Secret Life: She didn’t go thattaway.

by d

"It's NOT Ricky's baby? Are you sure? You can tell me, I already know he gets around."

Subterfuge reviews the ongoing saga of teen pregnancies that is ABC Family‘s The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Season 3, episode 6, “She Went That A’way.”

Adrian’s gonna do it! She’s going to the clinic! She’s in the waiting room! She–she’s crying, and talking to someone.

Well, fuck. ABC Family has pussied out again, because Adrian has a big heart (so said Grace). Adrian’s decision to go through with the pregnancy is surprising, but it’s the way she behaves after making the decision that is pissing me off.

Have the baby, ok. But WHAT HAPPENED TO ADOPTION?! This girl wants to go to law school!At the last moment, Adrian changes her mind. She’s going to have the baby. This transition is aided by none other than Ricky’s Mom, a social worker. She often does counseling here at the family clinic, and she knows Ricky and Adrian were an item, so of course she wants to help. Adrian’s mom has stepped out, trying to reach Ruben-the-stubborn on the phone he won’t pick up. (Ignore the references below to other crazy shit going on, this thing is a soap opera.)

Adrian
I thought I was [sure]… I just don’t know if it’s right… for me, I mean. I thought it was the right thing for me to do, but now I don’t know, maybe it’s the wrong thing to do.

Ricky’s Mom
Let’s go back to want. What do you want to do, Adrian? Because you can do what you want, and no matter what you want to do, it’s ok.

Adrian
I know what I don’t want to do. I don’t want to be a teenage mother. I have goals, I have plans, I want to go to law school! I want to do something with my life, that’s why I’ve always been so careful! From the beginning, I’ve been careful! This wasn’t supposed to happen!

Ricky’s Mom
Yes, but, it did. And it does, it happens. You know, I did not know you want to go to law school. My mother was an attorney. Family law.

Adrian
That’s what I want to do. Practice family law. My dad’s a DA, I didn’t know him growing up, I just got to know him. And he just married my mom.

Ricky’s Mom
Yes, I know, we were hoping to be witnesses.

Adrian
Yeah, well. I kind of made a mistake and Ricky didn’t want to be at the wedding.

Ricky’s Mom
That mistake being Ben. I know about that, I just didn’t know about this. It’s gonna be ok, Adrian. Whatever you decide. It’s going to be ok. But it looks as if you haven’t decided.

Adrian
I thought I had.

Ricky’s Mom
Thought. There are some decisions you can reverse. And some you can’t. This being one of those. Talk to me.

Adrian
Mrs… Ricky’s Mother… I don’t know what I want to do. I don’t know.

Ricky’s Mom
Ok. I’m going to go and find your mother, and then we’ll all talk.

I wish someone kept statistics of how many women change their minds at the last moment (without going to one of those pro-life ‘clinics’). It’s not an easy decision, and it has huge consequences either way. I don’t begrudge the character for making a different choice.

I AM pissed that no one has used the word adoption in this episode. I felt quite sure that if Adrian decided not to abort she would give the baby up. She wants to go to law school, dammit. But, no. Instead she and Ben-the-baby-daddy spend most of the day together, using phrases like ‘we’re having a baby.’ What the shit? When did they become united?

Adrian looks way too happy for someone who’s just consigned herself to teen parenthood with a guy she’s not even friends with. Reality has got to crash back in next week.

Also on the table is Who will tell Amy? Amy and Ben are still together, but Amy left for band camp before she even heard that Ben and Adrian had slept together. Everyone was kind of hoping that the pregnancy would be terminated and Amy might never have to know. Well, that’s clearly not an option anymore. Lots of people want to tell (mom, friends) but there’s a lot of opinion about who should do it. Most people agree that it should be Ben. Ben is waffling, he doesn’t want to do this over the phone (or at all, honestly).

Amy’s dad, George, doesn’t wany anyone breaking the news until Amy’s back home. He has a point, that she’s alone in a big city without anyone to help her through the news. His plan is to talk to the neighbors and, “ask them to keep quiet for a few weeks.” In fact, he’s going to talk to the other two dads involved and make a pact not to spread it around.

