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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 (209 Votes)

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

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I think what the writers did was just fine. If it sheds light on the fact that not all out comes are good then its educational. Kid today really need to think about thinks before they leap.
But I have to say it was a hard one to watch for me because being pregnant my self it hits home a little harder. They really should of gone into why she lost the baby. They seem to spend so much time on if this kid should or should not be having sex with this other kid, but when its a huge/sad matter like it was they just skimed over it like ya it happened but...

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The moment I saw the promo commercials for this episode, I knew the baby wasn't going to make it. My teenage brother's baby recently passed, and although he was 3 months and not a stillborn child, this hit home. Seeing everyone cry in the hospital instead of being joyous that the baby arrived, gave it away that either something was terribly wrong with the infant, she miscarried, or something of the nature. The whole week of the promo commercial had me saying to myself, if they kill Adrian's baby Im never watching again. They killed Adrian's baby, but I'll still be watching. Tragedies like this happen far too often for it to be ignored. This is a show that touches on a lot of iffy subjects and I've come to support the decision of the writers. It was a very hard episode to watch, but it also makes me glad that someone is speaking up & dealing with subjects such as this.

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First of all i am sorry but if you haven't watched the show from the very first season then you needto stop talking bad about this episode!!! Now for the people who have and are grieving just as much as i am i will be mourning for a very long time!!!! Even though i don't really like Adrian and Ben is ok this is a loss that effects everyone involved in the show!!!! So, back to my point of grieving the storyline like the reviewer said was very dramatic!!! It went over the edge way to much!!! And to put Amy, Ricky, Ben, Adrian etc. through another big loss is very WRONG!!!! I will still watch the show but after what the producers did i wouldn't be suprised if people did stop watching it!!! Until next time!!! P.S. And to all of you out there grieving this loss just like i am you are not the only one!! P.S.S I am also like others intersted to see how the characters deal with the loss next season!!!! (: :(

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Yea the show was very interesting i cried my heart out. i felt so close to ben and adrian like a close friend. i have been watching this show since episode 1. but at the same time the writers had to do something to make more viewers wanna watch i will never stop watching this show secret life cast is my bestfriends

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Person you are so right. It is fiction. I did laugh when the writer said, " kill a baby just to shake up a one hour drama." Way to give part of this discussion a little perspective:)

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They already had a teen pregnancy resulting in motherhood. Also, Ben and Adrian only got married because of the baby. Pluck the baby out of the equation, and I bet it would be really fun to figure out where to take the characters. Adoption just isn't a plausible outcome for their situation, plus that's just too soft-core. This show could use a bit more tragedy. Especially tragedy not brought onto the characters by their own actions. (Also, they didn't actually kill a baby. I don't know if you're aware, but this is a FICTIONAL program.)

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I watch the show because I am a youth pastor and it covers many issues teens deal with and let's face it they are watching it and talking about it. Why not take the opportunity to talk to them. It was apparent what may happen and - had a hard time with that because 3 months ago one of our teens gave birth and dealt with a death 3 days later. After seeing firsthand what she went through(test, poking, prodding, praying and mourning)I was relieved they did not offer much detail. I know the writers were trying to show not every pregnancy ends well without too much. Now the thing is will they potray the "ever after" they have created. We will see.

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i dont watch this show but i did watch this one. this was sad. i did not cry. but it was emotional.

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this was really sad i was starting to cry because i didnt know what was going to happen. i like adrian and ben. but, i never thought that this was going to happen to them:( . so this is the only show of the part that i hae cry in. and if it wasn't going to be like this i would still cry. So, last night i did feel bad!.

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i agree with the reviewer the writers didnt have to kill a baby and set up this plot twist it was emotionla no i did NOT cry but it was emotional and mysterious and now im afraid for Ben he is not that strong in life and now this comes he is shattered beyond hope adrian is a strong girl she will suffer but eventually come back i think however as i said before Ben has been lost!

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]