieves have been documented using board games for this purpose in their crimes.
reports surfaced suggesting the “Ouija” board could lead to dangerous trance states, prompting researchers from Baltimore University to travel there and study its effect on brain activity. In 2015, this research group headed over there to conduct their investigation.
One thing they sought to explore was ‘ideomotor activity,’ or how the brain reacts when people enter a state of trance. Through studying its effects they hoped to gain greater insight into how our minds operate.
Research at the University of British Columbia was led by a team of psychologists. Through eye tracking equipment and other tests to monitor heart rate and blood pressure levels in students playing the game, their research team were able to monitor its effects on brain activity.
Though they observed signs of trance-like states and ideomotor behaviors among some participants, they noticed they seemed confused as well – leaving them questioning whether they were hearing what the spirits were telling them directly or just making up ideas of their own.
Red Band Society
Red Band Society, a new Fox drama inspired by the true stories of long-term patients at a pediatric ward, explores what it’s like to live under medical supervision and be sick. In its pilot episode, cancer survivor Leo displays his incredible gift for helping others, aiding an unlikely group including Jordi (an awkward newcomer with difficulty making friends) while simultaneously maintaining his friendship with Dash (an irrepressibly lively cystic fibrosis patient who delights audiences).
This cast, led by Octavia Spencer and Dave Annable, boasts incredible talent. Jes Macallan (Ashley Cole from Mistresses) will join Nurse Jackson’s assistant roles recurringly on this series.
Red Band Society stands out from its peers with its ability to balance sentimentality and realism. Like The Fault In Our Stars, which captured hearts across America by depicting young cancer victims, Red Band Society strikes an interesting balance between high school drama and life-or-death stakes.
Replicating teenage love on screen is often difficult; Glee managed this successfully while still making its characters believable.
Into the Woods is another movie that manages to find an ideal balance between reality and sentimentality, exploring both heartbreaking realities of death while at the same time leaving viewers feeling uplifted and hopeful.
Red Band Society shows teens living with hopelessness more acutely, yet less directly; their bodies decline while waiting for treatment while hospital life continues on with no clear solution in sight, but all is handled in a lighthearted fashion.
Soon enough, they find comfort in one another and even manage to join hands for a group hug on the roof of the hospital as they sing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” And later still, Charlie finally speaks after long being in a coma – no matter how cliche it sounds! That momentous occasion was an important milestone!
Red Band Society is ultimately too unrealistic for it to work as intended. Instead, tackling the real drama behind healthcare would do much more for it than showing teenagers struggling with illnesses like cancer and HIV. While its cast may be appealing, something just isn’t quite fitting about this storyline.
At one time in late 19th-century Pennsylvania, a small village was surrounded by woods. Residents there reached an understanding with one another regarding any creatures living within these woods that might enter. They agreed not to enter.
But as time went on, Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix) found himself drawn towards the outside world. At first his devoted mother Alice (Sigourney Weaver) and village elder Edward Walker (William Hurt) opposed this decision; eventually however he convinced them it would be safer if he left their community.
The Village is a movie about fear, but also love and hope. It serves as a reminder that even in dangerous environments, it’s best to rely on yourself and your strengths rather than trying to hide from danger.
This film offers an intriguing idea, and features an outstanding cast. Notable actors include Sigourney Weaver, Joaquin Phoenix and Adrien Brody – with Bryce Dallas Howard especially standing out with her outstanding portrayal as a blind woman.
Another aspect of the film that stands out is how it addresses our fears of the woods. While most are familiar with Red Riding Hood and forest horror, its grip has long enthralled humans.
No doubt the villagers of The Village in Shyamalan’s film are afraid of monsters lurking in the forest, but moreover fear death itself – an old horror trope which Shyamalan exploits brilliantly.
His scenes where characters are being stalked by creatures are masterpieces of suspense. Instead of focusing on the creatures themselves, but rather their reaction when realizing they’re being targeted.
Roger Deakins’ cinematography adds another layer of tension with every misty fog roll-in; his signature style adds supernatural terror.
Overall, The Village is an engaging film with an intriguing message about fear’s destructive power to rip through lives and devastate people’s lives. Although not quite as strong as Shyamalan’s earlier works, The Village still stands out and deserves its place among his better films.