“Oh, I see,” Ashley says, “So all the dads are gonna get together and fix things for the women folk the way men do.” I have liked Ashley from the start, she’s very sensible. (Except when it comes to Ricky.) “Dad, you can’t fix this.”

George has very poor judgment, and he heads over anyway.

George is a real piece of work. He belittles his wife’s degree in Womens Studies, and is a serial cheater. He’s definitely the wedge keeping the Jurgens family from coming back together as a strong unit. So really it’s no surprise that he demands his (ex-)wife Anne make him something to eat.

George
You know where the grocery store is, right? I hope that’s a cooking magazine.

Anne
It’s not. I’m reading an article on why the rain forests are disappearing.

George
Maybe hungry husbands are eating the trees.

Anne gives him a Look.

George
You ever gonna cook again?

Anne
I don’t know.

George
What happened to family dinners? I really thought that was a good idea.

Anne
Well, I did, too. And then Amy went away, and I thought ‘what’s the point?’

George
I’m home! Ashley’s home! Ricky’s home! Well, he’s here in this home, anyway.

Anne
Well, it doesn’t feel right without Amy.

George
What doesn’t feel right about it?

Anne
Well I’m not hungry, ok?

George
I’m starving!

Anne
You’re eating!

George
A sandwich! You remember you used to make me a sandwich when I came home for lunch? Now I come home for lunch and I eat my own bad sandwich. I need some real food!

I really don’t know how those two ever got together. I don’t know why they got back together.

Before I delete this episode in disgust, I’d like to say a word about Madison. She’s one of Amy’s best friends (it’s never been established why those girls are friends, and they don’t even hang out much, they just Are Best Friends), and she’s dating Jack (aka Jock Boy). I always thought she was a bit dim, but she’s proving to be capable of jealousy and snideness as well. She’s kind of crazy. Like, park next to your boyfriend’s out-of-place-car for hours at a time crazy and angst about what other girl he’s seeing. “I should never have given him the milk for free!” she wailed a few episodes back. Now that Madison knows Jack is staying in the guest house with Tom, in spitting distance of his ex-girlfriend Grace, Madison’s become very nasty.

She sits down with Grace to set some ground rules. And make digs at the morality of Grace and her family. She’s lucky Grace is so even-keeled. Someone like Adrian or Amy would have lashed right back at her.

Ugh, I just saw Adrian smiling again. Thanks for taking a realistic view of teen pregnancy, ABC Family. I really appreciate the sunny outlook.

One Comment to “Secret Life: She didn’t go thattaway.”

  1. Yeah, the entire reason for this is that the real secret agenda is that if a girl has sex and gets pregnant, its her own fault, and she needs to take responsibility by giving life support to the fetus until it is born, and then keeping it and raising it thereby giving up the rest of her life, dreams, goals, and youth. Because, she deserves to be punished for having sex in the first place. Giving the child up for adoption is the easy way out and she doesn’t deserve that. And abortion is immoral! So is pre-marital sex but hey…two wrongs don’t make a right, right? That little talk about her options was just a subtle way of saying, “getting an abortion is wrong, and we aren’t going to touch on adoption because you need to take responsibility for making a baby.” That woman took a girl in a very touchy and vulnerable situation and purposely spun things to make sure that she didn’t think abortion was a real option.

    Remember, this is a family show. And even though it deals with teen relationships and teen pregnancy, its going to end up keeping the more “important” conservative values. While pre-marital sex is not wholesome, and nor is teen pregnancy, they’re going to try to put a wholesome spin on it as far as conservative values go. That’s why they pussy out when it comes to the abortion thing, and that’s why they didn’t mention a thing about the option of adoption.

    Not to mention that it would be pretty anti-climactic if she got that abortion or if she gave the baby up for adoption and then nothing happened between Brad and his ACTUAL girlfriend over it. Its both to keep the conservative audience (and keep them happy) and also to create drama.

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