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??

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (208 Votes)

Leigh Raines is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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I love this show the way they teach young kids that not everything thing turns out the way that you want it too. And that there is happiness and than there are sad times but it also showed how sometimes people pull together for people

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I think d sex talk was too much bt all the same l love the film

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I have to be honest I love this episode. It's traumatic and sad but I'm glad they didn't just do the cheesy raising a kid at 17 or giving it up for adoption like they did with Amy. I cried hard but I think it was beautifully written and I want more from the writers. I think dropping the show because of a sad episode it stupide. If anything it proves that the writers are very skilled at capturing emotions and stories that people can get into, sad or happy!!

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I watch the show every week. But, I do think they talk about sex a little much. I know that young people have sex. But, being a mother of a high school daughter believe they do not talk like the kids on this show talk. I really do think there could a little more living than talking. Let the kids grow up with everyday liveing. Rather than grow up then live.

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jesus! i hate this show more n more. it started off really well then the characters started to get bloody annoying, everyone's a dumbass all of a sudden talking about sex 24/7!! everything just became about sex as if the show revolves around sex and why we should n shouldnt do it! it has become so lame towards season 2 and now everytime i watch it i wanna punch the screen!!! writers have really caught a writing block. we have a bitter teen mom who cant get over trying to pity herself, has the most annoying face and cry in the world, a dumb mom, a jerk of a dad and who could forget the emotionless annoying little sister who think she knows everything? not to mention her 'bestfriends' the ones who ALWAYS manage to spread her secrets around, grace bowman, the hypocritical christian who again, is a dumbass and the neighbourhood/highschool slut. then the boys, ben the pathetic one who cant just man the hell up, ricky, who can't get through his issues and his parents..well them i find nothing wrong with, but omygod!!!!! this series has become so friggin painful to watch!! over n over again, its the same storyline, same outcome....she had a baby at 15....and? sex. sex. sex. creativity AT ITS WORST!!!!!

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Stillborn birth happen and it's about time it was addressed on tv. It happens in real life. The writer of this piece would rather they kept a hollywood version and had an adoption or abortion and pretended the baby never excisted like Glee. But alot of women mourn for yrs the baby they gave away or aborted which is not dealt in tv-land.

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This espisode made me cry for hours and it was so close to me because my mom has had this happen to her 3 times it's really sad and I was as if I was reliving it but I'm glad they had this episode this is reality this things do happen its not always just good news it was a very hear reaming episode all I can just say is I can't wait for the next episodes to comee

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This show has really gone down the tubes. Really, the stillborn baby was a plot device to get the writers out of a hole. The show it just getting worse. I feel like I'm watching a trainwreck.

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i am pergo HELP

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this show sucks, it started good and was good till Bo Duke died. then it become so redundant, every third word was sex. Sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, try taking a drink every time they say sex and you will see. The acting is so bad and the situations so unrealistic that it blows my mind that people like my wife like this crap. It makes me uncomfortable when she watches it in front of our toddlers, because the word "SEX" is being embedded into their subconscious.