Even though the series "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" ended two years ago, it's recently been on the tip of everyone's tongue. The cast met up earlier this month to celebrate co-star Megan Park's wedding to "One Tree Hill" star Tyler Hilton, making all of us remember the trials and tribulations from the hit ABC Family show.
However, many fans were left feeling unsatisfied by the open-ended series finale. The episode concluded with Amy (Shailene Woodley) leaving Ricky (Daren Kagasoff) and John (Matthew and Joseph Levinson) for New York. The final moment of the show is Ricky reading John a bedtime story, telling his son, “And she lived happily ever after. And so will we.” *All of America bursts into tears*
Given the renewed interest in the show, MTV News reached out to series creator Brenda Hampton to ask what in heaven's name actually happened with Amy and Ricky's on again/off again relationship — as well as the fates of Ben, Jack, Grace, Adrian, Omar and everyone else on the show! Hampton graciously provided plenty of details to fill the hole in fans' hearts left by the series' conclusion. Without further ado, here's what became of everyone's favorite West Coast gang.
MTV: Did Amy eventually come back from New York to live full-time with Ricky and John? And if so, were she and Ricky able to rekindle their deep love for each other and/or have another child?
Brenda Hampton: No, Amy did not come back from New York. After a couple of years, Ricky and John moved to New York, along with George, Amy’s dad and John’s grandpa. The cross-country travel while taking on college was just too stressful for Amy, but no one wanted to see her abandon her dreams so everyone came to her. That’s right, Grandpa George, Ricky and John all in an apartment in Brooklyn Heights, all so Amy could be with John more often while getting her degree. But they were a safe distance away over the Brooklyn Bridge, and she remained in the dorm for a few years.
Leo used his connections at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights to help Ricky transfer and finish his degree, and Leo helped John as well! John started to school at a neighborhood kindergarten and continued in school there, walking distance for John and Grandpa George. Also, Leo got Ricky a job at a neighborhood butcher, and after awhile, with everyone else in the old neighborhood, Leo packed up and moved to Brooklyn Heights too. He owns property there, he has friends and family there, he loves it. And Amy and Ricky fell in love with each other and with New York. They married after both of them graduated and were all too happy to have George move across the hall — so convenient. And where is Amy’s mom? Happily married herself and traveling the world singing in jazz clubs. And Ricky’s mom? She moved across the hall with George. Why not? They were great together.
Amy’s love of the arts led her to a career in documentary films. Ricky does have a knack for business and he and Leo are in the midst of creating a high end fast food chain.
MTV: What happened to Amy while she was in New York? Did she end up getting together with Ben, whether as just a simple hookup or as a full-on relationship?
Hampton: As far as Amy and Ben, it only took her a short time to realize that she really did love Ben, but only as a friend, what might have been had she not gotten pregnant wasn’t what she wanted at all. And yeah, I think they did have sex to find that out. And it wasn’t any good. So they did it again, and it still wasn’t any good. A third time? Nothing! And it just became ridiculous. They loved the idea of being in love with the first person they loved in high school, but uh, just didn’t connect physically. If they had stayed together in high school, she probably would have realized this much sooner and he would have too. He just kind of lost himself in trying to obtain the unobtainable Amy.
And once he got to the realization that it wasn’t what he thought it would be and that was okay, he became our old Ben again, wonderfully romantic and charming. He wrote his first novel while in college, a best seller based on Amy and he continues to write while pursuing a doctorate in literature.
MTV: How did Ricky manage to explain to John why his mother suddenly went away?
Hampton: Ricky explained that sometimes the daddy stays with the children while the mommy goes to college or works. But Amy really didn’t just disappear, she made a great effort to get back to John as much as possible, and Ricky took him to New York whenever he could before moving there.
MTV: What came about with the Grace, Jack, and Madison love triangle? Did Jack end up marrying Madison?
BH: Well Grace is now in medical school, at NYU, and she’s very happy there, tired but happy, and she still manages to see her old friends whenever she can. And yes, Jack did end up married to Madison and they also followed the others to New York where Madison found success on Broadway and Jack became a coach at St. Francis — yeah, Leo helped him too. And guess who else came to New York? Grace’s mom, Kathleen and Grace’s brother, Tom. Kathleen is a fund raiser for a church on the upper east side of Manhattan and Tom is the door man in their building and volunteers as a docent at the Natural History Museum.
MTV: Were Adrian and Omar able to stay together after moving to New York?
Hampton: Adrian and Omar are very happily married and perhaps the most successful financially out of the group. He continues to revolutionize education, and she is finishing law school, and they have two of the cutest kids ever!
(Brenda Hampton actually asked and answered this question): Could we ever bring the show back and do these stories?
Hampton: Oh probably not. Our Amy has become so successful, we would not likely find her on the set of "Secret Life" again. So how would we continue the show? Would fans watch a new "Secret Life" without her character? Would they kill off the character of Amy and have Ricky become a widower? Would they have Amy be the bad mother who just took off? Would they replace the actress and just continue on? What would fans do?
Because this is the reality of producing a long-running series, it’s very difficult to keep all the actors together over the years. Hey, it’s difficult to keep fans as well! So I want to thank all the fans who watched us for five seasons and for still caring what happens to Ricky and Amy and everyone in "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" family.
So, there you have it. The unanswered questions that've plagued fans for TWO YEARS have now been laid to rest. Amazingly, everyone lived happily ever after — I guess that does happen sometimes in life. Long live "Secret Life"! ❤️