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
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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'm an aunt to now 7, and two years ago to this day my sister-in-law and my brother had a stillborn. It changed our whole world. We didn't look at things the same way and we still don't. And with all these teen pregnancy shows I've always thought that people didn't get to see the "bad" parts, yea we see hardships but a stillborn is different and this episode showed it beautifully. People now see what can happen and how heartbreaking it can be and now there is a whole new respect for people who have experienced this.

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I dont like tha ben treating adrain on the espisode that happen today u wrong ben u made my gurl mad u didnt have to say all that to her wat is wrong with u grow up

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As a 36 year old mother of a 16 year old, we watch together faithfully. I have suffered a stillbirth, and I had to leave the room during part of this episode when adrian was crying with her mother. Honestly I thought it was well done, portrayed honestly, true and with feeling. I thought the amount of emotion was intense and leaving it for just a few moments was appropriate. I also appreciated the fast forwarrding of two months so as not to see the immediate time period of grief, we all now they were grieving but its not entertaining and what we want to see as viewers is their lives going on, so I thought it was done respectufully. And ya know, the fairy tail doesn't always work out and I think that msg needs to get out there...your boyfriend probably won't marry you or stick around, you will be up late and have late night er visits, medical issues, and sometimes babies die. Its sad, but when kids pretend to be grown ups they have to be prepared for grown up stuff.

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THIS PART OF THE SEASON WAS REAL LIFE COME ON PPL EVERYONE KNOWS THAT THIS STUFF HAPPENS IN REAL LIFE. YES I CRIED MY EYES OUT WITH THIS ONE I HAVE TWO KIDS AND I DONT KNOW WHAT I WOULD DO WITHOUT THEM. BUT REAL LIFE THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME AN THIS SHOW IS ABOUT REAL LIFE.

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I have been a faithful Secret Life watcher since the beginning but I can't bring myself to watch this episode yet. I am almost 7 months pregnant right now so I can imagine all the scary thoughts and nightmares I would have after watching it. :( I really want to catch the rest of the storyline though so I don't get behind.

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i was heartbroken and thought the same--did the writers have to go that route...they could have had the baby have a disability and let adrian deal with not have a "perfect" baby

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As a mother who has been through the tragedy of a still born I believe that this episode was very enlightening. So many teen girls and even adult women think having a baby is "no big deal" and "that won't happen to me". But in all reality it can happen to ANYBODY. This episode hit home in a big way. My husband and I lost our daughter 2 years ago and the pain and heartache is still there. I pretty much dehydrated myself with the river of tears while watching this episode. Bravo to the writers for showing that NOBODY is invincible to this heartache.

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I think that adrian and ben shouldnt have lost the baby in the storyline. this is a drama show, but having a stillborn would worry some people who are pregnant, women who watch this show wouldnt have thought that anything would have happened that is bad.. i would have never thought this show would have such a shocker like that.. the secret life writers should have wrote the storyline as adrian and ben having their baby and choosing to give it up, or adrian and ben keeping the baby and continuing to live together and then show all the problems and struggles that happens when you try to live on your own when your still very dependent on your parents, and show the struggles that happens when leo quits catering to his sons every needs and makes him learn on his own and lets him and adrian face how life really is when your young and trying to make it with a baby, although your already married.

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Just watched this episode about twenty minutes ago. This obviously didn't come as a shock. For those who thought it did... prolly don't know what it takes for writers to keep the audience interested. What we are interested in is real life drama situations. This is a real life situation and I for one am even more excited to watch future episodes. We are now really gonna be able to dig deep into each character and see their take on a real life situation like a stillborn, and how they are going to handle themselves. God would never give us something we could not handle. Adrian and ben are gonna come out of this, stronger, more mature, and really get to know more about themselves and eachother. Whether they stay ttogether or not. I would love to see them stay together, but just like real life situations it always doesn't work out that way. So I guess we will see.

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what they went through is reality it happens more then you know....

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.

Frank

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

Ashley [to Amy]
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