The Secret Life of the American Teenager Review: "When One Door Opens"

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Last week's episode left a very strong impact on many of our viewers. Personally, I worried that the network was going to be inauthentic to the storyline and pretend like everything was hunky dory after what Ben and Adrian experienced. Fortunately, this wasn't the case on "When One Door Opens."

Eight weeks after a truly heartbreaking ordeal, Adrian and Ben were reeling due to the loss of their stillborn daughter, Mercy. While Ben found it more cathartic to get out of the house, talk to friends, work, and go to school, Adrian was still not ready to leave. We saw them in the moment last week and now we saw them after some time had passed, after they'd processed it all.

The Secret Life Season 4 Premiere

I honestly found Ken and Francia's performances to be even more powerful than I did last Monday. There was something about this episode that felt more fluid to me. There wasn't a big bang promo about an event that lasted five minutes after an installment comprised of of petty gossiping and random nonsense.

For once, I felt that the writers really took us along for the whole ride and devoted a full episode to showcasing real feelings and reactions, not just the constant debate of whether Madison, Lauren, and Grace should sleep with their boyfriends. My feelings that last week didn't devote enough time to the tragedy were remedied here.

I actually wanted to hug some of the characters, particularly Ben when he was crumbling in the hallway with Amy. He's mourning the loss of his daughter, supporting his wife, and trying to hold it all together.

As for Adrian, I really liked the scene when Amy visited and Adrian lamented that she was glad to be having a conversation that felt real. These two have been at odds for years and it's nice to know that in a time of serious need, Amy and Adrian can put aside all of the small stuff they bicker over.

It was interesting to learn more about Tom's girlfriend, Rachel, and her children. Also interesting to learn that Jeff is back in Africa without Kathleen. Something that caught me off guard was learning that Leo was unhappy with Betty. Maybe he reciprocates Camille's feelings after all.

Now, you didn't think I was going to finish up this review without mentioning Amy and Ricky getting it on, right? Finally these two kids are happy. They've been on a bumpy road and I really hope Ricky doesn't slip up if he gets nervous and slip into another girl's bed! I have faith, though. Amy? She just seems way more relaxed, doesn't she?

If there's one thing I know for certain, it's that Ricky was right when he told Amy to get used to the staring. People are going to be watching Amy, Ricky, Ben and Adrian even more closely from now on.

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (65 Votes)

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

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I really like the show but I really feel bad about what happened to Adrian and Ben.I was also mad because I wanted to see their baby.

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The problem the some older people not liking the fact that sex a lot is because you don't have kids in high school OR and base of the show. It is suppose to serve as a way for parents and their kids to talk about sex and other issues. Now a days in schools pregnancy rate is HIGH. And it keeps getting worse. Kids are not realizing the impact and parents are not being parents. I love this show. the triangle get boring but the core is awesome. I think it is much needed and interesting that is why a lot of people watch it.

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@Karline It's funny when Ricky was a jackass that minipulated, lied to and bed down ANY and every female he could (including Amy) no one batted an eyelash. When he treated others like disposable trash he was lovable. It was shown he also, at one point, wanted Amy to get an abortion (not undecided like Ben). Ben was there for BOTH Amy and Adriam throughout their pregnanvies, which is WAY more than most teen fathers will do. He married Adrian b/c he thought it was the right thing to do. He lost his mother at 10, he was used and thrown away by his first girlfriend, went through a second teen pregnancy at 16, felt forced into a teen marriage, lost his stillborn daughter at 17, and is trying his best with his wife but she is behaving coldly and shuuting him out. Give the guy a break. I know that this is just a ABCFamily show, but Ricky fan-girls really irk me. Plus Ricky and Amy would be alot more interesting if they hadn't changed Ricky nor Amy's personalities too much to accomidate the ship, if it was realistic and believable, and wasn't so cliche and overdone. Just my opinion.

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Who cares about Ben and Adrian relationship anyways, they gonna break up this is the end of their relationship after the baby died. Now we have to focus on Amy and Ricky and I love to spend time watching this show because of them. Ben is a loser how you gonna leave your wife because your baby died this is sick and I know Adrian still has feeling for that loser, Ben needs to grow up stop acting like a kid. Ricky warned him not to get married in the first.

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Come on people it's just a show.

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i agree with most of the comments.. i want to see some reality and can the writers stop writing ricky,amy,ben and adrian as a foursome. lets see some individuality. i actually like ben and adrian together, i am really looking forward to see how there relationship plays out...this is the only part of the show i am interested in. i am so tired of hearing everyone bitch about their sex lives and about ricky and amy boring relationship. i really dont care about their relationship because its so BORING. can we PLEASE get some real drama. and i would really like ben to stop sharing all of his personal thoughs with ricky -__-.

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These teens do not talk about the things that my sisters and her friends talk about, and even though I am a little older than them, not the things that my friends and I talked about in high school either ... at least the boys talk a little about football (Jack), work (Ben & Ricky), their parents, Med Camp/ his future life (Grant)- but the girls do not talk about classes, their future (except how it relates to having sex/having a baby), gossip that doesn't relate to sex, college, clothes, movies. Not one of these girls seem to be involved in extra-curricular activities, not one volunteers or seems to be interested in other community events!!!! Come on Secret Life ... give the girls a future ... get Grace back on the college track, set Ashley up with some community-project now that she's completed high school, gosh - even let one of them be a cheerleader or plan a school dance ... and, how about a scene in a classroom or two!?!?!?!

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I agree this was a good episode. As others have said, and I've been saying all along, I really REALLY wish the writers would stop using the word sex 150 times each episode. I was a teenager, (duh) and I raised two girls who are now in their late 20s. Even they have said that they and their friends didn't obsess about sex, that they had more conversations about which teacher they hated the most, who was going out with who, whose clothes they liked, etc. In other words, sex wasn't the only thing they talked about. In that way I think the writers are doing a disservice to teens by making it seem that they all stand around in the hallway agonizing over whether they should have sex. I think today's teens are much more intelligent and involved in current affairs than the writers make them out to be.

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Wow, what an episode. Adrian and Ben, it was so heartbreaking. There performances were OUTSTANDING. There acting is far more superior then the rest of the cast!!!! Amy, is just a spoiled/rude person who thinks her shit don't stink. Don't like the whimpy Ricky. I really hope that Amy stops getting everything handed to her on a silver platter. Adrian deserves to be happy. Come on!!!!

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I also liked the episodes because the work "sex" was not used much.. I like the whole learning more about the people as far as being out with friends and not in your parents house having sex. I have to say that Adrian really got to me. I know that she will never get over this but I sure hope they don't have her do in to a deep depression. As for Ben the scene of him and Amy hugging very moving it made we want to reach out and hug him too. All and all loved the episode...

The Secret Life of the American Teenager Season 4 Episode 1 Quotes

I don't think the point is for it to be okay and for us to get over it. It's for us to live with it.

Ben

Adrian: Maybe I'll just take the GED like Ashley or something.
Ben: The Good Enough Degree? That's not good enough for my wife.

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