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Life - S01 E01


In nature, living long enough to breed is a monumental struggle. Many animals and plants go to extremes to give themselves a chance. Uniquely, three brother cheetahs band together to bring down a huge ostrich. Aerial photography reveals how bottle-nosed dolphins trap fish in a ring of mud, and timelapse cameras show how the Venus flytrap ensnares insect victims. The Strawberry frog carries a tadpole high into a tree and drops it in a water-filled bromeliad. The frog must climb back from the ground every day to feed it. Fledgling chinstrap penguins undertake a heroic and tragic journey through the broken ice to get out to sea. Many can barely swim and the formidable leopard seal lies in wait.

Episode Title: Challenges of Life
Airs: 2009-10-12 at 09:00 PM
  • Hal Boedeker

    Secret Life feels a lot more authentic than many teen dramas.

    Orlando Sentinel Full Review
  • Linda Stasi

    The show, like the old "90210" and "The O.C.," looks to be--from its premiere, at any rate--a top-flight series about a group of high school students, most of whom I liked immediately.

    New York Post Full Review
  • David Zurawik

    As entertainment, the pilot is a most impressive work of economic and focused storytelling.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    Woodley's performance lifts a well-meaning, rather brave, but ramshackle show a notch. [8 Aug 2008, p.53]

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    It's far more realistic in scope and situations than "Gossip Girl," but there's such an earnestness and one-dimensionality to the characters that they seem a lot less believable.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    Shailene Woodley is terrific as the teen in question. Unfortunately, other parts of the show feel so contrived they border on soap opera parody.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    A good girl’s surprise pregnancy is a strong premise, but creator Brenda Hampton (7th Heaven) undercuts it by surrounding Amy with an uninspired ensemble of precociously cardboard classmates.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Robert Lloyd

    It feels thin, mechanical and confused.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    From the tramp to the Christians, everyone but Amy feels more like a type than a genuine character. Although a degree of shorthand is to be forgiven, these characters are caricatures at best as the series careens all over the place.

    Variety Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    Campily depicting high school as a den of sluts and predators, Secret achieves the noble goal of making sex thoroughly unsexy.

    Time Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    The pilot was so uneven that the whole affair nearly veers into "Reefer Madness" territory--the kind of over-the-top cautionary fable that subverts honorable intentions through hysteria or cliche. Despite its pedigree, Teenager doesn't appear to have ever stepped inside a high school, either.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Ray Richmond

    This new ABC Family effort from Brenda Hampton (“7th Heaven”) works feverishly to make an educational institution look like the equivalent of a Nevada brothel but succeeds mostly in transforming high school to high camp. Were these stereotypes any more simplistic, they’d need to come with their own parental warning label.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    ABC Family means well but could not have done worse. Secret Life doesn’t take the fun out of teenage pregnancy, it takes the fun out of television.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Misha Davenport

    It's a shallow portrait of youth, and I can't see how Hampton and her team of writers will be able to sustain things over the course of the series if this continues to be the focus.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Joanna Weiss

    Nothing about it feels original or even especially timely, and it certainly doesn't reveal any great secrets about society.

    Boston Globe Full Review