Teen Mom turned out to be a pretty great show. We've all got our own opinions about Maci, Amber, Catelynn, and Farrah, but between last night's "Unseen Moments" and last week's finale special, I think we can all agree on one thing: Dr. Drew Pinsky had no business hosting the episodes.
Full disclosure: I hate Dr. Drew. While he was great on Loveline, working with self-absorbed celebrities on Celebrity Rehab, Sober House, etc. has turned him into one himself, earning a spot on our " Worst Human Beings on Reality Shows" list. Seeing him interact with the Teen Moms brought his crappiness to a whole new level, making him look like more of a misogynistic famewhore than ever before.
I get that Dr. Drew and MTV were trying to stress prevention and anti-violence in the check-up special, but the way the show was run, we instead got 90 minutes of Pinsky putting the girls on trial for their decisions. Here were Dr. Famewhore's biggest flaws:
His Big Mouth
I was worried that the girls would fall for the typical traps set in MTV reunion shows, where people start unnecessary drama, reveal way too much personal information and generally freak out. But when Dr. Drew asked Farrah if she was still "farming out motherhood," she simply stated "No." After the girls were shown a recap of this season of Teen Mom, Pinsky looked Maci in the eyes and said, "Poor Bentley," to which she responded, "This is why I don't like you." I am really proud of the girls for standing up for themselves, proving that they were well aware of the ridiculousness of a broadcasted therapy session.
His Desperate Attempts to Direct Questions
Although Teen Mom may have convinced viewers that parenthood isn't a walk in the park, Dr. Drew didn't do so well extracting that information from the girls. He tried to get Maci to talk about what she thought her life could have been like if she had never gotten pregnant, but instead she gave a touching message: "Everyone always talked about how hard [motherhood] would be and all the struggles, but nobody really explained that -- even though it would be the hardest thing ever -- how much you would love it, and how much you would enjoy it. I didn't really expect to be so in love with [Bentley]." While this doesn't quite help convince teen girls to have safe sex, it isn't Maci's role to be a spokesperson for prevention. Instead, Dr. Drew should have done a better job moderating the conversation instead of obviously relying on what he expected the girls to say. In fact, because he was so overbearing, the girls did a 180 and overcompensated when defending their decisions. For example, until Gary talked about his abusive past, Amber refused to say she regretted hitting him.
His Attitude Toward Ryan
During the check-up special, Dr. Drew defended Ryan and held him accountable for absolutely nothing, while blaming Maci for failing to communicate her emotions. Pinsky made an (offensive) excuse for him, saying that men don't feel the same pull toward their children that women do. Maci was once again the voice of the viewer, saying that some men do have that pull, but it's just than Ryan does not. In the end, after Ryan said that he isn't sorry for anything and that he would never speak to Maci again if it wasn't for Bentley, Dr. Drew says that if both he and Maci put more effort into their relationship, they could be together -- it's just that "no one's willing to give." We saw Maci week after week giving up her education, friends and pride in order to be a good mom to Bentley and make her relationship work with Ryan. Give me a freaking break, Doc.
A few more thoughts about last night's footage:
I do not understand why Ryan has been getting so much credit all season. The script that Dr. Drew was reading from said that Ryan had tender moments that MTV never aired. In the clip, all we saw was a scene taped early on in the season in which Ryan tells his guy friends that he liked Maci and would try to make it work for Bentley. He also jokingly put a piece of lettuce on Bentley's head. Father of the year, right there.
Dr. Drew then read that Gary was more interested in talking about hormones than Ryan. Cut to Gary and his friend at the gym. The two talk about the difficulties of sustaining a passionate relationship while you have to take care of baby, as well as the effectiveness of birth control. It wasn't exactly a beer commercial.
How much better would the two-part Teen Mom finale had been if a sex-positive feminist hosted the finale special? Think about it: if Dan Savage replaced Dr. Drew, Maci would have been told to DTMFA and the girls would have been able to be less hostile and happier to be there. It sure as hell would have been easier to watch.
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