Since 2009 the rate of teen pregnancy in the USA has dropped by 6% and MTV credits that to their genius idea of the programme, “16 and Pregnant” which was closely followed by yet another stroke of brilliance in the spin off, “Teen Mom”. MTV managed to find around 10 girls per season for “16 and Pregnant” who were willing to bare all through the trials, tribulations, mental personalities and families to put their feet in the stirrups to show us what it’s like being a teen mum. Now in it’s fourth and final season, nothing is getting easier for the original four girls in Teen Mom: America’s favourite mum, Maci; Miss Piggy’s understudy, Amber; Cruella DeVille’s best friend, Farrah; and Catelynn… closely followed by her baby father Tyler, obviously.
I mentioned Maci once in front of my boyfriend and he said “the one with the boob job?” of course my reply was “yes”, to which he responded “no idea who you’re talking about, but if I ask that question you’re bound to think I do know”. Typical ignorance, especially because although Maci’s impressive bosom is hard to ignore she is now adored in America as one of its favourite teen mums, and the girl who produced the most adorable little boy, Bentley. In the fourth season, Maci’s having struggles with her baby daddy Ryan, who’s more sullen than Lord Voldemort and to be honest, it’s no surprise that she had a baby at 17 because by the looks of things sex was the only thing on the agenda; I don’t think I’ve ever heard Ryan construct a sentence of more than 5 words.
Maci’s boyfriend, Kyle is always around to ease the tension between her and Ryan though… except for that time when Ryan asked Maci if Kyle was ‘slow’ to really rile her up and she forwarded the text onto him. That was fairly awkward. School also doesn’t seem to be going well for her as Maci lives in fear of leaving Bentley in daycare. Then of course that fact that she seems to be a screw loose because she wants another baby… there are some attachment issues with Bentley and that’s why she wants another one; he’s at his dad’s for the weekend and she needs something to do. Buy the Sims, Maci.
Maci’s having struggles with her baby daddy Ryan, who’s more sullen than Lord Voldemort
Bentley won’t go to ‘day-care’ without his mum and ‘Ky’ and Maci doesn’t want to leave him there so when baby daddy, Ryan, announces a family vacation with his family and Bentley, Maci jumps on that bandwagon. So does Ryan’s new girlfriend – “this girl doesn’t have a chance” are Maci’s words, as if Dalis is invading her holiday.
She doesn’t glamorise teen pregnancy – after all, who would want to have to deal with sullen Ryan and Bentley constantly peeing on her – but Maci stands out as a Goddess amongst regular women, with her perfect son (ignoring the wee), adoring Kyle and let’s be honest, a banging bod.
Now, if Amber isn’t enough to put someone off having a baby I don’t know what is. Entering into the fourth season there is still the no contact order between her and baby daddy, Gary, ever since she was charged with domestic violence against him. Personally, I don’t understand how she can’t love Gary all the time – yes, he’s hideously over weight and in most scenes of the programme he’s eating or looking like any piece of furniture he sits in was built around him to make sure he could fit, but he’s just kind of awesome.
He also has that wounded puppy look that is only enhanced by Amber constantly telling him to “shut the fuck up” when he asks a simple question, like “how are you?” – completely reasonable response, obviously.
In my opinion, Amber’s been unstable since day one; her face distorts every time anyone dares mention that perhaps with a substance abuse problem, anger issues and multiple charges lined up against her, she’s not the most ideal role model for her daughter, Leah. In this instance, the resemblance to a pig is uncanny – stuff an apple in her mouth, rotate her on a pole and I think we can all agree she’d serve far more purpose for everyone. Still, she’s signed herself up for five years in jail now – yes, she signed herself up for it – so Gary can breathe easy for a while.
Teen Mom 2 features four girls from the second season of “16 and Pregnant”. Adorable Chelsea, perfect Kailyn, Leah the Southern bellend and, of course, everyone’s favourite inmate, Jenelle Evans. When Jenelle’s not in court for substance abuse, possession of marijuana or domestic violence charges, she’s tweeting about it, hurling abuse for the whole world to see.
Before his first birthday she signed over custody of her son, Jace, to her mother, Barbara. Babs, in herself, is a fabulous form of entertainment, with a thick North Carolina accent that can usually be heard shouting, inches away from Jenelle’s face about that pot smoking, homeless boyfriend of Jenelle’s, “KEIFFAAAAH”.
To be fair, I reckon Babs has a point; rolling a joint on the front lawn getting so stoned she forgot her way back into the house, while baby-sitting perhaps wasn’t the best move in regaining custody, Jenelle. One has to question why MTV keep her on the show; the only time Jenelle shines is when she tokes on a joint or when the prison floodlights are on for an escaped prisoner. There are just too many golden moments of Jenelle’s to list them all… but her on screen fights are certainly a highlight, and after Keiffer doesn’t text her back and her roommate pisses her off, it’s like feeding time at the zoo and every hick is out for themselves.
Room-mate Tori makes the first move, perhaps a sucker punch that turns into a cartoon of a grey blurred ball as the two grab and slap each other, rolling around. Keiffer ambles along to break up the swirling ball of fists and pathetic, girly punches only to be caught off guard by Tori’s boyfriend. The boys are in one corner the girls are in the other – Jenelle spends most of Teen Mom homeless and the rest of it bitch fighting; she’s more of a hill billy than Leah.
Getting so stoned she forgot her way back into the house, while baby-sitting perhaps wasn’t the best move in regaining custody.
To be honest, I’m not really sure how it ends, but somehow it does and Jenelle’s head is in her hands whilst she wails, “LEAVE ME ALONE” to a somewhat shockingly, empty room. This is pure television gold and Jenelle’s fights and bizarre comments only continue on Twitter: “watching Jenelle’s episode of 16 & Pregnant” was a tweet she received recently to which she replied “When I was a crazy, raging bitch” – I think we’ll all agree that’s an interesting use of the past tense there. She’s like a dog walking on it’s hind legs; fascinating to watch but there’s just something not quite right.
It’s not just her own North Carolina pals that Jenelle’s screwed over either, fellow cast members have felt the wrath of her stoner attitude. Kailyn lent Jenelle money to bail her out of jail, money that she still hasn’t received back from her. Jenelle’s payment instead seemed to come in the form of publicly flirting with Kailyn’s ex-boyfriend, a number one douche bag to no one’s surprise. Bygones seem to be bygones now though… I suppose it’s a case of picking your battles with Jenelle – probably best to catch her after a cheeky joint, to be honest.
Kailyn is fantastic though; learning Spanish because her son, Isaac’s baby daddy’s family are Puerto Rican and she’s nearly finished her Law degree. Now, she makes her mistakes but she holds her hands up to them, unlike Leah…
Leah, you cheated on your baby daddy twice and still you blame him for the divorce – he wanted to buy a truck and she wanted to buy a trailer. Oh the problems of the south. But Leah’s got a lot on her plate, because of constant visits to the geneticist for one of her twin daughters, Ali. Have to question her choice of baby names; Aleah and Aliannah - she did almost pick the same name twice… for twins.
Chelsea Houska entertains all with her amazing hair, gorgeous daughter, Aubree, and douche bag baby daddy, Adam. She’s less of the drama, and a bit like Maci: more MTV’s way of proving the show didn’t destroy every cast member.
Teen Mom has received criticism for glamourising teen pregnancy, quite how people come to that conclusion I’m just not sure. It wouldn’t be quite such brilliant television if everything was glamorous and easy for them now, would it?
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