Ken Baumann, Shailene Woodley, Daren Kagasoff
Who will Amy end up with on the Secret Life series finale -- Ricky or Ben?
In July 2008, ABC Family debuted the show, created by 7th Heaven's Brenda Hampton, to record ratings for the network. The high school soap stars newcomer Shailene Woodley as Amy Juergens, a shy incoming freshman who learns she's pregnant after losing her virginity to popular Ricky Underwood (Daren Kagasoff) at band camp before starting to date boy-next-door Ben (Ken Baumann). By the end of the season, both Ricky and Ben know the truth, remain supportive, but are fighting for Amy's affections.
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In the show's fifth and final season, Amy and Ricky, along with their son John, remain a family, but something — or someone — is holding Amy back from tying the knot. So will she finally go through with her wedding to Ricky? Or will she and Ben go to college in New York as planned and ultimately become a couple again?
"I can say the ending isn't tragic for Ben," Baumann tells TVGuide.com. "I was really satisfied when I read the final few scenes and especially when they were shot on set. It was really beautiful. But it's a more ambiguous ending, it's not a fairy tale, but I think it's perfect."
How does it feel going into the final episode?
Ken Baumann: Time has really flown. I remember when the first season was airing, so it's kind of surreal. But I feel like all the sadness has already passed because we haven't been filming for so long, so now it's a matter of excitement.
How do you think Ben has changed over the years?
Baumann: I'd say pretty radically. In the first season he was earnest and a single-minded high school freshman who wanted to lose his virginity. By the end of it, he's burned down the school, he's this entitled rich kid who's obsessive and weird and manipulative. I think it was a good, perverse arc.
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Will the ending satisfy fans?
Baumann: It boils down to: Will this ending make everyone happy? Of course not.
Do you think Amy and Ben are soulmates?
Baumann: Could they be? Sure. Will they be? That's a question that would've been answered if we had a few more seasons, but the TV gods did not let that happen.
Do you have a favorite story line or scene from over the years?
Baumann: Daren and I had a "sort of" fight scene that was hilarious. It was such an incredibly long scene, six pages, and it was hard to not crack each other up. But in hindsight, the most remarkable was the pilot because everyone was so nervous and brand-new and goofy and inexperienced and that was hilarious.
Where do you think Ben will be in five years?
Baumann: I think on a post-graduate trip to Colombia Ben will be captured by the cartel and exclusively force-fed a diet of acorns, and then he will have psychologically manipulated the leader of the cartel and he will have taken over the Colombian cartel and become a drug lord.
So what's next for you?
Baumann: My book [Solip] just came out and I'm doing my first reading from it in New York in June.
Are you hoping to continue acting or just write?
Baumann: My ideal existence career-wise would be able to act... and then see where the writing takes me as well.
Watch one of Amy and Ben's final scenes together:
The Secret Life of the American Teenager series finale airs on Monday at 8/7c on ABC Family.