Photo Credit: Courtesy of MTV
Last summer, on the documentary series 16 and Pregnant, MTV viewers were first introduced to Farrah Abraham of Iowa, Amber Portwood of Indiana, Maci Bookout of Tennessee, and Catelynn Lowell of Michigan. With cameras rolling, the pregnant teens made painful decisions, cried a lot, fretted over their situations, fought with loved ones, and cried some more. It was harrowing to see, and countless viewers no doubt benefited from watching the consequences of their mistakes.
MTV picked up their cautionary tales again six months later in Teen Mom, when the foursome allowed cameras to film their lives after their babies were born. Again, the storylines provided a way for teen audiences to learn about the possible life altering effects of unprotected sex—without actually having to experience them themselves. As a teaching tool for adolescents, the show has been a great success.
But as MTV's Teen Mom heads into its second season (Tuesday, 10 p.m. EST), Farrah, Amber, Maci and Catelynn are still mired in drama. Viewers are instantly reminded that these are not fictional TV characters with scripted life lessons. They are young women who got pregnant before they were ready, and that fact has set them on a path they'd rather not travel. For them, there's no turning off the TV once the lesson has been learned. The offspring, the deadbeat boyfriends, the disapproving parents -- they're all still there.
So are the personal and family problems they faced before they even got pregnant. Neither Amber nor her boyfriend seem mature enough to carry on a healthy relationship, let alone to raise a child. Farrah's dysfunctional relationship with her abusive mother puts an almost unmanageable strain on her ability to be a good mom herself. Maci still looks like she should be captain of the cheerleading team right now, but instead she's still fighting with her irresponsible baby daddy -- only now it's in court, for child support. And as you can see from this clip, Catelynn is still an emotional mess.
“Brand new motherhood, which is what we captured in the first season, has evolved into something different,” exec producer Liz Gateley told msnbc.com. “It’s about settling into this life, and ‘How do I make this work on a daily basis?’”
The life lessons keep coming on Teen Mom. Sadly, there's no end in sight for the girls who are living these stories.