Last night, the latest installment of Teen Mom kicked off, but this time instead of Amber, Farrah, Maci and Catelynn, we've got Leah, Kailyn, Chelsea and Jenelle. I'm pretty sure that the folks at People, Star and Us Weekly are psyched to have four new girls to report on, especially since Jenelle seems like she could be an explosive combination of Farrah and Amber. So let the exploitation begin!.
I only watched 16 and Pregnant sporadically last season because there's just so many times you can watch a girl get knocked up and say that she's with the love of her life... only to have that guy up and leave the first time he has to change diapers or realizes he can't party with his friends 24/7. It's depressing. And frankly, so is this show. I hope that the teens out there watching this realize how hard and disgusting childrearing can be, and don't confuse the TV exposure and magazine covers with a glamorous and aspirational life choice. Anyway, this season of Teen Mom is, much like the show that spawned it, pretty much the same. Young women have to struggle to make ends meet, keep relationships together and attempt to get an education while exhausted. If you watched Teen Mom original flavor, this is basically just a retread of that.
Leah is a mom raising twin girls; she only dated her boyfriend Corey for a month when she got pregnant. She thought they'd be together forever, but then post-baby, she went out with some guy named Robbie. Corey found out and was crushed and now things are totally awkward between them, but both of them seem to want to work it out for the sake of their kids. She reminds me a lot of Maci in some ways, not just because there is a vague resemblance but more in the sweet love way she interacts with her kids. She managed to graduate and appears to get along with her parents and just seems more sad than anything that her relationship with Corey didn't work out.
Then there's Kailyn, who is the mom to seven-month-old Isaac. She's also graduating and heading off to community college (see Amber, some people can finish high school with a kid; it's not totally impossible). Her own mother is completely selfish and more interested in her dating life than worrying about what happens to her daughter or grandkid. I'm not saying that she needs to support Kailyn financially, since Kailyn got herself into this situation, but she says she doesn't spend time with her because "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and all that jazz. And she gives her grandson a jelly packet in lieu of a toy. Grandma of the year, that one. Kailyn has moved in with her boyfriend Jo (yeah, that's how he spells it) and his family, but things got more than a little bit awkward when the two of them broke up. It seems the split stemmed from Jo tracking exactly how many miles she put on his car. So she lives in Jo's basement, while baby Isaac lives upstairs with the family, and she and Jo avoid each other. Because that's totally comfortable. I predict they'll make up and break up approximately18 times through the course of this season.
The third new teen mom, Chelsea, is really living the sweet life as far as support systems go. She's got divorced parents who both love her and help her take care of her kid. She's also got an apartment (paid for by her father, who wants her to focus on school instead of work) where she lives with her friend Megan, who basically co-parents and babysits for free. Sure, Megan can't figure out how to boil water and Chelsea can't use the Internet (despite the fact that she has a keyboard covered in leopard-print stickers, so clearly she's used a computer before), but they sure know how to shop... and Chelsea's even getting back into dating. The one thing she really needs in her life is waterproof mascara, because she cries a lot about being single. (Adam, her deadbeat dad of an ex-boyfriend, only sees his kid once a month.)
And, finally, there's Jenelle. Jenelle's baby daddy Andrew is modeling in China (weird, right?) but sends child support, though he's totally out of the picture. She and her mom have a fantastic relationship, one where they scream at each other, physically shove each other, and spew profanities all of the time. It's quaint, really. Jenelle and her mom mostly bicker about the fact that Jenelle likes to go out with her friends, but Jenelle's defense is that she always gets the baby to bed first. Putting baby Jace to bed involves putting him in crib, turning off the lights and saying goodnight. No concern about whether he wakes up or not, because the second he's down, Jenelle takes off to local watering holes and parties and rides mechanical bulls. One imagines that there is more than soda in those plastic cups as well. By the time she passes out in her bed, it's daylight and mom is stuck taking the kid to daycare. You can imagine that this only helps their bond grow. So imagine Jenelle's surprise when her mother serves her with papers and tries to get full custody of Jace. There's a lot of yelling while the baby just sits there absorbing the madness. Can we send a copy of this episode directly to Child Protective Services so they can start building their case immediately?
I would have thought that original Teen Mom Amber would have served as a cautionary tale for these girls in terms of engaging in behavior on camera that could land them in jail, but apparently not. (Maybe these episodes were filmed before the Amber-Gary fallout?) Anyway, if you just can't stop yourself from seeing more sad girls try and get their GEDs or find a guy who is willing to date them even though they have a baby, then give this season a whirl. It's mainly worth watching so that in two months you'll recognize the people that are plastered all over the newsstands.
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