The Secret Life of the American Teenager Review: "Or Not To Be"

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Over the past two weeks, Secret Life set up a tragic situation that is bound to send viewers into a tailspin.

In "... Or Not To Be" - the follow up of "To Be" - we experienced one of the most heartbreaking situations I have ever seen in my 25 years of watching television. And let me tell you, I've watched a lot.

This episode has been spoken about at length by the actors and the media. Going into it, I was prepared for tragedy to strike, but I'm unsure how I feel about the installment overall. Yes, I understand why it was done, and. yes, it was a bold move by the writers, but I don't really think it was appropriate or necessary.

Ben with Adrian

Everything that occurred last week was a set up for this major plot point. From Ben and Adrian jovially calling each other "Mr. and Mrs." to Ricky and Amy planning a romantic getaway, we were intended to see the calm before the storm.

Just as Alice's dream about shattered glass was an ominous premonition, things were just going eerily well in Secret Life land. The way Adrian placed her hand tentatively on her belly at the end of last week and stated that something didn't feel right was a clear indicator that life was about to move in a drastically different direction.

Even if I didn't know about the storyline beforehand, the doctor's faces gave a lot away, as did the fact that Adrian hadn't felt the baby move in awhile. Overall, the show is trying to depict different angles for what can happen in a given situation. If Ben and Adrian were to have a happy, healthy baby girl, they'd just end up like a copy of Amy and Ricky and there wouldn't be a new plot point for people to get invested in.

My question: was it necessary to kill a baby just to shake up a one hour drama on ABC Family? I'd have to say no. They could've gone the way of adoption, getting divorced, etc. The stillborn baby was a drastic move that was, honestly, so traumatizing I think the show will end up losing viewers over it. I'm all for taking chances, but this was going too far.

What is it about this show's idea that every time someone has sex, something bad or tragic has to happen? Yes, this situation was realistic. Women miscarry and have stillborn babies and it is absolutely heartbreaking. But this felt like a cheap ploy of using a truly personal, painful situation - setting it to some cheesy Dawson's Creek soundtrack - and waiting for people to cry. And yeah, for the record, I did cry.

The big event we heard so much about happened in the span of several minutes. Nothing was clearly explained, aside from Leo stating that the baby had passed. For the past two weeks, we've watched the same old same old: pointless arguing between Madison and Jack, Ashley's bitching, Lauren acting holier than though. However, this does go to show that life can literally change in an instant. It put a lot in perspective.

For the all the negativity I felt about the storyline in general, there were some aspects of this episode that deserve praise. First off, bravo to Francia Raisa and Ken Baumann for the way they handled such a difficult storyline. I can't imagine that's easy for an actor and their portrayals were genuine and moving. I tip my hat to them.

Also, as I stated before, this episode finally showed how stupid and petty drama can be. Amy and Adrian normally don't get along, but in Adrian's moment of need she called upon Amy because she knew Amy would be able to level with her as a mother. Ricky and Amy have spent months and months debating their relationship and when was the right time for them to have sex. In the face of tragedy, I think they finally realized how blessed they were to be with each other and have a healthy son. They chose to live in the moment because you never know what will happen next.

I want to know what all of you thought about Ben and Adrian losing their baby. This episode had an impact on me and I'm sure it did on a lot of you as well.

Hey, Secret Life writers, think you could let these kids be happy for once??


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (210 Votes)

I think the way they did this WAS necessary. This whole show, at least to me, revolves around teaching lessons, very emotional ones. It talks alot about abstinence, sex, pregnancy, and everything that revolves those things. Yes it made viewers cry and was some plot twist, but i think the writers genuinely had viewers (teenagers) in mind while creating this episode. Maybe it's that Ive seen the series twice now, and I'm older, but that just my opinion


heartbreaking 😒😒😒😒 couldn't stop crying, I loved/hated this season, I wasn't ready for thisπŸ’”


This episode was sad and I blame the selfish couple Amy and Ricky!


Part of me thinks that Ben and Adrian got what they deserved but then another part of me feels sad for them! When I watched that episode I lost it and fell apart! No one no matter what they've done deserves this type of pain


The saddest episode , it had me crying with them :'( but they had a point wit this episode, thing dont always go right, stuff like this happen forreal and it very sad


I absolutely hate what they did with that episode! They made ben and adrian get married , turn their whole lives upside down , set up a whole story line around the baby just for it to end in disaster , for those veiwers (like me) that were excited to see how ben and adrian reacted to being parents this was heart breaking amd dissapointing, the writers definately made a huge mistake


This episode was by far the worst episode of the whole show. The constant crying by everyone was super unrealistic. I don't think that kids in high school who aren't even family to the baby would really be crying for several minutes like that. Come on get real.

@ Jill Mathers

How unrealistic is it really when it probably also made several hundred thousand viewers cry also? These kids are very close knit. I can tell you if I had had a close friend in high school lose a baby I would have bawled my eyes out with her.


This was the best episode of the series, I guess because it invovled Ben and Adrian and not the two "MOST SELFISH ASSHOLES" Ricky and Amy. I am so sorry for what they went through and I truly hate how their relationship was cast off for RAMY TWU LUV" To all of you Ramy fans especially the person who writes "TV FANATIC" Grow up you stupid bitches. They need to get real, and shut the fuck up. I really wish Ben would have never met that thin red haired bitch Amy, and shew would have killed that child. That way TRICKY RICKY would still be fucking other girls, and have gotten an AIDS. I wonder how cute that you would have thought that was.


hey hey hey i like tricky ricky and bitch ass amy but obvisouly i dont think of them like that yes amy does get annoying everyone and a while but still i do understand what your talking about


I don't remember them naming the baby. That would have made it far worse. It was a very real very sad situation. But the sex talk is a bit over done. And why is Ricky the most damaged but the smartest kid on here?


I really want this show to continue to show all angles and not just more broken families. Broken families can make good story lines but happy families are worth a shot as well. Ricky and Amy should be married and proud of it. My friend married daughters father with doubts and all and they still have a wonderful marriage. I hate it that all shows these days move away from marriage and act as if yound adults are too dumb to have real lasting relationships eventhough it started out as a "mistake".Please rise above the rest of the hype and and show Ricky and Amy make it together instead of the boring predictable relationship meltdown.

@ Tera

i agree

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The Secret Life of the American Teenager Season 3 Episode 26 Quotes

For two people not having sex they can't keep their hands off of each other.


You look like an idiot. You know that, right?

Ashley [to Amy]