THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER “Or Not To Be” Season 3 Episode 26 – Well, it took long enough but after a very lengthy hiatus the third season of The Secret Life of the American Teenager finally came to an end, and it did so tragically. Tears were shed, faces were scrunched and Sarah MacLachlan provided music for a montage of misery as we learn that the baby was a stillborn. It was gloom and doom and, er, horniness as Ricky and Amy finally get it on.

This is probably the best episode of The Secret Life of the American Teenager. It built up two distinct arcs (Amy and Ricky’s stupid lack of sex and Ben and Adrian’s pregnancy) and paid both off. For the first, it was about damn time because it got silly about two years ago.

Regarding Ben and Adrian, it was an admirable feat for Brenda Hampton (the creator and writer of most episodes, including this one) to pull off, and even though it went too soapy for my tastes (extended sequences of people sobbing, a soliloquy voicing loss, In The Arms of the Angel-seriously, is there no other sad song?) it was daring enough (for this show at least) not only to explore such morose territory, but in the build up.

Miscarriages, stillbirths etc are often used on television as a way to break off a relationship without going through with an abortion and without having to incorporate a baby into the show. Sure, it’s a device to create conflict, but Adrian and Ben got married, and the only reason they got married was because of the baby (and to appease their parents). Without the baby, how will their relationship continue? Will they break up? Will they stay together? Will they move back in with their parents? The show made a big deal about the lack of a prenup-will Adrian blame Ben and take half his inheritance? Will they try for another baby?

It was an interesting season finale of a terrible terrible show. When Brenda Hampton spoiled the ending to Entertainment Weekly, I thought it was a cheap ploy for viewers. It was, certainly, and this might have been a much better episode (in fact, it definitely would have been) had Hampton kept her mouth shut and let the episode just happen, instead of trying to herd as many viewers round to see the tragedy.

A few random tidbits:

Anyone else notice the number on Adrian’s door was 326? Smoooooth.

Fat? Really Grace? Really? So her boyfriend dated a fat girl? Is that the new form of bestiality?

Speaking of Grace, where was she when Adrian needed her?

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.

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